Christmas is more than shopping at the store

Dear Editor:

I have firmly believed that the Christmas season ushered in a period of joy, harmony, and celebration. It was as if the Christmas spirit waved a magic wand over society and, voila, everyone suddenly became warm and friendly, and everything seemed to be just a bit more beautiful. The Yuletide spirit brought people closer together. It was a time of reconciliation. Petty differences between neighbors were set aside. Today, regrettably, that no longer appears to be the case.

Once again, we come to the beginning of another holiday season; a time that many observe in their own special way, by frantically hurrying to the shopping mall of their choice. “Black Friday” turmoil and wild, bizarre “rummage-sales rage” introduce the Holiday season. People violently sneer and snarl at each other as they aggressively grapple for the last sale item on the shelf. Disdainful remarks have replaced cheerful Holiday greetings. Of course, experiencing – and surviving – the “Black Friday” frenzy and, generally speaking, the annual Christmas shopping madness, just toughens one up for the upcoming January sales.

Unfortunately, many have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. The birth of the Savior some 2000 years ago gave humanity — living in a world long-suffering from the illness of corruption — the healing medicine of uncompromising, sacrificial love (Agape). Christmas represents compassion for the past, determination and resolution for the present, and an unyielding optimism for the future. Indeed, from a personal perspective, Christmas in the heart puts Christmas in the air.

Christmas isn’t – it never was – about petulant, hysterical “combative shopping maneuvers” at the malls and department stores. Dr. Seuss told us: “Maybe Christmas . . . doesn’t come from a store; maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” Sir Winston Churchill observed that “Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” Without doubt, Christmas gives each of us a unique opportunity to reflect on those who play – and, sorrowfully, those who have played – an important part of our lives. We need to keep that in mind during this Holiday season.

John Di Genio