We all know that the holiday season can be very stressful and very expensive. I know some families that spend thousands of dollars just on their own 2-3 kids, then add to that their extended family and friends. That is outrageous to me. This year, I spent approximately $150 on both of our boys and that feels like too much.
I've talked (and ranted) about this before, but now I'm going to calm it down a bit and offer some suggestions instead of just complaining. Being proactive and positive rather than just bitching. It's healthier that way, right?
I'm a tad Grinchy about the Christmas season because I wholeheartedly feel like it has become far too commercialized and ridiculous. Hell, "Black Friday" sales start at the first of November these days. They don't even bother waiting until Black Friday. It's all about the money. I vote we peel that back some. Quite a bit, really. Less all tone that shit down for awhile, yeah?
First, a little history lesson
Christmas time wasn't always "Christ" related. Historians and theologians and concluded that Jesus was actually, *most likely* born in the spring and the Christian Powers That Be decided to claim Dec 25th as Jesus' birthday as a compromise with the Pagans they were trying to convert. Many different Pagan faiths did, and still do, celebrate the winter solstice. During the 12th century, there is a "marginal note on a manuscript of the writings of the Syriac biblical commentator Dionysius bar-Salibi states that in ancient times the Christmas holiday was actually shifted from January 6 to December 25 so that it fell on the same date as the pagan Sol Invictus holiday.5" It was done in an effort to ensure that converted stayed that way. Historiacally, it's not uncommon or terribly surprising. It is frustrating, as a historian, to see people get uppity and in other's faces ranting about "Jesus is the reason for the season" when that isn't exactly accurate. At least, not in the way they are intending.
Tips for spreading Holiday Cheer without breaking the bank
There are so many ways to celebrate this holiday season without over-spending and taking away from the joy and holiday spirit. Here are a few excellent suggestions for you to try out this year!
The holidays are here, but they don't have to be hard, stressful, or anxiety inducing. The whole season should be about spending time with the ones you love. Enjoy the time and focus on what matters. Money isn't the point. It never was and never should be.
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