"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Friday, November 28, 2014

So here's the deal ...

Thanksgiving - Black Friday: It's a time for family to shop and bond.

The Holiday Season is here!

Yeah but - you don't like the holidays?  You don't like how Thanksgiving is celebrated - or not celebrated?  You don't like Christmas decorations before Christmas?  During Advent?  You don't like people wishing people a Merry Christmas before Christmas?  But you want them to say Merry Christmas rather than Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays?  You don't want people to shop on Thanksgiving?  You hate the day after shopping spree?  The Christmas ads?  The Christmas music?

It's your problem - and it just may be that you are the problem... you feel persecuted now, don't you.  (Not a question.)

Why let this stuff bother you?  Why try to tell other people how to live and celebrate or even what to celebrate?  It's a different world, it's a different U.S..

For instance, it's Hmong New Year and it's being celebrated right now in Minneapolis.  Minneapolis has a high population of Asian immigrants, as well as Somalis.  It is a completely different culture developing.  Foreigners shop too.

As I said in the combox on Mark Shea's post advising people not to shop on Thanksgiving - one comment complained about Christmas decorations going up before Advent - I responded:
I put up my tree the day before Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving isn't what it used to be, it's been dying a slow death for decades. It's the official start of the holiday gaming season - some people spend a little bit of time with family - some don't - then they are off! Thanksgiving is about sports, turkey runs - fitness clubs, football, casinos, shopping. Shopping is a sport, a recreation, organized madness - it's fun to pile in the car, go to the mall and grab the deals.  It's social.
Lighten up - this is the United States - not little house on the prairie or even Holiday Inn in Vermont.
Merry White Christmas to you and all your readers. 

See - our expectations for the holidays is what screws everyone up - ourselves included.  That's why people mope around feeling guilty and feel as if they are a bad person for not living up to our crazy holiday rubrics and etiquette.  Religious people really are the ones who make life miserable for those they are trying so hard to save.  All these rules about nothing.

Go ahead though - bang that Bible folks - go on making religion attractive and welcoming.



  1. I'm with you. People need to lighten up. At our cathedral we put up the Advent trappings right after the special Thanksgiving Mass yesterday morning. We had the personnel there to do it then. No one at Mass this morning complained that we were ahead of the season.

    This morning my husband and I were among the first 100 customers at Cost Plus World Market and we got very nice Downton Abbey mugs for free. Good deal!

  2. I'm with you, Terry. Telling others to not shop on Thanksgiving is arrogant and ignorant. Here's how I see it: stores have a right to open when they want to and people have a choice to shop or not shop. Period. How dare someone try and tell me that I'm a bad person for shopping on Thanksgiving (even though I choose not to.)

    In typical libtard fashion they try to wrap it in concern for the employees. I've worked more holiday's than I can even remember and never once did I feel put upon. I was more interested in the money than eating a stupid turkey or ham with a bunch of people I didn't even particularly like.

  3. And...............I'm putting my tree up on the weekend of Dec. 5th, which is way early for me. If I did like years past, I would be putting it up on Dec. 21 this year.

    And (hang unto your hat) - I may take it down before Epiphany. Be still my beating heart!

    1. haha! I really did put my tree up Wednesday - decorated it yesterday. I usually wait for St. Nicholas, but needed it now. I'm not depressed any longer.

  4. Thanks Maria and Adrienne - I too have worked more holidays than I can remember - I actually enjoyed it.

    It hit me today that the shopping thing for many people is about fun and adventure. If people go to the casinos for the buffet - it's what they do.

    We have to quit forcing our expectations on holiday traditions onto other people..

    1. I always like working holidays, too. A lot of camaraderie between employees.

    2. I like working holidays too. Over the years it's gotten me out of some family things I didn't want to do.

  5. Isn't this what detachment is? I never fully understood it before, but am getting the idea as I (hopefully) mature. Terry, you have such a gift for articulating the je ne sais quoi of these thoughts that play around in my head but don't get as well expressed. I love Advent, a lot, and it's taken me years to come to grips with the idea that very few people in my life care about it at all. But that's ok. I have been learning to let go of a lifetime of the *feelings* (that I) attached to these holidays/seasons, both religious and secular, and have finally started to let go of having to have these feelings well up every year. The culture has changed, and continues to change, at lightening speed. It's up to me to decide how to stop and reflect on what it all means and what I want to take from it, as well as give out to others. The challenge is that so many mixed emotions come with my very best childhood memories intermingled with the very worst ones.

    PS. Please keep telling us about the Ethiopians. I find your posts about them utterly fascinating.

  6. It's about more than liking or not liking something. Here's another take on the matter: http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-art-of-celebrating-advent-and-in.html

  7. I didn't go yesterday for the Downton Abbey mug, but went today and plan to check back tomorrow after 8am Mass in case they still have one left. Yes, three days of free mugs because DOWNTON ABBEY! Note that I'm way too broke to go shopping for sport and have greatly pared down shopping list; this year I'm buying a present for my mom and buying presents for her to give others. End of story.


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