Has the American public lost the spirit of Christmas?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, isn’t it? Many of us have decorated our rooms, shopped for gifts or listened to Christmas music on a more regular basis, waiting anxiously for that special time: the season when nothing can go wrong and all the world is right.

Yet there is something not quite right with the celebration of these festivities. I’d say we Americans have lost the Christmas spirit, but sadly, many of us never had it in the first place.

You may be reading this and nodding your head thinking about all the not-so-Christmassy people. Ebenezer Scrooge, the Grinch, or perhaps that Burgermeister Meisterburger from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” come to mind. They certainly didn’t have the Christmas spirit. They were grumpy, mean and cheap.

Take Scrooge for example. His famous quote when he asked a kind couple of gentlemen who were raising funds for the poor, was “Are there no prisons, no poorhouses?” for the poor and destitute. We New Jerseyans shudder. How cruel! How can someone who is so rich be so uncaring and evil?

Yet, according to the Generosity Index, we New Jerseyans rank 47th worst in the United States in charitable giving when compared to the wealth we actually have.

For all of the redneck and incest jokes we make about the South, they put us to shame in the way they open their pockets to the needy. Despite being the poorest state in the nation, Mississippi is the fifth highest giver. That bighearted state is followed by Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee. Perhaps we’re more Scrooge-like than we thought.

We all have been shocked by the mayhem and chaos that enveloped our big box stores for their Black Friday sales. Businesses call this day Black Friday because it is usually the first day they begin making a profit.

I think it should bear this name because it is the lowest moral point in the year for American businesses and consumers alike.

Instead of opening their doors at normal business day hours, stores open early and offer a few paltry special doorbusters for those crazy enough to come at two in the morning and wait in line for four hours in the freezing cold. Then, they act surprised when there is no order and limited security, and people stampede like greedy animals and trample other fellow human beings in the doorways.

They do not even make the shoppers form orderly lines; instead store associates (probably fearing for their safety) toss items to the gathering mob. I thought we had evolved as a species from the Roman era of bread and circuses and throwing people to the lions. Apparently the progressives are once again dead wrong.

Consumers are no better. Our greed has warped the holy day of Christmas into a materialistic orgy. Sure the red and the green decorations are pretty, but I think they have lost their appeal when they go up in October to snare shoppers. The worst thing is that we know it and we do not care.

Some of the worst Grinches of the holiday season in my mind have to be the members of the American Civil Liberties Union, advocates of political correctness and other anti-religious totalitarians.

Intent on erasing what higher significance Christmas and other religious holidays do have, groups like these emerge from the shadows every year to bring forth their “good tidings” with holiday lawsuits. “No Christmas trees on public property! It’s not a Christmas concert, it’s a winter concert! They’re unconstitutional!” Once again, like with many things, the apathetic and lazy American public complains, but does little to stop them. After all, we would miss our favorite Christmas programs on TV.

Take heart that there is good news, and it will not be found in a store or a courtroom. The good news is found far from our comfortable houses, in a stable reeking of dung and animal odors. There a child was born for us. I know many of us attend some sort of religious services during the holiday season where we listen to some teaching, sing some songs and put up little mangers.

Yet, the next morning, when surrounded by all of the materialistic pleasures possible, we arise to indulge ourselves, ripping open packages and consuming goodies. That gift child is often sadly lost in the shuffle.

Information from – catalogueforphilanthropy.org/cfp/db/generosity.php?year=2004