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December 21, 2010 4:09 pm

AMEND CORNER: Christmas is still not here

Written by Don Amend

Well, Christmas is almost here.

Actually, saying that sounds a little silly, given the fact that we been observing the holiday for nearly a month, at least since the shopping season officially opened on Nov. 26. Within a few days, we had the first Christmas concerts of the season in Powell, and it wasn’t even December yet.

Once the calendar did turn, of course, it became even more hectic, what with all the shopping, decorating, concert attending, partying and worshipping that take up our time during the season.

Consequently, it appears that Christmas has been here for quite a while, and saying it is almost here is a bit illogical.  

But the real event is still four days away, and we really haven’t celebrated it just yet.

By this time, you’re probably thinking that this is going to be another one of those columns complaining that we are missing the real meaning of Christmas and burying it with commercialism and a lot of non-Christian activities.

Well, that’s not what this is about. I’ll admit that I am uncomfortable with the commercialism of the holiday. I am particularly put off by advertising that connects the birth of Christ with the purchase of material goods.

I realize, though, that Christmas has always been a combination of the sacred and the secular. Jesus has always had to compete with Santa Claus for attention, at least in my lifetime.

But that’s not all bad. Despite the commercialism, Jesus gets more attention among the general public during the Christmas season than he does at any other time of the year. People who don’t think much about religion for most of the year find themselves listening to and probably singing  “Silent Night” or “Away in a Manger” several times during December.

People think more about giving during the season and are more attentive to helping others out or resolving differences, and there’s at least talk, if not always action, about peace on Earth and goodwill to men.

So, while the prolonged “Christmas season” does have its faults, it does focus some attention on the real Christmas, although that attention may be marginal, at best.

My hope each year is that, as the shopping season dies down and the real Christmas approaches, during the darkness of Christmas Eve some of that exposure to the message of the season develops into more peace on Earth and good will toward Men.

We definitely need a lot more peace and good will.

Have a Merry Christmas, and may all your holidays be happy.

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