Saturday, November 26, 2005

Happy Holidays!

There is nothing more sick than a bunch of holiday shoppers that care more for a sale than whether or not they are trampling someone under their feet. Yesterday several people were trampled at a Walmart in West Michigan. You can actually see it on video right here. What possesses people to even go shopping on Black Friday? I'd sooner pour salt in my eyes than to go shopping on a day like that. What has made us so cold as a nation that we'd trample people in order for a few bucks off of an item? The people on the video claim it was lack of security that was the problem. Maybe...But could it be that lack of priorities and moral compass are more to blame? The answer is clear. If I had my way I think we'd cancel the tradition of gift giving on Christmas. It just makes no sense. "YAY! Our Savior was born, so here's a new blender." Huh?


Derek said...

The abuse of a thing (greed-driven insanity over buying a DVD player) does NOT negate the thing (giving gifts at Christmas). I agree with you completely in your condemnation of the behavior of the people in your picture. However, when you say, "If I had my way I think we'd cancel the tradition of gift giving on Christmas" you have gone too far.

Non-Christians get married and abuse the institution. Christians marry and sanctify it. Same thing here. Non-Christians mumble and act like fools while buying gifts. Christians gladly purchase a new blender for a loved one and give just as they have received: freely and with great joy.

Tybalt said...

At the risk of baiting the trap!

If you banned giving presents at Christmas my Birthday would be a bust as its on that very day!

Also on the comment about the birth of Christ! The date chosen, and I use that word deservedly, for the celbration of Christmas is actually the original date of Pentecost and Yule which is a Pagan celebration!

Do you celebrate Halloween or should I say Samhain or even Mayday which is the pagan celebration of Fertility and follows Beltane which Christians somehow labelled the Devils Birthday?

Russian (Russian not Communists, they are mutually separable. Communism doesn't work and Russians just happen to live in the same country as the guy who came up with the idea!) churches celebrate Christmas as the 7th of January.

However I agree heavily with Derek and yourself, the behaviour of the shoppers was deplorable.

However both Christians and non-Christians abuse marriage vows and I have heard many a Christian mumble over buying gifts and many non Christians give lovingly!

Lets try and be a little more open minded here.

Derek said...

*However both Christians and non-Christians abuse marriage vows and I have heard many a Christian mumble over buying gifts and many non Christians give lovingly!*

Very true...and when Christians abuse marriage vows or grumble when they should be happy, then they should be called to repent and live as Christian men and women should.

By all means, lose the madness of Black Friday and kiss it goodbye. However, having been given so great a salvation in Christ, Christians should find it impossible NOT to give gifts and give them, as I said earlier, freely and with great joy.

Aaroncoal said...

Why does the giving have to involve a posession? I agree that the spirit of giving ought to be in our hearts and I agree also that the joy of giving should be there as well, but giving can come in so many forms.
I'm not saying that we should stop giving presents because of the incidents of greed at stores..I'm saying it because it just doesn't make sense that we give stuff in a culture where so many people have stuff. I'm just as bad. I have everything, and I get more stuff all the time.
Why couldn't the tradition be that at Christmas we find someone in need and shower them with things that will matter later on?

I realize that the logistics of this idea are nearly impossible...We will always give each other stuff at Christmas. I just think our need is so little and I wish that the tradition were shifted to focus on those in great need.

Derek said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Derek said...


Why do gifts have to be a possession? Why not? What is so bad about things?

You have presented a false dilemma. Why can't we give "to those in need" and give to our families? Why do the two have to be mutually exclusive?

You said nothing about "getting rid of giving presents because there are so many in need" during your original post. You simply made a sweeping statement that, if you had things your way, you would like to cancel the whole "gift giving thing" at Christmas. Now you would like it done away with because we all have too much and we don't care enough about the ubiquitous "poor."

If you lack sympathy for the poor, confess your sin and make a change. But, my goodness, don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

Since we should be guided by the Scriptures on this, lets see what Jesus might have to say about this situation:

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor." But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me." (Matt. 26:6-11)


Finally, what are the "things that will matter later on" that someone in need might need? Are they material things?

Aaroncoal said...

We can go around on this all day so I'll make it my last post on the matter. I doubt very highly that Jesus would be upset if two parties decided not to exchange gifts for Christmas and instead put those resources into helping those that can really use some help. Maybe simply time? If two people or more deiced to do that instead of giving each other gifts that aren't true needs, just wants ...I don't think that would upset The Lord one bit. Don't do it and brag about it, just do it.

So how is it a sin to do such a thing? And shouldn't the spirit of giving be a 24/7 365 thing? Culturally it makes sense to give gifts at Christmas. But what if two parties agrees to try another form of giving? I don't think NOT giving gifts at Christmas is a sin in any way, shape or form.

Derek said...

Nor do I think that the Lord is upset one bit when we give loved ones things they want but don't necessarily need. If you and two or three of your friends want to pool your money, time, resources, etc. and help someone in need then I raise a pint on your behalf and bellow a hearty "Amen!"

And if I want to give my daughters some books, my wife some jewelry, my mom a music CD, Nicole's uncle a saw and my brother-in-law some shotgun shells I won't feel badly because those people "really didn't NEED them." Thankfully, God has blessed Nicole and I so that we can give to a few that need as well as to those that have no real needs.

No one said not giving gifts was a sin. I am saying that, according to Matthew 26, it is no more holy to "give to the poor" than it is to give something to someone who has no need of "more stuff."