Wednesday 24 August 2016

The meaning of Christmas

Published 06/12/2012 | 05:00

• Could I be forgiven for thinking that Budgets are delivered at this time of year because it's part of the festive season and governments just want to bring us back to our senses before we engage in an orgy of spending?

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Regarding recent letters concerning faith and the pros and cons of believing in a higher power or God, it all fades into insignificance when you look at the power of marketing over the Christmas period.

Most people end up with things they don't require, over indulge in food and alcohol and are left with a feeling of "what was that all about" when Christmas Day is over.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas, it's a time for children, loved ones and family – but shouldn't every day be about children, loved ones and family? Why do we need a particular day to celebrate these things? If that celebration only emphasises the material part of our lives, does it mean that we're not capable of giving and receiving this type of joy without self-indulgence?

Has mankind evolved to a point where happiness can only be measured by the God of Retail Therapy?

Every year, the followers of this god increase their expectations, so that happiness will just be a transitory feeling, quickly replaced by the January sales or a yearning for a holiday in the sun.

Do you get a feeling that happiness is an unreachable destination? That's what retailing is all about – you, the consumer, must always feel inadequate.

Frank Cummins
Clondalkin, Dublin 22

Irish Independent

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