Don't let Santa Claus overshadow Jesus

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - December 24, 2019 - 12:00am

There is too much stress on the buying, giving, exchanging, and receiving of gifts. We tend to forget that our greatest gift is the Child Jesus himself, with his presents of peace and goodwill among men and nations. We need to remind ourselves of the very reason for this season.

But in today's secular and materialistic world, the focus is on the gifts, and too many Christmas parties, with too much eating and excessive drinking, as if there is no more tomorrow. Most people can no longer enjoy Christmas without spending so much. People beg, steal, or borrow money just to splurge in December and become a pauper and an overextended debtor by January. People overuse their credit cards and borrow money from relatives, friends, and employers, and mindlessly, recklessly, and in total abandon, spend just to impress others and to buy things on credit, just to impress others.

The malls and the department stores are making a killing. Sales and pretended sales attract buyers. Sellers use all sorts of marketing and sales gimmicks to attract customers, to buy, buy, and buy things to give away. There are gifts given just to impress, others just to give back, still others are to gain favor and to virtually bribe a decision maker. Many subordinates give gifts to their bosses and superiors, for promotion, better assignment, training abroad, and favorable performance evaluation ratings. Contractors and suppliers give gifts to bribe heads of offices and those in-charge of bidding and awarding projects that involve multi-million deals.

There are too many parties with too many people to be given gifts, aside from the traditional exchanging of gifts. In all these, money is spent. Consumer spending is at its height. Food prices run into big sums of money, not to mention the drinks which are even more expensive. And then traffic is crazy, people are still out in the streets and in the malls late into the night. There are fewer people inside the churches. The parishioners are busy celebrating, and are forgetting that the true reason for the season is not even visited.

Christmas becomes a farce when Santa Claus takes over the place of Christ in our hearts. Just the same, I greet you, a blessed Christmas. May you discover the true meaning of Christmas, which is peace, and the real meaning of the New Year, which is hope.

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