With the Advent season coming, I thought that now would be a good time to bring up how much we are at war to save the Christmas season. Let's face it: there are many tools atheists/secularists use to discourage, or flat out shame people into not celebrating the holiday or at the very worst make it an excuse for companies to push their wares on us, hence why some complain Christmas has "become too commercialized."
Let's get one thing straight here: I'm all for people earning their own keep, but this is one of several reasons Pope Leo X protested against unbridled capitalism: you're sacrificing the dignity of man for the sake of the dollar and then trick yourself into thinking what you're doing is right.
If you don't believe me on that, consider this: as we speak, Wal-Mart employees who have to work on Thanksgiving night (yes, they're pulling this bull again) are holding a can drive so the workers can at least have a decent Thanksgiving meal. Upon hearing about this, the executives of Wal-Mart said (and I am not kidding: this was their real response):
"This is proof positive that Wal-Mart employees look out for one another."
So how did we get to this sad state of affairs? We and we alone must accept the poor choices we've made. We made the choice that being one of the first 100 people inside a mall just to get 80% off is more important than taking time off to actually talk to our families (and no, talking to your families does NOT mean texting or Facetime.)
Some brave souls have put together online petitions and letters urging stores to not put Christmas related goods and decorations up so early but they clearly have no affect. More and more stores are buying into the "skip Thanksgiving as much as possible because since when has spending time with family ever made us money?" mentality so now it's up to us to fight back.
1. "Know yourself and know your enemies and you need not fear the outcome of a thousand battles."
This is a quote from Sun Tzu and he was talking about preparing for battle but the principle can also apply to talking Christmas back. Think about it for a moment: the only reason why stores put their Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving (and in growing numbers, before Halloween) is because they think it will make them more money. If we give them money for it, we are enabling their behavior.
How so? Companies will only perform an action if they think it will either make them money or at the very least bring in as much as it takes to execute it. If the figures show it's not worth it, they won't do it. This right here is key to victory.
Think of it like this: pretend for a moment the dollars in your wallet are voting ballots. Every time you spend something, you're casting your vote in favor of it. Now, here is a crucial point: unlike in a public election, if you choose to not vote, your vote still counts. If you don't literally buy into the commercialism, then they'll get the message.
2. Follow your family's old traditions.
If you don't know them, learn about them. Even if you don't understand them at first, there's most likely a reason why they have existed as long as they have.
For example, in my family we have a tradition called the Christmas Pickle. If you've never heard of it,
check this link out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_pickle
3. Realize memories will last more than the stuff you give other people.
If you don't believe me on this, try this thought experiment: recall as many gifts you were given as possible. Now, recall all the other memories you have on events related to Christmas: I'll bet you dollar for dollar group B is bigger than group A.
4. Don't put your decorations up until the start of Advent.
Do I really need to explain this one?
5. Don't buy anything the day after Thanksgiving.
If emergencies happen or you want to pay off a bill, then okay, but nothing retail related. Plus, you know things are bad if even South Park starts spoofing it:
5. Observe all of Advent.
In one article I've cross, the Christmas season was compared to a buffet, with Advent as the main course and Christmas as the dessert. It further stated that too often stores want us to skip the dinner and go right to desert.
Advent is supposed to be a time of preparation for Christmas, and Christmas is not supposed to be for just one day. It is supposed to last from Christmas Day until the Epiphany (aka Baptism of the Lord, aka Three Kings Day or in my neck of the swamp, the start of Mardi Gras).
So put up not just the lights and the tree, but also the Advent Wreath and Nativity Scene.
Speaking of which....
6. Do the Advent Wreath prayers as a family and defend the Nativity scene wherever people show it.
The only thing I can add to this is a link to the Advent wreath prayers:
As for the Nativity scene, don't let secular/atheists bully you into taking one down. If a town called Warren can stand up to them, then so can you. And contrary to what you have been led to believe, it is legal to both put a Nativity scene in full view on your own property and put one on city owned property.
7. Attend Mass on at least ALL the Holy Days of Obligation.
This means Dec 8th, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Epiphany but can also include Dec 6th (St Nicholas Day) as well as Dec. 12 (Our Lady of Guadalupe). If you want to attend more often, you are greatly encouraged to do so.
8. If you are going to buy gifts, be sure said gifts are made in America or make something yourself.
This isn't so much Christmas related but it is a way to bring jobs and revenue back to America. Economists say if we just buy $65 more in American goods, we can create 200,000 jobs right here at home.
Notice I said "if you're going to buy." I would prefer it if gift money was spent on solving more long term problems, which leads me to....
9. Consider giving to either Samaritan's Purse or Advent Conspiracy.
Here are the links to each respective group:
10. For home cooks out there, consider making your goods with produce from a co-op and with Fair Trade ingredients.
This goes especially for any recipe that calls for chocolate and/or coffee. More information on Fair Trade can be found with this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_h99DDa39E
11. Arm yourself.
Tired of not hearing "Merry Christmas" at a store? Frustrated over the fact you can't find any religious themed Christmas cards? Here you have several options:
-Catholic Daughter's Court #2554 sells online little buttons that say "It's Okay to Say Merry Christmas to Me." Orders for said buttons can be found here.
-ChristisChristmas.com sells paper Christmas cards or if you prefer online greetings, sign up for e-cards at catholicgreetings.org.
-And of course, it's easy to find car magnets for the Knights of Columbus "Keep Christ in Christmas" campaign, which can be found here.
12. Do not invite any known atheist or secularist to any Christmas party or event you throw.
That might sound mean, but think of it like this: no Jewish person would invite a Gentile to Hanukkah; no Muslim would invite a non-Muslim to Ramadan, so why should an atheist be invited to a Christmas party? They reject the faith so why let them enjoy it?
Besides, what could bring people down more than some atheist screw-head claiming Jesus is just a myth?
And there's the 12 part Christmas plan of attack just in time for Advent, but never fear: I will soon be bringing the REAL thoughts atheists have towards Christmas and it will leave no doubt that atheists are idiots!!