Our Bronze Serpents must be destroyed.
#11
(01-10-2010, 04:25 PM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote:
(01-10-2010, 04:24 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote: Are we Catholics not trapped in the same cycle of Christmas ritual that our secular cohorts are trapped in?  The shopping?  The fake sentimentality?  The cheery music that doesn't mean anything anymore?

Hasn't the worship of Christmas consumerism swept over us Catholics, too? 

Has it?

Until Christmas I'm in the penitential spirit of Advent.  Part of my penance is putting up with the false materialistic and Protestant concept of "Christmas" before the feast occurs.  Vox has her Christmas shopping done by the end of October (I'm not nearly so organized), but if you do that stuff before Advent, you can ignore the rush and concentrate on Advent.

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#12
(01-10-2010, 08:02 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote: You know what--forget it.  I'm an idiot.  Just absolutely stupid.  Move on with something else, please.

I don't think you're an idiot; I think you have a well-placed pet peeve that you might be exaggerating a bit.  What you say is true, we should avoid that stuff because it distracts from what is important, but in most cases I don't think it rises to the level of idolatry.  It's just worldliness that has entered a sacred event.  Disgusting, for sure, but I don't see it in an idolatrous manner personally.
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#13
I don't think you're an idiot. I think much of that stuff should be avoided, too, and that's a big part of the reason why I refuse to buy Christmas gifts anymore except for children and why I tell people not to give me gifts unless they're free or homemade.

But Christmas trees? Those are not pagan in origin.
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#14
(01-10-2010, 10:10 PM)Satori Wrote: I don't think you're an idiot. I think much of that stuff should be avoided, too, and that's a big part of the reason why I refuse to buy Christmas gifts anymore except for children and why I tell people not to give me gifts unless they're free or homemade.

But Christmas trees? Those are not pagan in origin.

I've heard arguments on both sides, but even if they are pagan in origin, they have been Catholicized and there is nothing wrong with them just as the Advent Wreath was probably started by the Lutherans.  Christmas trees have been found in Catholic churches for years.
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#15
(01-10-2010, 08:02 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote: You know what--forget it.  I'm an idiot.  Just absolutely stupid.  Move on with something else, please.

you're not an idiot.  you're just tired of the commercialization of Christmas, as we all are.  decide what bothers you and avoid it.  decide what has meaning to you and do that.  for example, have a Jesse tree, or no tree, if trees really bother you, though they do symbolize eternal life and were just a German thing until Prince Albert introduced them to England after marrying Queen Victoria.

if you have young kids, don't freak them out with too sudden a change; discuss it and explain why you think it's better just to have a creche or creches, or maybe compromise and have a really small tree with stars on it to represent the star that the magi followed, maybe behind the creche.  i like that idea, might do it next year.

and btw if you give gifts at Epiphany, you can buy them at after-Christmas prices.   ;D   if you have kids, give them one gift at Christmas and others at Epiphany, when the Baby Jesus got His gifts, or one on each of the twelve days, in which case some would be small gifts, of course.  still, twelve days of Christmas would appeal to most kids.  


you can't control music that's played in public places -- 'grandma got run over by a reindeer' is really stupid, imo -- but you can control what you listen to at home.


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#16
(01-10-2010, 10:22 PM)i.p.i. Wrote: and btw if you give gifts at Epiphany, you can buy them at after-Christmas prices.   ;D     

Aha! I'm not the only one who's done this. Just one of the many reasons to make a bigger deal of Epiphany.
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#17
I think Christmas music gets a bad rap.  Most places, except those with nearly perpetual sunshiny warm weather, get cold and gray during the late fall and winter seasons.  People stay indoors more, get less exercise, sleep more...serotonin levels fall, and people begin to feel blah and/or depressed.  Christmas music is usually joyful.  It gets one's mind off of all the gloom and sadness, uplifts one's spirit, puts a smile on one's face and a skip in one's step.  It brings to mind family and friends, hot cocoa, pie, snowball fights, reindeer, sleighs, horses, fires on the hearth, mittens, gifts, love, joy, and Jesus.  What's wrong with that?  My peeve isn't that everyone starts playing it so far in advance, but that everyone quits playing it so soon after Christmas.  I miss those happy tunes. 
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#18
It seems the biggest gripe people have with Christmas is the stress of shopping. One word: SIMPLIFY. Buy less. Go to ONE store to purchase your gifts and get it done in ONE night. It's possible. You just have to sit down and make a plan. Create an annual "theme" and stick to it. Give gift certificates to a restaurant that everybody likes, etc..

Another way to keep Christmas meaningful is to say a rosary each night in December. Offer it up for those who don't celebrate the true meaning of Christmas; those who spend Christmas alone; those who get depressed during the holidays; poor families who don't get any presents, etc..

Then put your prayers into action. Shovel the snow from your neighbor's driveway. Bake cookies for the secretary at your church. Donate a turkey to the Food Bank. Drop off some extra blankets at the nursing home. Got an old coat you don't wear anymore? Take it to the homeless shelter. Bundle up some of last year's toys that the kids don't play with anymore (but are still in good shape) and take them to Children's Hospital.

You'll be losing those "bronze serpents" in no time.

- Lisa
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#19
(01-10-2010, 11:19 PM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: It seems the biggest gripe people have with Christmas is the stress of shopping. One word: SIMPLIFY. Buy less. Go to ONE store to purchase your gifts and get it done in ONE night. It's possible. You just have to sit down and make a plan. Create an annual "theme" and stick to it. Give gift certificates to a restaurant that everybody likes, etc..

Or, buy everything online. One person gets one gift if I can find a good gift for them.

Usually from: http://www.thinkgeek.com/index.shtml
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#20
(01-10-2010, 11:04 PM)Underdog Wrote: I think Christmas music gets a bad rap.  Most places, except those with nearly perpetual sunshiny warm weather, get cold and gray during the late fall and winter seasons.  People stay indoors more, get less exercise, sleep more...serotonin levels fall, and people begin to feel blah and/or depressed.  Christmas music is usually joyful.  It gets one's mind off of all the gloom and sadness, uplifts one's spirit, puts a smile on one's face and a skip in one's step.  It brings to mind family and friends, hot cocoa, pie, snowball fights, reindeer, sleighs, horses, fires on the hearth, mittens, gifts, love, joy, and Jesus.  What's wrong with that?  My peeve isn't that everyone starts playing it so far in advance, but that everyone quits playing it so soon after Christmas.  I miss those happy tunes. 

I love you, Underdog. I feel exactly the same way. I keep on playing my Christmas tunes till Candlemas. So there!
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