OK

I just felt the need to lay out some ideas about the holiday season upon on us and why my family does not really even bother anymore. The "War on Christmas" rhetoric is only a minor part of. The meaning of the holiday and other holidays have changed over the past  35 years and we need to address this. Please pass over the great orange squiggle in a single file line. And no touching your neighbors.

We as a society have become bored with Christmas. The stuff that we do is a burden both financially and emotionally. At some point in the eighties Christmas started to mean cocooning with your family. The community meaning evaporated. When was the last time you heard "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Man"? That was a sentiment everyone could get behind. Community events at community schools or in community downtown areas have vanished. And it is not the fault of atheists in any way shape or form. It is rather the fault of commerce squeezing the meaning out of every holiday. Thanksgiving is the opening day of Christmas shopping, nothing more. Presidents Day is a three day holiday, nothing more. Memorial Day is the beginning of summer, nothing more. Fourth of July is a picnic and cookout, nothing more. Labor Day is the end of summer, nothing more. Except opportunities to buy more stuff from the big box stores that replaced the places that used to be our community.

We are not decorating this year because our hearts are broken over the killings of a week ago. We are in mourning for what has happened to America. But also because of a sense that it is just not worth the effort. Many houses that used to be decorated 20 years ago are not. The friendly Christmas spirit of decades ago seem to be missing or forced. To ask folks to work in retail on Thanksgiving day was an outrage. But when no real outcry occurred McDonald's decided it would work its workers with no extra pay. And again no outcry. Because we just do not care anymore.

The only Christmas TV seem are those horrible romance movies aimed at lonely folks that almost victimize its viewers with its false promises of love and companionship. The modern Christmas movie classics National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story are kind of mean spirited. Christmas is a day for giving away what you bought. And not much else. And again this is not the fault of those who do not identify with a religious belief. It is commerce plain and simple.

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