I received some excellent feedback once again from you. Thanks. There are other things I hate as you pointed out below. One is the rushing of seasons. Thanksgiving is given less and less importance. Its almost being overlooked. Tree lighting ceremonies in some cities a week before Thanksgiving. Crazy!
But lets try to keep alive the true spirit and nature of Christmas as some of you are doing.
I agree, we're forgetting why we have Christmas -- even worse for Easter.
I particularly don't like the designation "Black Friday". In the German Lutheran tradition Good Friday is "Schwartz Freitag" or translated to English "Black Friday" (from the color of the alter vestments). I find it offensive to use the same term to describe the day on which Christ paid for the sins of all mankind and a day which celebrates hedonistic materialism.
Fortunately, there are still people doing the right thing. Sunday the Messiah was performed at St Gabe's I think it was about the fiftieth time, unfortunately I wasn't' able to attend. Trinity Lutheran on the west side periodically does Bach's Weinachts Oratoriam (don't' know if I spelled that right). Our Church, Zion Lutheran in Painesville, has been doing the Boar's Head Festival (a 600+ year old celebration of Christ's birth) for the last four or five years. So in our Christmas celebration, as well as in politics, the people have some of it right even though the establishment doesn't.
Have a blessed Christmas and New Year
So, I'm going to drag out my soapbox and shout out: "Whatever happened to ADVENT?!?!?" Everyone's complained for years that the commercial establishments start pushing their merchandise earlier & earlier--but I'm afraid that we're all buying right into it.
Our whole street is alit with lights & displays, Christmas trees glowing in picture windows, wreaths & garlands hung & strung. Invitations for "holiday" parties and Xmas cards featuring Santa Claus are starting to arrive.
I find myself well behind the curve then. Relatives and friends think I'm lazy for not having decorations arranged and presents bought & wrapped. By December 27th I'm accused again of being a procrastinator! Why? Because all their Christmas trees will have been dismantled the day before and Christmas music will be considered overplayed. But I've always liked to follow the tradition of my paternal grandma, Myrtle (God rest her good soul), who always kept her tree up till the day after Epiphany. You know, to welcome & honor the Three Kings.
But it's not just a matter of following Gramma's custom, according to my December issue of "Magnificat," December 31st is the 7th Day in the Octave of Christmas for the Roman Catholic Church's liturgical calendar.
I'm really glad for the "Merry Christmas" movement vs. one of the original "politically correct" sayings of "Happy Holidays." As you've pointed out, though, there's still a ways to go. Just saw an ad urging folks to go & see "Burlesque" for the "holiday season." The Smithsonian is spotlighting a special exhibit with "art" such as ants crawling on a crucifix, two brothers kissing, and "Ellen Degenerate" grabbing her boobs. Wikileaks. . .
So, bro, I'll step off my battered, well-worn soapbox (another of my Gramma's sayings, actually!) and hope that all is well with you & yours. I've recently become a volunteer interpreter up at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site and so have been studying intensely on the fascinating people who used to live there (so that's my excuse for not catching up on your trip to the other side of the globe); times change but human beings usually don't! Thank God we can pray! Christmas will always remain in our hearts!
Here is something to enjoy and pass along to counteract the tendency which you observed.
For life and liberty,
I'm doing my part, no one is going to tell me to take it down, the .357 mag is locked & loaded.