The real purpose of Christmas

Soon it is the 24th of December again. The feast of the Christians when they worry about christmas presents half a year before. As a former muslim, and newly atheist, I wonder if they really don’t notice the trick behind all this. Christmas has become merely a feast of capitalism, consumerism and materialism. When big shopping malls and stores already begin decorating and advertising in November, about the best present for your mom, your cousin or boyfriend, I wonder if they don’t notice that the love and individuality fades, and the manipulations of big concerns decide the perfect present.

Of course, it is a nice feeling receiving a present from your loved ones, but why are love proofs always associated with presents? Do we really have to spend a lot of money on things just to prove our love for someone? And most of the Christmas presents end up in a trade off, or on the counter of the shop it was bought, in order to return it. Is the measurement for love really the Christmas present that you like or dislike?

Of course, when it comes to food, I can understand the enthusiasm about Christmas. But this is of course just a part of the whole feast. I think the presents would be tolerable if the people would also do something for the poor, hungry, disabled, sick, and old ones. I have seen in movies and series that they invited beggars from the streets tomdine with them. Just give them a feeling of belonging to a family for one day. I think that’s something beautiful. Butnof course, very few families do that. In some Christian cultures, this even belongs to the Christmas tradition, which I think is something very nice. Then the people could also allow themselves to give gifts to each other. But very seldom, this happens I think. Then, sometimes, just like the Black Eyed Peas sang about 10 years ago: Where is the love?

Maybe the reason for my negative opinion on this holiday is because I never had experienced Christmas in my family. My parents and relatives are muslims, so we don’t celebrate Christmas. But growing up in Germany, a christian country, I realize everything what is going on, also when I was a child. Back then, I was a bit confused why we don’t celebrate that. It was like a fairytale story for me as a child: Snow, Decorated trees, Santa Claus and his reindeers, christmas songs, presents, chocolate, biscuits, a d gingerbread. As a kid, I liked it. My parents also bought us chocolate on Santa Day on the 6th of December. We also got an advent calendar (but me and my sister opened all the doors at once and ate the whole chocolate in the calendar on one day :’D). Maybe I just think like this because I am pissed off we haven’t celebrated it, and I never completely experienced something magical that almost every kid around me has.

Of course that could be, but to be honest, I am already too grown to feel like that. And after thinking about that and comparing it with other religions like Islam, I come to the conclusion that the latter is doing more for the poor, and spending more love to the minority. Of course, they also have a holiday, in which they give money or sweets to the children, but a few weeks later tbey have the victim feast in which they sacrifice a lamb to share the meat with the poor. Although I am sometimes disgusted by the mass slaughter of the animals, I still think that it doesn’t goe to waste in the end.

Well, all in all, I think that every religious holiday somehow doesn’t make sense to me. The world will never get peaceful no matter if we decorate trees, or slaughter lambs.

I hope I haven’t ruined your Christmas mood with this entry. At least, I can be happy about all the yummy food and beautiful decorations that come out during winter time, and the 3 days of holidays in which you can stay in your warm house without feeling guilty of moving too less.

With that, I wish all of you a happy Pre-Christmas time.

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7 thoughts on “The real purpose of Christmas

  1. Many people also don’t realise that quite a few of Christian holidays are pagan in origin such as Christmas and Easter. They had to convert the masses somehow way back then!!!

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    1. I have heard something like that, but I don’t really know the details. I think many Christians also don’t know that. The same as they don’t know that the role model of Santa Claus was born in Turkey, and not the North Pole ; D

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      1. Some say he was from Scandinavia, an old man who gave gifts to children. There’s a similar guy in Buddhism too, a fat man who gave gifts to children. Many religions (new and old) has similar stories!

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  2. As a Christian, I agree that too much commercialism is promoted at Christmas which originally was to celebrate the birth of Christ and take the place of some other festivals.
    For me, Easter and Pentecost are the more important times to celebrate. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and observations. I admire the 5 pillars of Muslim beliefs and wish we could spend more time on the things we believe in common and work together to make peace, not war.

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  3. It’s true that such holidays are too commercialized nowadays. In Korea, there’s even a “Peppero Day”. Peppero are sweets (wie die deutschen Mikado ;) and on that day you’re supposed to present your beloved ones with, well, Pepperos. The same as Valentin’s Day, except now they don’t even leave you the choice in which present to buy.

    Since I’m not religious, I’ve never connected holidays with their original meaning. I just welcome such opportunities to spend time with friends and families and eat delicious food. Also, I love to buy presents for my friends but it’s kinda weird if you do it randomly without any reason. So holidays are good excuses for me to give presents :)

    I actually think that Christmas and Eastern is mainly for kids. At least, my parents wouldn’t celebrate any holiday if I didn’t insist in buying a tree and doing the whole process (because I’m still a kid inside).

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