Christmas is around the corner and it is impossible to go unnoticed thanks to the dazzling neon lights.
It’s at this point of the year I always enjoy asking people the same question: What is Christmas for you?
Most answer the street lights, food market and gift giving, and some more motivational people say Christmas is happiness, family values, positivity.
But who would say Christmas is an opportunity to save our soul? Very few.
That is an old concept, no one really believes in that stuff anymore. Viewing Christmas as a religious tradition and believing in its gift of salvation are now considered old-fashioned beliefs.
However, whether we are Christian or not, we have to recognise where the word comes from. Christmas is an old concept born many years ago with a baby boy, which many believed to be the son of God. Jesus was born to save everyone from their sins and to teach them to follow him: “the light of the world”. This was true until Christmas lights and streets decorations became more powerful than the Christmas star.
Yet Christmas is a stolen tradition and who stole it is another god, much more powerful and appealing than the one above the clouds: the Almighty Dollar.
We all become its prophets: from the business getting the triple of the profits during this period, to the consumers spending all their savings on useless gifts.
The worst part is that these new commercial traditions are completely opposed to the traditional religious ones. Jesus came into this world to teach everyone to leave with less and to donate everything to the less fortunate for the forgiveness of our souls.
Today Christmas is all about money: spending, buying and wasting.
A poor quality mulled wine cup at Kingston Christmas market is five pounds, a plain hot chocolate at Winter Wonderland is the same and if you want to add a chocolate stick and cream it is two pounds more expensive.
Some clever businesses even start advertising their Christmas products from the last day of summer sales and those who feel sad about finishing their holidays now have a great excuse to be projected into the next holiday, which is around four months away.
Maybe Jesus was unlucky to be born just a few days before the great New Year’s celebration, in a dark and cold period where the only leisure activity left to do that which makes people happy is spending.
Or maybe, whether we are Christians or not, we should try to give more importance to deeper human values such as sharing, love and hope.