It’s November 1, and you know what that means: time for the Christmas music. That is, of course, if you happen to be Starbucks or some radio station in Kansas. For all I know, KOZY in Salt Lake City may have gone all Christmas today, too.
I first noted the Christmas tunes at Starbucks in the grocery store near St. Dominic’s. Granted, they had it mixed in with a few non-holiday tunes, but the fact that they’ve whipped out the Christmas music already suggests something has gone really wrong in America.
Actually, my Starbucks music experience is not the first vestige of Christmas ivw had this year. Believe it or not, the Macy*s near my condo had their Christmas displays up already when I was there in early September! That was almost 4 full months before the actual Christmas holiday.
Don’t get me wrong, I like “stuff.” I don’t really want to get rid of all my material possesions. (I know I’m exhibiting a little greed here.) While I like my “stuff,” at the same time I can’t help but feel that American society has degraded to a point where the meaning of life is now more about how much stuff you have and less about what you’re actually doing in the world. That Christmas has turned primarily into a commercial holiday, where happiness comes in boxes covered in paper and (hopefully) shiny bows, is distressing to me.
The messages we seem to be getting now are along these lines:
You’re a bad parent if your child doesn’t have the most presents on the block
You’re a bad child if your parents didn’t get you everything on your list
Forget about Thanksgiving. We don’t “get” anything out of giving thanks, so why bother
I think we all need to take a really close look at what the holidays mean to us this year.