National News

X-mas Hype and Hysteria: 6 Reasons Why It Isn't Worth It

By Starla Muhammad -Assistant Editor- | Last updated: Dec 17, 2013 - 12:05:08 PM

Bookmark and Share

What's your opinion on this article?

Printer Friendly Page

x-mas_santa_12-24-2013.jpg
(FinalCall.com) - With yet another yuletide season upon us, certain patterns of predictability take center stage. Stress, debt, depression, drunkenness, overeating and Black Friday brawls in the mall for discounted flat screen TVs—all of this in the “name” of Jesus? For millions joy, happiness and peace on earth are usurped by credit card bills. Good will towards men is replaced with anxiety.

Before getting wrapped up in and devoured by “holiday madness,” consider the following questions and ask yourself, are the X-mas hype, hysteria and hoopla worth it?

Whose birthday?

Theologians and scholars of different religions and races have pointed out in scripture and detailed research that Jesus of 2,000 years ago was not only NOT born Dec. 25 but he was not born in the 12th month of the Gregorian calendar at all.

There are thousands of versions or “translations” of the Bible. Yet in none of these biblical versions is Dec. 25 pointed out as the birth date of Jesus of Nazareth.

When the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught this in America as far back as the 1930s, he and his followers were mocked, ridiculed and outright condemned. Today, the best and brightest minds in Christian theology have verified with their studies, the truth of what the patriarch of the Nation of Islam taught. 

“The Bible offers few clues: Celebrations of Jesus’ Nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not given, not even the time of year. The biblical reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when they hear the news of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8) might suggest the spring lambing season; in the cold month of December, on the other hand, sheep might well have been corralled,” wrote Andrew McGowan of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, Australia in his article “How December 25 Became Christmas” posted on biblicalarchaeology.org

x-mas_scene_12-24-2013.jpg

“..Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”
—Bible, Jeremiah 10:2-5

Another theologian, Scott Ashley wrote he stopped celebrating Christmas for several reasons, though he is an ordained minister. “Christmas is nowhere mentioned in the Bible,” he wrote in his “The Top 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Celebrate Christmas.”

“This is rather obvious, but most people never give it a second thought. The books of the New Testament cover 30+ years of Jesus Christ’s life, then another 30+ years of the early Church following His death and resurrection, but nowhere do we find any hint of a Christmas celebration or anything remotely like it,” Mr. Ashley penned in his online essay.

Mr. Muhammad taught Dec. 25 was actually the birthdate of wicked ruler Nimrod who was born during the last 300 years of the civilization of Moses and ushered in a period where laws brought by the divine servant were done away with. These celebrations are pagan celebrations and celebrations of this wicked king mentioned in the Bible, said Mr. Muhammad

What does tinsel have to do with it?

For those who do not celebrate Christmas, confused looks and bewilderment from co-workers, friends, family and even strangers is nothing new. “You don’t want to even help decorate the tree?” they may ask. But where did all these Christmas symbols originate?

“Consider the customs associated with Christmas. What do decorated evergreen trees, holly, mistletoe, yule logs, a jolly plump man in a fur-lined red suit, sleighs and flying reindeer have to do with the birth of Jesus Christ?” asked Mr. Ashley. None have anything to do with Jesus but a lot to do with ancient pagan festivals, he added. Most of the pagans were sun worshippers. The round red, silver and gold balls hung on millions of trees during the holidays represent the sun.

One can look no further than the King James Bible, Jeremiah 10:1-5, for what it says about chopping down and decorating a tree:

1 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

santa_12-24-2013.jpg

Millions of Bibles are in millions of American households. Yet, how many people are familiar with the verses in Jeremiah? According to a State of the Bible in 2013 survey commissioned by the American Bible Society, 88 percent of Americans own a Bible but 61 percent wish they read it more. So before buying your evergreen tree or kissing under the mistletoe (which by the way was a practice associated with an ancient Greek festival and fertility), do a little studying for  better understanding. 

What about St. Nick?  No, Virginia for the last time, there is no Santa Claus

The myth of Jolly Ole’ Saint Nick/Kris Kringle/Santa and his stable of flying reindeer and team of elves is just that … myth, much of which is rooted in European folklore. In an insightful article penned by Alan Muhammad, "Black Folks’ Guide to Understanding Christmas he outlined the development and evolution of the character.

“Saint Nicholas occupied several peculiar positions in Christian culture including being the patron saint of school children, shipping, and pawn brokers, among other titles,” wrote Alan Muhammad.

Some argue the idea of Santa Claus is harmless. “Christmas is for the children,” they contend.

Parents often teach their children safety and security by not talking to strangers. But each year thousands of parents’ line up their children at malls anxiously waiting to snap pictures while their bundle of joy sits on a costume clad stranger’s lap.

Mall “Santa’s” have spewed racial insults to Black children, fondled youngsters and been drunk on the job. 

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad warned against false teaching given to children about Santa Claus and deception. It teaches the child in an early stage to lie, because the parents bring him up with lies, Mr. Muhammad wrote in his monumental book, Our Saviour has Arrived in Chapter 33 titled “Christmas.”

Celebrating a savior or training for fight club?

Terrie Williams, mental health activist and motivational speaker, calls fighting and “madness” demonstrated during the holiday season “shocking.” Each year, media outlets show footage of “Black Friday” melees as eager shoppers, perched overnight in front of retail stores jockey for position for merchandise. This year, there was even a #BlackFridayFights hashtag on Twitter showing clips of brawling consumers.

According to the National Retail Federation, 25.4 percent of holiday shoppers said they were at stores by 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night and 37.3 percent were at stores by midnight, up from 28 percent the year before.

“I think we’ve put our emphasis on the wrong things. I remember years ago that I just made a decision that I would not celebrate Christmas the way that (is) the commercialism of it,” said Ms. Williams, author of the critically-acclaimed book, Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting.

Ms. Williams recounted feeling highly irritable and stressed as she battled crowds in department stores. “I remember even back in college I decided and just had an awareness that, why do that to yourself that once a year?” she asked. Ms. Williams decided to give friends and loved ones gifts regardless of the time of year. “We don’t have to prescribe to what is often times, superficial,” she said.

Is your mental health worth it?  

The stress and strain of Christmas can override the joy of gift-giving and family time. “Christmas has been commercialized and like every other commerce enterprise, Christmas is marketed months ahead. 

bills_family_12-24-2013.jpg
Our value and worth is profoundly determined by the degree that we are able to participate,” responded Dr. Harry Davidson to an e-mail from The Final Call. There is a pressure associated with who can afford the most elaborate gifts, the psychologist explained.  

“Hence, we experience a euphoric high that is increased by the use of alcohol and other substances. The problem of depression can be associated with coming off the high that results from the combined ‘Christmas Euphoria,’ ” added Dr. Davidson.

For many the holidays can be sad and depressing, Ms. Williams said.

Although experts say suicide doesn’t increase during the holiday season, there is a sharp increase in alcohol-related accidents and deaths. “Although fewer people utilize emergency services or attempt suicide during December, there is an increase in certain other kinds of psychopathology, including mood disorders such as dysphoria and substance abuse,” noted Healthline.com.

Only in America?

Certainly there are religious, secular and cultural holidays, celebrations and observances that take place all the time in countries all over the world. But where else does overspending, theft, gluttony, stress, alcohol, fights and excess all in the name of family and the birth of a prophet reign supreme as the “norm” outside of America? Despite a still sluggish economy, Americans are still expected to drop an average of $704 for Christmas gifts this year, according to a Gallup poll conducted in November. Last year, consumers spent an average of $40.30 for a Christmas tree ($72.50 for an artificial one) for an item that is only displayed for a few days once a year. 

A donation to Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint at www.economicblueprint.org for one year is $18.20 and is an investment for a lifetime. Perhaps it is time to abandon commercialized traditions based on fantasy that give nothing in return and focus on helping to sacrifice, invest and build a future of our own.

Bookmark and Share

News

Columnists

 

Services