Monday, December 03, 2007
Christmas jeer, Christmas cheer
There's truly something for everybody this holiday season, including works that suggest both the negative and positive sides of the Christmas coin:

- The new film "What Would Jesus Buy?", currently playing in several cities and scheduled to open in many more, is about Christmas coin -- literally. The film follows the performance artist Reverend Billy and his crew, the Church of Stop Shopping Choir, as they make their way across the country, spreading their anti-mall, anti-hypermaterialist message. It's not easy -- the crew has to deal with unmoved mall security officers, incurious shoppers and even a bus accident -- but they eventually make it to their promised land: Christmas Eve in Los Angeles.

The film, produced by "Super Size Me" director Morgan Spurlock, isn't so much anti-capitalist -- at one point, Rev. Billy stops in small village clothing shop to promote a buy-local (and buy-American) message -- as it is anti-shopping frenzy, with all of its offshoots: high credit card bills, global manufacturing, the keep-up-with-the-Joneses focus on material goods. If you're the kind of person who wonders how the spirit of Christmas got lost in a mass of commercialism, this film is for you. (Or, if you missed last week's showing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" -- a program with much the same message -- on ABC, it's available on DVD.)

- On the other hand, if you're ready to celebrate the season, the vocalist behind one of the greatest Christmas singing performances -- "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" -- now has a full album of holiday cheer.

On "It's Christmas, Of Course" (Shout! Factory), Darlene Love, still blessed with that big voice, offers her interpretations of several rock 'n' roll holiday numbers, including Tom Petty's "Christmas All Over Again," Billy Squier's "Christmas Is the Time to Say 'I Love You'," and the Pretenders' "2000 Miles" (the latter a startlingly emotional take). It's enough to make even a trip to an overcrowded mall a happy occasion.
Although my family does not celebrate in the christmas happpenings....I would like some of you to check out the navigator Garmin commercials only running during the christmas season.. for Garmin.com....oh my gaddddd they use fierce antics with comical notes to a well-known christmas song....the one commercial that will have those who participate sing-along and laugh.....


Kraig Rasool
Fort Washington Md
I always enjoy the holidays, but it seems the marketing blitz begins well before thanksgiving these days. I don't spend like a drunken sailor, regardless.

Christmas is about family and friends. (Oh, and Jesus, of course.) Not who can give or receive the most. Hyper-materialism, as you put it, is a sign of the times, and not a positive one, in my opinion.
I think people in the media and in opinion columns make too much of a big deal about xmas being commercial. So what if it is? It's the winter and for those of us in colder regions of the country, the winter time is a long tough unexciting time to endure. It's a good time to treat your loved ones, and its not so bad getting some gifts in return. If people go overboard so what. It helps the economy. And if xmas isn't all about Jesus to some people so what as well. If you believe it should be all about Jesus than make it all about Jesus for yourself. Don't worry about what other people are doing. Celebrating a festive day with your loved ones and being extra generous for a season is a good thing. Period.
I agree with Keith. Christmas should be what you and your family want it to be. Families that splurge on Christmas have the same values the other 364 days of the year so why should they change for a holiday?

Nobody owns Christmas. All of us should do as we please. As for me, I prefer a quiet day with just me and the wife relaxing together. We don't buy much and we don't do much. That's the way we like it.
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