Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Has Christmas become nothing more than a bunch of rich people buying things for other rich people? Think about it. If you spend ten dollars a day on food you are in the top 20% of the world’s wealthiest people.1 There are some scary statistics about world poverty that make my heart cringe when I read them, and in turn, make me realize how blessed I really am.

So what is Christmas to us? Or rather, what should Christmas mean to us? It’s unfortunate that Christians have fallen victim to the world in this area, and succumbed to following what society has deemed acceptable and what is expected. Try not buying gifts for people and see how guilty you feel. It’s gross that we all feel the need to spend money on each other at this particular time of the year as though it’s somehow more significant than any other time. Sure, Christians celebrate ‘Jesus birthday’, but really, why is there trees involved and Santa decorations abundantly interwoven into our mentality.

I’m not saying all of us, but many of us have missed not merely the ‘reason for the season’ but the reason for life it’s self. Every day should be as though Christmas for the Christian. We should always think of others and spend time helping others. It’s not just a temporal state by which we can help someone to rid ourselves of guilt. Consider the following:

If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100
 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look
 something like the following.

There would be:

57 Asians

21 Europeans

14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south

8 Africans

52 would be female

48 would be male

70 would be non-white

30 would be white

70 would be non-Christian

30 would be Christian

89 would be heterosexual

11 would be homosexual

6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's
 wealth and all 6 would be from the United States.

80 would live in substandard housing

70 would be unable to read

50 would suffer from malnutrition

1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth

1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education

1 would own a computer

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need
 for both acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.
 The following is also something to ponder...

If you woke up this morning with more health than are more
 blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of
imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation ... you are
 ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a place of worship without fear of harassment, arrest,
 torture, or are more blessed than three billion people in the

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead
 and a place to are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still alive and still are very rare, even
 in the United States and Canada.

If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over
 two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

The fact is we in the West have become so enamored with holidays that we fail to realize that there are other people in the world literally dying while we spend money on our friends who are in the top 8% of the richest people in the world. So what is to be done as a Christian?

There is, of course only so much one person can do, and I think we should be doing what we can to help others who are less fortunate. But at the least, we ought to refreign from buying gifts for family just because society says we should. Just because ‘it’s Christmas’ doesn’t obligate wrapped presents filled with things people don’t need bought for the sake of fulfilling society’s standard. Nay, I say we ought to go against the world. I personally refuse to buy adults gifts, and if I do, it is because I fear they have bought me one and feel that they will think me rotten were I to deny them the same gesture.

Frankly, Christmas is ridiculous, and I’m not sure why people only celebrate Jesus on this one day of the year (minus Easter). Half the world live on less than 2 dollars a day, and we spend more than that buying things for each other we don’t need. Let’s reevaluate what we spending our money on during the ‘holidays’.

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