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Philosophy

A Well-Earned Capitalist Christmas
by Richard M. Salsman

 

The evolution of the Christmas tradition has not been from an initially religious, ascetic vigil into a secular, commercial celebration, as many believe, but the reverse. What began as a secular celebration of the return of the life-giving sun so prized by productive, earth-loving pagans in antiquity was essentially hijacked, later on, by monkish kill-joys dying to escape into a fantasized afterlife and eager to make secular, life-loving men feel small, sinful and guilty. Slowly since the late 1800s, thanks to capitalism, its original meaning and spirit has been partially reclaimed. Christians annoyed by this worthy reclamation are perfectly free of course to practice with integrity what they believe to be the true meaning of Christmas – by marking the actual birth of Jesus in September, in somber churches and a properly monkish manner. For capitalists, in contrast, ’tis the season to be jolly and to herald the winter solstice, but also to be proud of their riches as they share them guiltlessly with loved ones.

Philosophy

A Well-Earned Capitalist Christmas
Posted
Friday, 24.12.2010

The evolution of the Christmas tradition has not been from an initially religious, ascetic vigil into a secular, commercial celebration, as many believe, but the reverse. What began as a secular celebration of the return of the life-giving sun so prized by productive, earth-loving pagans in antiquity was essentially hijacked, later on, by monkish kill-joys dying to escape into a fantasized afterlife and eager to make secular, life-loving men feel small, sinful and guilty. Slowly since the late 1800s, thanks to capitalism, its original meaning and spirit has been partially reclaimed. Christians annoyed by this worthy reclamation are perfectly free of course to practice with integrity what they believe to be the true meaning of Christmas – by marking the actual birth of Jesus in September, in somber churches and a properly monkish manner. For capitalists, in contrast, ’tis the season to be jolly and to herald the winter solstice, but also to be proud of their riches as they share them guiltlessly with loved ones.

Excerpt courtesy of Forbes.
Read full article on Forbes.





 
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