88.Increased Awareness Christmas

xmas.jpgDear Friends:

The past few months have been truly strange ones for me.  Because of the experiences I have been through I notice my surroundings more. Today for instance was another one of those hellacious holiday shopping days. I would love to call it people behaving badly, but I was watching people savage retailers wares without any thought regarding damaging goods, just tossing things aside to get to what they want, as well as just snubbing others. The actions of the masses were not what was bothering me though. Something was missing and I could not put my finger on it until I heard “White Christmas” sung the sixth time by a different artist.

I started listening intensely to the music being played. I waited and waited. After an interminable amount of time,  the disappointment set in that retailers have taken Christ out of Christmas. In their judgemental way of  not offending anyone, they refuse to play any songs that mention the names Christ or Jesus in their stores. It made me sad that the celebration of Christ’s birth and all the compassion he taught is being censored.

Before experiencing homelessness, I never paid attention to holiday songs played on the radio or in stores. I was just one of the masses rushing about in the frenzy of the buying season. The more I thought about it, I thought about a lot of the lessons that Jesus taught while hiking around what is now known to many as the Holy Land. I think it is bizaare that no where did it say Jesus had a house. I guess I will think of him as a homeless person with good ideals.

This is supposed to be the season to celebrate the birth and the life of the man that our calendar is based around, more hosptials, and schools named for, and some of our most important holidays are his birth date and his death. Retailers treat Christmas as if Santa is the reason for the season. It is not of course, it is the birth of Him who taught us the greatest lessons in giving and compassion.

In my travels and travails I have been the recipient of compassion as well as hate. The compassion I have experienced came from those that had the least to give. The people with the least, that most would not give the time of day to or who are wished not to be in a Starbucks, generally will give the most and show the most compassion. Now many out there can say they donate a lot of money to charity etc, which is great and do not stop giving as charity needs it. Those that are poor, or homeless often reach out to help give the most in actions. As I wrote about my good Samaritan in Birmingham, Jay, actions are worth more than money anyday.

Taking Christ out of Christmas as these retailers seem to be doing bothers me for the fact that without the thoughts of compassion and the reminder of what this month symbolizes as far as the lessons of kindness, and good will towards men, what other lessons are going to be censored next.

Let those lessons of compassion and goodwill towards all men and women be a constant reminder when we look at others, and if you cannot help, at least do not harm.

It is ironic, that retailers will not allow Christ on their store airwaves, but they will accept anything with “In God We Trust” written on it.


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2 Responses to “88.Increased Awareness Christmas”

  1. December 10, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    You’re absolute right about the Christmas season having become commercialized – and about those who have the least to give being the ones who give the most.

    The reason I say they give the most is because what they give comes from what little they have and not a surplus.

    As for the retailers taking “Christ” out of Christmas but will willingly (and greedily) taking all of our currency which does indeed say: “In God We Trust” – I read a book many years back which I’d like paraphrase:

    “Money sanitizes everything…”

    Every retailer is willing to take anyone’s money, even a homeless person’s money – prividing of course, that the homeless person leave just as soon as they’ve paid.

    Merry Christmas, my friend…

  2. 2 tbearly
    December 10, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Beautifully said. You should find somewhere to submit this. Seriously, as an op-ed. People need to be reminded of not only the “keep Christ in Christmas” message – although that is important, and I’m not trying to slight that in any way – but more that, the life He lived would honestly reflect that of so many of the men and women you’ve met on this experience, those who have the least, but who also tend to give the most.

    Like the woman who gave just two pennies; being all she had, she couldn’t have done more.

    Peace to you during this season of goodwill. You are in my prayers.


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