Christmas, celebrated each year on December 25 by many in recognition of the birth of Jesus Christ, is a holiday of giving and receiving. The traditional values are played out within churches, schools, office parties and family gatherings. Parades, festivities and feasts are all part of the heralded event, as well as prayerful days of remembrance. The Christmas season has somehow been lost in the shuffle of retail sales and has given way to the fat and sassy way of modern life through technology, fancy food and extravagant gifts.
The ringing of the bells, both in houses of worship and retail establishments are to be expected, as frantic shoppers complete their list of duties. Celebrating Christmas has been commercialized for many decades with long lists from boys and girls and charities asking for donations. What could be a simple day has turned into a month long saga of shopping, eating, baking and going the extra mile to please the ones we love.
Counting calories seems to be a lost cause as those that are concerned often include gym memberships, sports gear and other weight losing appliances on their Christmas wish list. A new year is coming shortly after the candy filled dessert with cool whip. Some promises are repeated each Christmas, with big hopes and resolutions in store. Still, traditions remain despite the threat to heart health for a time, ignoring common sense for a season of pleasurable fulfillments and tasty treats. The fat and sassy attitude of I want, I will eat what I wish and the who really cares attitude seems to filter in among the holy observance of the holiday.
In respect to all who observe the holiday as it is intended to be, Christmas has much meaning and significance in our lives. For many Christians, the sacrifice and humble birth of a Savior is the true meaning of the season. The bright light that shone from the heavens guiding shepherds and wise men from far away, is met with angelic voices of true inspiration. The virgin birth has been reenacted through many a church group and school play. Nativity scenes, carved in marble and glass often adorn homes as well as the Santa collections many admire. The toss-up of who rules the roost at Christmastime seems to be an equal trade-off between Jesus and Santa. Whoever is voting will cast the call.
Fat and sassy attitudes around Christmas have gradually overshadowed the true meaning of receiving the son of God as an ambassador of peace. In turn, the Christmas lists of wants and desires has easily given way to the food and calorie-laden treats we consume; the best gift we can give and the proudest boast of the neighborhood with lights and decorations. A simple holiday celebration just does not seem possible anymore.
Regarding the gifts we choose for others, be it the office gal, neighbor or postman, last year’s gifts seem to always wan in comparison. Scrambling for items in the house that can be re-gifted, buying from fund-raisers or just giving a gift card can cause stress as the holiday approaches.
Non-holiday fares of veggies have also given way to unhealthy, calorie-laden, traditional casseroles and treats. The green bean casserole, broccoli and cheese dish, scalloped potatoes, glazed carrots and buttered squash seem to be healthy, involving vegetables, but asparagus with hollandaise sauce and roasted veggies in oil and salt only contribute to the haven of calories in the journey of dips, desserts and pastries along the way. Being fat like Santa is a real possibility during the holiday season. A jelly-belly of sordid treats await in the delights of creamed peas, corn pudding and eggnog. Health officials will be standing by. Candy canes just go with the season, so don’t complain!
Extra bows, packaging, and sauces are not required if one strives to enjoy the Christmas season for what it is intended to be. A lighted candle and the simple remembrance for the true meaning of the season can instill a peace and tranquility beyond those that aspire to be fat and sassy. The reason for the season is a true message of hope, above the modern world of toys and technology. The peace that we can experience through remembering a humble birth can rank high and provide our lives with satisfaction and peace.
Editorial by: Roanne H. FitzGibbon