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Holiday gluttony

I've started getting those emails that state the "reason for the season" is food and partying.    >:( No, at least for Christmas, we are *supposed* to be honoring the birth of our saviour, Jesus the Christ.  So, this year besides my daily prayer for Peace on Earth, etc., I'm going to have a dawn to dust fast during the 12 days leading up to Christmas Day.  I'll eat in the morning before first light and after the sun goes down but not during the daylight hours.  While it's light I'll only drink water, coffee and maybe a vitamin water.  Not really a big sacrifice but a quiet protest against the gluttony and commercialism that has taken over this *holy season*. 

Am I the only one who has become totally disgusted with how people celebrate Christmas?  Are any of y'all doing anything to counter the ugliness IMHO that Christmas has become?

Well, the reason for the SEASON is to give people something to cheer them up during the darkest, most miserable days of winter. So good food and good friends and a good time is kind of the idea. Given that historically, Jesus was more likely to have been born sometime around April, Christmas as it is celebrated today is more of a case of Christians co-opting a pagan holiday in order to facilitate assimilation of those of pagan faiths into Christianity.

I think it's a little sad that people get into ruts of ritualized, automatic consumerism, and I try to counter that by constantly reminding myself of the importance of non-material things - but I certainly don't have a problem with sitting down to a meal with people I love during one of the few times a year we can actually all gather together.

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I have no problem with eating/partying with people I love or even like a lot.  It's just all these work related, church related or community organization potlucks that I have a problem with.  People stack plates a foot high with food.  Then they go back for seconds and thirds.  It just strikes me as wrong and not in the true spirit of *honoring the birth of Christ" even if we don't do it close to his actual birthday.  Some years Christmas and Easter would be really close together if we did celebrate XMas in April.  Early Christians chose December 25, the day that the Romans celebrate winter solistice, so they could have a celebration and not drawn too much attention to themselves. 

I just need to do something in quiet protest of all this crap.  I wouldn't mind one potluck even though it makes me sick to watch people eat meat.  I've been invited to several.  It's like people go insane around here.

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wow tintexas, that is dedication! im glad that youre actively taking a stance against something you feel so strongly about! good luck!

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The winter holiday season is only about Jesus for Christians... that's actually *not* 'the reason for the season', from a historical perspective-- it was originally a celebration of winter solstice, a celebration of life (an evergreen tree, whose leaves don't die in winter...red, green... lifeblood, spring shoots...get it?) in the middle of the cold dark winter. Just as Easter was co-opted by the Catholic Church (Eostre= Celtic goddess of spring, whose symbols were rabbits & eggs... what a coincidence!) b/c it was easier to let the newly-conquered pagans keep their rituals, rename the building, & call 'em converted-- winter solstice got named Christmas. So, to me-- like Narcissus-- I think a bit of good old fashioned life-affirming revelry/ gluttony/ sloth/ etc. is VERY in keeping with the tradition of this holiday! At least, the one that's real to me. Not so much the runaway consumerism, though... we buy for kids, & make CDs/ poems/ art/ baked goods/ etc. for pretty much everyone else...

All that said... kudos for taking your spirituality seriously, & living it as well as saying it. Merry Solstice!

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I have no problem with eating/partying with people I love or even like a lot.  It's just all these work related, church related or community organization potlucks that I have a problem with.  People stack plates a foot high with food.  Then they go back for seconds and thirds.  It just strikes me as wrong and not in the true spirit of *honoring the birth of Christ" even if we don't do it close to his actual birthday.  Some years Christmas and Easter would be really close together if we did celebrate XMas in April.  Early Christians chose December 25, the day that the Romans celebrate winter solistice, so they could have a celebration and not drawn too much attention to themselves. 

I just need to do something in quiet protest of all this crap.  I wouldn't mind one potluck even though it makes me sick to watch people eat meat.  I've been invited to several.  It's like people go insane around here.

I kind of see what you mean... around the holidays, many people buy loads more food (loads more than they need), and especially sweets & snacks. While gluttony might be in keeping with the idea of celebrating the solstice (or life in general), at least in this country it's really just putting our standard gluttony into overdrive. The gluttony might seem less perverse for people who don't normally get to eat so much all the time.

Personally, it's not so much about the amount of food, but the special types of food for the season. Even though those foods (and other things associated with Christmas) have nothing to do with the holiday per se or even where I live (most of that American Christmas mythology seems pretty based in England).

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One of the first things I learned as a vegan was that the company of others at food events was more important than the food, because there were little to no food options for me.  The point of holiday potlucks for me is it's a time for friends to gather together or for co-workers to have time to enjoy each other rather than survive the workday together.  It's not about the food at all, so I don't worry about what other people eat.  Maybe I have a different perspective because I'm not Christian, so I feel charitable attending religion-inspired events in the first place.

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I always wonder if I'm a scrooge for cursing the ridiculous amount of electricity and energy being siphoned away in the wee hours of night for no real functional purpose. I think of the thousands of families that can barely afford to keep the heat on in the cold and this "energy crisis" our world is facing (the week before Copenhagen, mind you) and just find myself frustrated at our blatant hypocrisy! Save energy, turn off your lights, buy your smart car....then decorate your house with hundreds of Christmas lights? Wah?  :boooo:

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I always wonder if I'm a scrooge for cursing the ridiculous amount of electricity and energy being siphoned away in the wee hours of night for no real functional purpose. I think of the thousands of families that can barely afford to keep the heat on in the cold and this "energy crisis" our world is facing (the week before Copenhagen, mind you) and just find myself frustrated at our blatant hypocrisy! Save energy, turn off your lights, buy your smart car....then decorate your house with hundreds of Christmas lights? Wah?  :boooo:

at least they have LED christmas lights now... it took a while -_-

When I was a kid my family had the christmas tree lights on all night. Now that I've been tree-less for a few years, and pay my own electricity bills, there's no way I'm leaving my tree lit longer than I'm in the room and actively enjoying it.

I always wondered if those holiday "inflatables" take egregious amounts of energy, since it sounds like there's a fan constantly keeping it inflated.

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Agreed.  The lights bother me.  I'm happy to see people switching over to LED lights, which take 80%-90% less energy.

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JINX

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ya i think people forget the "true" meaning of christmas :(

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JINX

I'm not mailing you a coke.

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I've started getting those emails that state the "reason for the season" is food and partying.    >:( No, at least for Christmas, we are *supposed* to be honoring the birth of our saviour, Jesus the Christ.  So, this year besides my daily prayer for Peace on Earth, etc., I'm going to have a dawn to dust fast during the 12 days leading up to Christmas Day.  I'll eat in the morning before first light and after the sun goes down but not during the daylight hours.  While it's light I'll only drink water, coffee and maybe a vitamin water.  Not really a big sacrifice but a quiet protest against the gluttony and commercialism that has taken over this *holy season*. 

Am I the only one who has become totally disgusted with how people celebrate Christmas?  Are any of y'all doing anything to counter the ugliness IMHO that Christmas has become?

it has nothing to do with christmas, it has to do with being an american. this shit happens all year long, you are just getting the emails now because people have found an excuse to get together, eat, and not feel bad about it. the rest of the year they will have the same potlucks and stuff they just wont be so annoying about it because they are too busy feeling bad for themselves that they ate 400 calories over their south beach diet for no reason other than they like food.

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JINX

I'm not mailing you a coke.

A case of cokes, then?

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hahaha, jinx...oh man.

I really dislike the consumerism that gets pushed on people so much during this time of year. As a student who has barely been able to make ends meet for the past few years, (and no I don't get any government loans), it's really hard to watch other people spend frivolously on things to spoil their loved ones with. On the other hand, it really makes people who can't afford to do that get creative! And if you're into gift giving, creative things are usually so much better anyhow. Some friends of mine are having a winter craft party soon, where folks can pool their materials, and spend time together doing fun stuff (perhaps with spiked cocoa!)  We also have an annual concert series called Stay Out of the Mall, with great musicians performing at small local venues at a price that's MUCH more affordable than anything you'd find on ticketmaster. The idea being to spend time with friends supporting local(ish) musicians, instead of blowing however much money at ___ chain store in the mall.

My house will probably have a xmas dinner potluck, so we can all spend some (tasty) time together without feeling obligated to give each other stuff. Some other friends of mine are hosting a dance party at their house. As for the family, we always do gift exchanges, but usually for them I'll split something with my siblings to give to our parents, and for extended family, bake a few batches of treats to share. Homemade cards are really awesome too. There's not much better than getting something in the mail reminding you that someone is thinking of you - except getting a homemade something! :)

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I hear ya, T. This year a lot of the model manger scenes they are selling folks have the Family dressed in silk and velvet and gold lace. Like Jesus ever even saw those. How much sense does it make to have a baby lying in a manger because his folks couldn't get a place to sleep...dressed in velvet and gold? Trust me, if they had had that kind of money, there wouldn't have been any problem finding them a decent place to stay. Whatever a person may think of Jesus of Nazareth, rich he was not.

And yes, the trees and lights and hyperconsumerism have nothing to do with anything but the need to sell, sell, sell. Anyone who's read the original book of "The Diary of Bridget Jones" (noooo resemblance to the movie) can relate. Christmas is like the ultimate excuse for excess in some people's minds. Not so much Saturnalia as Bacchanal.

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I agree, consumerism is way out of hand (especially considering the economy).  DH's family have all drawn 1 person to shop for this season... and that is it.  DH and I opted not to exchange gifts.  As far as my family goes.... they are flying here (and that is gift enough for me).

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I'd love to only buy one thing, but no one in my family would go for that.  

My Family
A plus, though, is that my family has never gone in for consumerism.  Except for my sister, kind of.  And my bil, definitely.  For Christmas this year, I'm getting my mom a new shower head because soaking the one they have in vinegar no longer unclogs it.  My dad is getting a book of short stories by Louis L'amour and a shower caddy because their 20-year-old one is rusting.

My parents gave me my present last month, a 12-foot step ladder.  I think I might also score the whisks they no longer use from their utensil drawer.

My BIL
My consumerist bil won't let us shop for him because he doesn't believe gifts should be practical.  He wants gift certificates so he can get some unnecessary electronic that he'll play with for a month.  When he goes to my parent's house for holidays, he'll sit on the couch, listen to his mp3, and not talk to anyone (which I don't mind).

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The gluttony really bothers me. For example on Thanksgiving I had a perfectly reasonable dinner portion of food on my plate, actually it was a little more than I'd normally eat at one time b/c I usually eat a couple light meals throughout the day, but people were like "omg are you not hungry?" or "leaving room for dessert?" And crap like that. And of course the whole time people are commenting to each other about their food and how much they're eating and blah blah. If it weren't for the giant carved dead turkey carcass in the kitchen I would've forgot it was Thanksgiving.

This kinda goes with what you're saying, but I HAAAATE how commercialized Christmas, and general holidays are. It's all about shopping and buying (and gluttony). I like the holidays- but I hate the overeating, the traffic and stores packed w/ people, and like I said the general commercialization of Christmas. I feel bad for people that don't celebrate Christmas or the holidays in general for whatever reason, must be tough

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I think that's a great form of protest and a great personal statement.  Kudos!!!

I'm not a Christian, so the season has odd meanings to me, such as a time for getting together with others, sharing with family and friends, etc. etc.  This is the first all-vegan holiday for me and I'm so glad I'm stucking to my guns because I am soooooooooo much less gluttonous as a vegan than I was last year this time.  I went to two parties so far and ate fresh veggies and pickles, and vegan dips. 

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