Why do people celebrate a meaningless, pagan festival?

A FEW days back I went by the local shopping centre to drop my daughter off there. This centre was rebuilt and reopened a few months ago. It now has an enormous amount of parking space. Yet on this day, every single space was taken.

There’s one reason for this: Christmas.

In the run-up to Christmas, people seem to go crazy. They run to every possible shopping outlet and buy all sorts of junk, supposedly as gifts for others. Old people, middle-aged people, young people and children, they all come out and indulge in this orgy of buying.

And it all has to be done before Christmas.

On Christmas Day itself, people eat enough to make themselves sick. The holiday is used as a way for people to get together – this can be a nice thing if you have friends and family in the place you live. But to use it as an excuse for over-consumption just doesn’t wash.

Four years ago, I began to question the meaning of all that was being done at Christmas time. I’ve known for a long time that Christmas has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ and everything to do with paganism. But I just went along – the children wanted gifts, everybody else wanted to indulge themselves and I joined in without too much of a murmur.

The family had a chat and decided that we would do without all the falsehood and unnecessary stress and strain – not to mention the waste of money. It was difficult for everyone to adjust the first year. The second year it got easier and this year nobody even talked about Christmas. It is just another day and that’s the way it should be.

The children want gifts at the end of the year so they get something but it is done well before December 25. I work every Christmas Day to emphasise the fact that it is an ordinary day – fortunately, I work in an industry where some people have to work every day of the year.

The churches would do well to abandon celebrations on this day for the only individual who is cited in the Bible as celebrating a birthday was Herod, a pagan if ever there was one. And for those who continue to believe that this day, December 25, has anything to do with the birth of Jesus, it is time to realise that nowhere in the Bible is one asked to celebrate the birthday of the book’s central figure.

As with many other things, people just go along with celebrating Christmas and do not stop to question. It is high time that this meaningless ritual was given the push. Let’s have a shopping festival instead – for that is exactly what Christmas is all about.

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