The Real Meaning of Christmas

The real meaning of Christmas is family and friends. It’s a time to re-forge the bonds between you and your special group – your family and friends, not others. Forget about the stranger, the lonely, the foreigner, the mentally distressed; keep them separate from your festivities. Don’t invite them into your homes; it’s just embarrassing. This celebration is not for them. You can be sure that they will have their own friends and family, their own ways and celebrations. Christmas is the time for giving your love solely to your own people, your own group.

The real meaning of Christmas is presents – those you give and those you get. If you really love your friends and family, you will buy them the most impressive and costly gifts, even if you have to temporarily go into debt to do it. Conversely, if someone doesn’t get you an expensive gift, you can be sure they do not love you that much. And you should never settle; that’s the wrong life lesson. Demand the gifts you really want and deserve. If you haven’t spent all your money and time on presents for those you love, your love is inadequate. And if you don’t get a massive pile of presents you really want on Christmas Day, it’s clear your family and friends don’t really love you. You should feel diminished as a person; others are getting more then you.

The real meaning of Christmas is conspicuous consumption. It is a time for eating more food in a single day than most people in the world get to eat in a week. And you should drink copiously; that’s the true Christmas spirit. The measure of your Christmas is how bloated and drunk and sick you feel by the end of it: if you don’t feel a bit nauseous with how much you’ve eated and drank, you’ve missed the real point of the festivities. Another important measure of Christmas lies in how much food you throw away at the end. There should be a large pile to throw in the garbage.

I know this is how it’s supposed to be, but the truth is that the best Christmas’s I remember were when my parents would take us kids down to the homeless shelter or sometimes the old folk’s home, and we’d spend Christmas Day helping to decorate, set the tables, cook, serve, talk to people, do dishes and clear up afterwards. My Dad would bring his cornet and lead some carol singing. Late in the afternoon, after the work was done, we would go home and that evening we would have a family meal together and reflect on how lucky we were compared to some of those we had met that day. At the time, as a teenager, I sometimes resented the fact that other people would be having a great time with their family while I had to work at thankless chores. But now I realise that they were the best, the most meaningful Christmas’s I ever had. I hardly remember at all those normal Christmas Days where we didn’t go out and help others; they all merge into one.

That’s all I wanted to say about it. Have a great Christmas 2012, everyone. Love, peace and justice to you all.

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About richardjacksonterrorismblog

I am currently Professor of Peace Studies and the Director of the National Peace and Conflict Studies Centre at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Prior to this, I was Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK. I study and teach on issues of pacifism and nonviolence, terrorism, political violence, conflict resolution and war. I have published several books on these topics, including: The Routledge Handbook of Critical Terrorism Studies (Routledge, 2016); Terrorism: A Critical Introduction (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011; co-authored with Lee Jarvis, Jeroen Gunning and Marie Breen Smyth); Contemporary State Terrorism: Theory and Cases (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010; edited by Richard Jackson, Eamon Murphy and Scott Poynting); Critical Terrorism Studies: A New Research Agenda (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009; edited by Richard Jackson, Marie Breen Smyth and Jeroen Gunning); Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century: Principles, Methods and Approaches (Ann Arbor MI: Michigan University Press, 2009; co-authored with Jacob Bercovitch); and Writing the War on Terrorism: Language, Politics and Counterterrorism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005). I am also the editor-in-chief of the academic journal, Critical Studies on Terrorism. In 2014, I published a research-based novel entitled, Confessions of a Terrorist (Zed Books, 2014) which explores the mind and motivation of a terrorist.
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2 Responses to The Real Meaning of Christmas

  1. Michelle Jackson says:

    Sadly, this year I have bought you gifts from the $2 shop, because I just don’t love you very much.

  2. In the last para you gave a good example of love and giving others of your time, effort and money if possible makes them happy. I hope that this last not only in Christmas but also all over the year we invent occasion to let those people happy.

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