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11th Hour Madness

Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005 1:59 PM


My wife and I had occasion to go out last night, to check one store for an item we'd seen earlier this week and had not purchased. The item was gone, but that's not the issue.

Folks, Christmas is a special time for many people. We talk of charity and giving, of family and friends, of the blessings of the season.

Yet we all behave like reprobate children on the road and in the parking lot. Courtesy goes out the window. Common sense is discarded as a crowded parking lot becomes an annex of the Brickyard for an off-season NASCAR event.

I know there's a lot of pressure to get shopping done, gifts wrapped, the house cleaned, and holiday meals prepared - but none of these things are achieved through being rude.

Furthermore, the entire 'Christmas Rush' is an artifice of an over-commercialized season. The incipient rudeness is a sign that you've accepted someone else's determination that you're on a stopwatch, that your value as a human being is dependent on hocking your soul to get the best gifts, that shopping is some kind of zero-sum competition.

We need to dial back the self-destructive memes that tell us we're running out of time, that we have to fight to get the best bargains before Some Other Person Steals Our Due.

For if this is how a Christian society celebrates its most important holy day, we are doing neither God nor ourselves any credit.

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