The Struggle with the Consumerism of Christmas

by Mark Votava

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Christmas is only a few days away this year and I have felt the pressure this season to get into the consumerism of it all.  Shopping is so much a part of this season.  It seems to be so busy that it is hard to focus on the people who are important to me.  The communal spirit of Jesus is lost to so much about Santa, Rudolph and presents.

  • Understanding love at deeper levels

But this year I want to stop all the madness and use this Christmas season to learn how to love.  I want to learn how to be grateful and live a more peaceful life.  Community is becoming a bigger part of my life as I see the need for the small acts of kindness that illuminate beauty in our world.  A Christ consciousness is developing in me more through understanding love at deeper levels.

  • The most wonderful time of the year?

Why can’t I just accept Christmas the way it is?  It is supposed to be fun, joyful and the most wonderful time of the year.  But for some of us it isn’t experienced that way at all.  For some of us it is the most depressing time of the year.

  • Cynicism, depression and grief

Especially for a lot of my friends who do not have a lot of money to buy presents and have been stigmatized because they can barely provide for their basic needs, Christmas has become a hard time where they are reduced to a charity case.  As I am kind of estranged from my own family, this season is not so fun for me.  It brings out a lot of cynicism, depression and grief for me.  Sometimes I get so annoyed by the Christmas songs that I want to scream.

  • Hoping for a Christmas miracle

Why can’t I just be happy and get over it?  Sometimes all I can hope for is the wonderful day of December 26th when it is all over.  But this year I am hoping for a Christmas miracle where I resonate with a peace within myself amidst all the Christmas season hype.  Peace, love and joy is all I want for Christmas this year.

  • Can we lament for the church in North America?

Christmas makes me unhappy a lot of the time.  I seem to be drowning in the sorrow I have for the church that seems to just play along with the Christmas season game.  Christmas causes a deep lamentation with me for the wealthy, powerful church that marginalizes Jesus.  Can we lament for the church in North America during this Christmas season?

  • Can we become more serious and reflective?

Can we question our own happiness?  Can we become more serious and reflective?  Can we stop the madness of pretending to be happy when maybe were not?  Are all the smiles and laughter this Christmas season just a cover up so we don’t have to face ourselves, on own grief, our own pain, our own apathy toward all the injustice in the world?

In what ways do you struggle with Christmas?