The Problem of Christmas

Christmas often reveals our emptiness. In a season dedicated to giving, we discover our own neediness; in a season dedicated to family and friends, our loneliness comes into sharp focus.

Two voices offering solutions to the problem of Christmas can be heard above the background voice of “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Winter Wonderland.” The first is the voice of consumerism. Buy stuff! Find the perfect gift for others, get the perfect stuff for yourself, decorate your house perfectly, and you will happy and joyful. The second voice counters by reminding us that people are more important than things, that we should focus on the really important part of Christmas: love, joy, peace.

It’s easy to critique consumerism, because it’s so evidently shallow. But the problem is that both voices are partly true and partly false.

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