Last night was our Pub Theology discussion. Before the meeting happened, I proposed the following topic:
“Argue and have a pint. Looking for people who can tell us the benefits of the capitalistic binge party that Christmas has become. Or, you can argue against that, or you can say that I have defined some false parameters here, if you like. Either way, 7pm ready, set, debate! and chill out to a pint.”
There were a few posts on the Facebook page where this was posted, but as can be expected, no benefits were listed. I have to admit, I find it difficult to find benefits to Walmart beatdowns, and the glut of overspending that creates spoiled, greedy children; but if I am going to live radical reconciliatory practices, I must learn how to find something good even in the things I disagree with. Guess what? We discovered a few benefits from this crazy consumerist glut that has become Christmas. Now this is not to say that you should suddenly go out and join the frenzy, these are simply acknowledgements of good things happening during this season – things, which strangely have a connection to the capitalistic orgy.
- People who are out of work are finding temporary employment during this season, and there are many people whose economic survival is based in the consumption of Christmas and the rise of employment positions. (The flip side of this is that some people who are employees through the rest of the year lose hours, because the temp help is cheaper.)
- Because the emphasis is on giving instead of receiving, donations to non-profit organizations and a host of good causes rises during this season. Last night, even our tips to Pam the bartender at Naumkeag Ordinary went to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Salem.
- The sense of fantasy and wonder increases. The decoration of homes, and the stories of the season from the birth of Christ to the traditional Santa Clause or Father Christmas stories of the different nations allows our imaginations to travel to the magical and the miraculous each year at this time.
- Of course, for those of us who are followers of the Bethlehem born Nazarene, this season is a big finger pointed in His direction. And, although I don’t appreciate the over-consumerism of this time of year, I still do not think that this is the middle finger being pointed His way.
So, I leave you with this: my favorite Christmas Song, The Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne.