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Thursday, December 16, 2010

A BRYCE CHRISTMAS

I don't want to sound like Scrooge or the Grinch, but Christmas is not one of my favorite holidays. I see it more as something for the kids as opposed to adults. Before I get started though, I want to make something perfectly clear; I still refer to this season as "Christmas" as opposed to the "Holidays" which may sound more politically correct, but to me it's an admission that Christians are in retreat in this country. I am not a super-religious person mind you, but it bothers me that we have turned the celebration of Christ's birth into a marketing bonanza. To illustrate my point, consider the following:
* We spend millions on lights and decorations around the house as opposed to investing in our planet and conserving energy resources.
* Instead of helping the less fortunate, we give opulent gifts to people who really do not need them. Last time I checked, there are still places in the world where people are sick and hungry, and need an education or a roof over their heads.
* As opposed to trying to replenish our forests, we kill trees to do nothing more than decorate our homes for a few scant days.
* Instead of promoting Christ's words of peace, we are still at war with ourselves, particularly at the checkout counter.
If this has all changed, I must have missed the memo on it.
In the workplace, we exchange superficial gifts more because we feel we have to rather than because we want to. I would much rather have a heartfelt handshake than most of the gifts I have received in the office. But then again, this probably isn't politically correct either. I have even seen people compete over who is going to give the most extravagant gift to someone for political purposes as opposed to the generosity of their heart.
It is also customary to hold office parties this time of year, much to the delight of caterers, restaurants, hotels, entertainers, etc. But I wonder if the substantial money expended here would be put to better use by rewarding the employees with a bonus instead.
Following Thanksgiving, the media immediately shifts its programming into the Yule tide swing with Christmas music on the radio, and specials on television. It seems a little like brainwashing to me to force you into the Christmas spirit weeks before the actual holiday. I'm sorry, but I don't like being coerced into anything.
I wonder what Jesus would say about all of these shenanigans. First, he would probably wonder who the jolly fat guy was in the red outfit. I imagine he would tell us that we all have our priorities wrong. I can even hear him say, "Hey guys, you even got the day wrong!"
If Jesus were to come back, I'd bet he would be kidnapped by the marketing people for at least the month of December, maybe longer.
With this said, I sincerely wish everyone, be you a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, or whatever, a very merry Christmas, not because I'm trying to force my religious beliefs down your throat, but because I genuinely wish you Peace on Earth, good will toward men. Maybe I do have the Christmas spirit after all.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com
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