Christmas: old fashioned, or out of touch

We all ask the question.

Is the celebration of Christmas relevant in our culture today?

“We do presents, but it really isn’t about the presents,” said Rhonda Jordan, a Red Deer resident. “When my girls were young we bought them presents, but we were careful to teach them about Jesus and his birth.”

Her daughters echoed her words.

Mindy Jordan responded, “When I was younger, the presents were important, and of course there was always Santa Claus but now that I am older, it is more about family.”

Other shoppers expressed slightly different opinions.

Doug Castle of Red Deer was shopping with his wife and three girls.

“I love Christmas. I love seeing their eyes light up when they see sparkly lights and when they see Santa Claus. Times are tough now, and that is really why we are here (at Walmart), to help friends out with their Christmas. They have had a tough year and we want to help. For me, as long as we can do that, Christmas will never lose importance.”

Tony Winterhalt has a less rosy view.

“I think they should cancel Christmas for five years to teach people what it is really about. For me, I see that so much has changed that is not the same as it was even 10 years ago. With grandkids now, I notice different things that concern me.”

He went on to speak about the full out commercialization of Christmas and his difficulty even getting his family together for a family meal. His Knights of Columbus ticket partner, Tom Solouri, had a sobering observation about Midnight Mass.

“When I was a young man growing up in Italy, the whole village would wait for Midnight Mass to celebrate. It was a time when the whole community came together during Christmas. That was a long time ago, but now, I have seen as few as 80 at Midnight Mass. It saddens me.”

What makes this celebration relevant?

An apparent answer came when the question was asked differently. Is our cultural celebration of Christmas irrelevant?

“Christmas will always matter. The message is one of hope. Hope is always relevant. It doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, homeless, homeowner, businessman/woman, employee, or retired, Christmas represents hope eternal,” said Elvira Steinhilber.

Fateh Kharmali, a practicing Muslim, expressed his view.

“In our religion, Jesus is one of the prophets. While we do not have special prayers or festivals, we gather with family and observe the season out of respect for others.”

The relevancy of celebrating Christmas is a complex issue. Outwardly, society espouses the season, but ‘old’ expressions such as Merry Christmas have been replaced with the politically correct Seasons Greetings, to walk the middle ground.

Society at large not withstanding, the relevancy of Christmas celebrations depends upon your family background, beliefs, attitudes, and present circumstances. What began as a simple birth that shook the world apart two millennia ago still reverberates today.

Just Posted

Thurber Raiders snatch season opener from the Lacombe Rams

Red Deer game saw 44-8 win for the Raiders

Snowfall warning in effect for Red Deer

Around 10 to 15 centimetres expected

Red Deer RCMP arrest man in stolen vehicle after collisions

Man arrested after the stolen truck he was driving collided with several vehicles

City council responding to social and safety issues

Mayor Tara Veer releases statement on City’s ongoing social and safety challenges

WATCH: Grey Cup was in Red Deer to support military families

Money raised will go towards the Military Family Resource Centre

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only seven of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Canada to boost support for riskier forms of renewable energy: minister

A $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project hopes to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy

Browns beat streak, win first NFL game in 635 days

Baker Mayfield erased any doubts about why the Browns selected him with the No. 1 overall pick

Most Read