It's Almost Time for Bah Humbug Day

by John A
(Tyler, TX)

Is is just me or do many others feel the same as I do about the Christmas Holiday being nothing more than a day to drive one onto the verge of bankruptcy to satisfy the gimme, gimme, gimme of others and to keep up with the Jones? It's a holiday of unreasonable expectations that has been driven by retailers and family members.

As the Christmas Holiday approaches, I see stores in the middle of August getting ready by putting up all sorts of decorations with those little electronic music boxes that start playing Deck the Halls as you walk by them.

I have to listen to this stuff each time I go into Walmart (I call it Wally Martinez in my neck of the woods) or Walgreens as I do my normal weekly shopping for every day life and pharmacy needs. It's enough to drive an insane person crazy listing to these little screechy electronic music boxes go off throughout the store.

To me, it seems as though we as a society have lost sight of what the holiday is all about. We have seemed to bastardize the holiday into a day of fulfilling the material wants of people instead of making it a day for sharing times and experiences with friends and family; to make good memories.

It's a day where each of us should reflect upon our relationships with others and how each needs to be treated with kindness and consideration throughout the year; not just on one day. Everyday needs to be Christmas.

Instead it is generally a day really devoted to lining the pockets and bottom line of the corporate world who could really care less about the true intent of Christmas. There are some of those corporations who do care, but they are becoming farther and fewer between. And there are those individuals who give to the less fortunate through their wonderful generosity.

At times I wonder what the world would be like if many of us experienced those dreams like Ebenezer Scrooge did during Charles Dickens 1843 story the Christmas Carol. Would the world be better off or would folks just revert back to the old ways?

I would like to believe folks would be changed for the good and that we learned to take care of one another. But, that's pie in the sky thinking since it will never happen if mankind has anything to do with it.

Now, I feel we all need to take a step back and think about what the Christmas Holiday really means. Is it a day we take a step closer to the bankruptcy court or is it a day that we reflect on our relationships with others and our spiritual needs? To some, this is a time of the year when they will get up at the crack of dawn or literally spend days and nights camped out at some store's doors to be the first one in line to buy the latest gadget on sale. Or, folks may be lined up by the hundreds at the store front waiting for the doors to open and then literally run over and injure one another to get those on sale items. We've all seen those scenes on television. Is it really worth it to live life like this trying to satisfy the kids or other family members? No! It's insane. Those sale items will soon fade away because they wear out, are broken or no longer useful.

Personally, I am tired of trying to keep up with the Jones and trying to satisfy the material wants of family. I'd rather have piece of mind knowing that I did my best trying to be a good friend, brother and husband by forging those important relationships which are things that can not be bought or replaced. Material things do not define us. We are defined by who and what we are as individuals and how we conduct our affairs and helping the less fortunate. It is important how we spend time with family and friends and being in service to others. For me, that's all I want. Consequently I say bah humbug to Christmas as we have defined it for years.

Comments for It's Almost Time for Bah Humbug Day

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by: Anonymous

I am free to choose how to deal with The Holidays and I keep it simple and am GRATEFUL for my CHOICES.

by: John Indiana

Ever since my mom passed 9 years ago, I dread Thanksgiving and Christmas and my New Year's Eve birthday because I'm just getting decrepit, so yeah I like the lights it's for kids but I'd rather be laying on a beach somewhere! cheers

by: Anonymous

I totally agree, John. I have felt this way for years. It's so commercial and the music and all the consumerism really bothers me. I'm always so glad when Jan 1 st finally arrives

I Can Relate!
by: Char

I can relate to almost everyone who has posted here!
As a younger adult Christmas was stressful because I "wanted" for my kids things I truly could not afford - thus I was depressed or stressed if I used credit to "keep up with the Jones".

Later, I still spent like crazy and wanted to buy, buy, buy because I had the means to do so but was so worn out by it all (even though I thought I was having fun)there was this big let down when it was emptiness.

Then came the dread of Christmas which hit you when it was still 98 degrees outside and as one post put it when you walk into Wally Martinez or Wally World and get hit with "secular Christmas"
before fall has even arrived! Suddenly you felt a panic of "hurry" time is short to prepare!

At the risk offending anyone here I just want to say I am very thankful that before my entire life was wasted seeing Christmas thru this lens I came to grasp truly what Christmas was centered around. That would be to remember the birth of Jesus Christ who came into the world to offer eternal life to all who would believe.

Becoming a Christian has changed my life....
Now, I rejoice in a different way - celebrate in a peaceful remembrance. I don't get caught up in the hurry, run, buy...and if I do buy, I don't buy from the "money changers table" who push merchandise and use Christ birth to add to their holdings. I buy from the stores that stand for their Christian values 365 days a year. And, I try to be a giver 365 days a year not just at Christmas...

One of the greatest commandments Jesus gave us was this.

Love one another as I have loved you...... a lot of love...........

As a Christian --- I try to celebrate Christmas each and every day of the makes all the difference in this life.

It's pretty much over now
by: Laura in Vermont

Now that my Dad has passed and my brother and I have a no-gift pact dating from hard times, all I have left is Xmas cards on my side of the family. My husband's side has lost his mother last year so I figure we won't have much activity there either any more. We didn't have kids.

All of which is OK because Christmas was what we put on for others and we don't care so much about it. I haven't seen my tree in years since we always went elsewhere for it.

I for one am looking forward to a Silent Night.

Bah humbug in Illinois
by: Shawn Illinois

I’m with you when it comes to Christmas. It seems to me all the worst of humanity comes out of the woodwork thanksgiving evening and the Friday after thanksgiving when the crowds go wild for the items in the stores that will be forgotten when the item one received for Christmas will forgotten about a few years later.

Ditto about Xmas!
by: Anonymous

I don't like any holidays! Why......because you are forced to spend them with people you really really don't like!

by: Loyce!

The holidays are here to stay. I dislike the disruption and heavy traffic but I try to make the most of what is and try to find the bright spots because there are many people doing much good to help the less fortunate.

Not One of My Favorite Days Either
by: Linda/Nevada

I hear you, John. Christmas has never been a favorite holiday for me. This dislike for Christmas has built up for many years.

Reasons why I don't care for Christmas:

My grandfather (who I never met) died on the side of the road, in the snow, from a heart attack. He was on his way to the store to buy fruits and nuts for his family. Early 1900s.

My father always got stinkin drunk on Christmas Eve so my mother was always in a bad and angry mood. She didn't want to be in the house when he was drunk so my mother dragged my sister and me to a drive-in theater in 30 degree weather in the middle of the night.

Instead of getting a babysitter, my parents made me go to an adult Christmas parties where I had to watch all the adults get sloppy drunk and I had to stay awake until 2 or 3 am waiting for my parents to finally go home.

My daughter and I went to Disneyland during the week of Christmas and when we returned home, my beautiful tabby cat was in kidney failure and had to be put to sleep on Christmas Eve. Not a good memory of the holiday.

Fast forward, I was shunned by my Human Resource Manager for not participating in Secret Santa because I preferred to spend the $25 on food or gifts for the needy people in my community instead of buying something that would probably end up in a junk drawer of someone I hardly knew or liked.

I know I'm going to get lectures from the readers about spending Christmas doing charitable work but when your heart just isn't into the spirit of Christmas, nothing or no one can make you participate in a holiday that you wish would just go away.

I'll let the rest of world soak up the eggnog and cookies, while I can finally be thankful that I no longer have to deal with Christmas.

Bah Humbug
by: Elna Nugent, MA

Dear John. My husband used to "Bah Humbug" his way through early Christmas. I told him since he didn't look like Scrooge (from the Dickens novel about Tiny Tim), he might be able to think up something more creative. He said, "Bah Humbug." We all laughed.

I told him I had an idea for Christmas. We had four young children at the time---a girl and three boys.

I thought it would be fun to secretly send a gift to a child or a family that we discovered couldn't afford to pay their rent and struggled to have enough food-- never mind buy presents. There was always a Santa Fund listed in the local Newspaper printed which we could give money to for just that purpose.

This Christmas-- people in Puerto Rico and Houston and parts of Florida , never mind the Las Vegas families and people in the California fires, who might need almost anything they can get to stay alive. This is something any of us might consider this Christmas. I know I will look into what funds to send to that
might be listed online. God Bless.

by: Diane, Canada

I feel really bad for people who think about christmas as a money grab and trying to keep up with the jones. I love when the stores start getting christmas things out in august. they are bright and pretty and remind me of the joy of children .

The only thing that brings out the bah humbug in people is their own attitude. I certainly have never tried to keep up with anyone else. Have always been poor and just kept things simple. My grown children as well. They find joy in the season not the spending.

I wish more people were like that.

by: Nancy from Texas

DITTO DITTO. . . I dread this time of year. It starts with Christmas in July sales and continues to the point of being ridiculous!!!

Everyday is a blessing
by: Michigan

Dear John,

Oh my a dear John letter too funny. I think you need to step back and remember the 'reason for the season'. I thank God for every day he has given me and I love celebrating his birthday. I would rather listen to Christmas carols then some of the other music they play ha, ha!

That's not to say I don't agreed with you about the greed of the world but personally I can't wait for the stores to put the Halloween decorations away. So I say, "On with Christmas".

So my advice dear John is to make a list, check it twice, don't be naughty and spend too much, but buy something nice, then smile as you pass the silly musical toys and think with your heart of Christmas joy.

I believe God is laughing and loves his plan to help make the world a better place with Christmas and it's working because more people give at this time of year than another time and for some it is the only time they give kinda like the Scrooge, ha, ha!

Really whether retailers are using it for greed or not, it still becomes 14 weeks or so of spreading the knowledge about Christ and love. So smile as you listen to each carol and every time you hear someone say Merry Christmas as they are moving closer to a better way to live.

So let me close by saying

by: Linda

It's too early to even think about it.

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