On Sunday afternoon, I stopped at TimHorton's, at Walmart for a tea, and sat there to watch the zoo that is humanity. A thought came to me. How would you explain Christmas to an Alien? There is what I think of it all.
According to Christian mythology, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of there first leader, although he was more of a philosopher than leader, without enough language to describe the ideas that he exposed. The concept of gift giving comes from something that was translated as giving of your self, which I believe is enthusiasm, motivation, effort, not monetary. By about the 12 or 13 century, gifts to the poor was started. It is all based on giving is to make us feel good, doing something for others.
It has become giving money that we do not have to stores in exchange to goods we do not need, giving those goods to others who do not need them or even want them, all as a gesture of something that we are no longer sure of and do not get. It is our duty to drive the economy, and little else. Many of the products we pass on are not good for humans (alcohol, sugar, chocolate), but those feed addictions, and are therefore the most desired of those in active addiction, and most feared of those in activate recovery.
This is all done by the unconscious, often under stress. The conscious step back and ask why are we doing this? It is great for the kids, and perhaps for the retired grandparents, but between these bookends it makes little scene. It is great for generosity, but I pay taxes, and that does my generosity just fine. The government is supposed to pass on enough for the poor to survive, if they toe the line.
All I need do is keep on breathing for today anyway. If I don't, it is all someone else's problems anyway.