Whatever happened to Christmas?

Bob Neuman

“Black Friday” refers to the jingling of merchants’ cash registers as shoppers flock to the supposed bargains. Stores open their doors early even on Thanksgiving Day for throngs waiting in line long before that.

According to the statistics, that November weekend is one of the largest for shoppers and store revenue. With the economy still in disarray, the unemployment rate high and prices on nearly everything escalating, one may wonder where did the money come from? Perhaps from not paying the rent or running the credit card to the max? Nevertheless, the behavior of numerous shoppers usually makes it truly a black day.

Our society, although known for its philanthropy and giving, is also saddled with the titles greedy, uncaring, inconsiderate, and self centered.

Many of the shoppers probably mind their manners, but last year there were tales of those who greedily went ballistic. One instance was an aged man who was decked and left bleeding on the floor of a store, clobbered for shoplifting by the security cop. Numerous accounts exist of crowds rampaging as the doors opened, crushing others in the crowd. One lady used pepper spray to persuade some shoppers to back away from some bargains she had an eye for. There were stories of fist fights and pictures of people yanking along two carts filled with televisions, etc. Another incident occurred at a Philadelphia mall when two women were involved in an argument. Soon they were swinging and kicking each other. Then they were down on the floor wrestling. While drawing a crowd of gawkers, a few shoppers attempted to separate the combatants, but before they could, one drew a stun gun and shot her opponent. Now that’s truly the Christmas spirit! Obviously the store music and decorations failed to put these characters in a peaceful, Merry Christmas mood.

When a gift is obtained by force at the expense of another, does the giver feel any guilt or remorse or does the method of acquisition just add to the thrill of it all?

Really people, have we lost all propriety and respect for others? Does the end justify the means? Are we now living in an era of survival of the fittest? Is it even safe to go Christmas shopping?

It would seem as though the real meaning has gone the way of teaching history in our public schools – ignored and forgotten. Even now wars are raging to eliminate all signs of Christianity. Is there still a majority who are aware that if not for the birth of Christ there would be no Christmas? Should not the entire Christmas season be foremost to honor Him?

We can be grateful for the many institutions and private endeavors that do search out the underprivileged and homeless at Christmas time and realize what the true Christmas should be. But still, there are those who wish to remove Christ from it all and shout “Happy Holidays” to us. As for me, I will continue to wish all people a Merry Christmas. The protesters can sue me.