Kenitra - The newest world we all call America is unique in many of its attributes, cultural ways, ideologies and patriotic slogans. Americans stand in huge admiration of the spirit of their nation, and for many others around the world, America is seen as a land of hope, opportunity, pride and glory.
Kenitra – The newest world we all call America is unique in many of its attributes, cultural ways, ideologies and patriotic slogans. Americans stand in huge admiration of the spirit of their nation, and for many others around the world, America is seen as a land of hope, opportunity, pride and glory.
Many of America’s early traditions were built on religion, morality and freedom, including some holidays. But as time moves on in this country’s history, the “reason for the holiday season” has gotten lost.
Christmas and Thanksgiving are two major religious holidays for many Americans. These occasions transcend religion, reaching into the history of a nation and the memory of its people. But what may have begun as traditions of thanks and love are now a chance to gain huge profits from the “business” of religion. From that change, a moral controversy has raised its ugly head.
Theologically, the Christmas holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him). It is a time to reflect on his teachings and commemorate his message of love and peace to the world. This celebration began in the third century and was one focused on faith and appreciation for one’s blessings. No gifts, cards or decorations were involved; it was solely a spiritual festivity.
By the mid19th century, Americans began to celebrate this tradition in the way we see it today. Santa Claus became the new spirit of Christmas and his arrival with gifts is anticipated much more than participating in religious ceremonies. In recent years, Christmas has undoubtedly become the biggest and busiest commercial holiday in the U.S. Every year, more Americans spend larger amounts of money on gifts and decorations, masking its true religious aspects. Black Fridays and cyber-Mondays add to the profit margin immediately after the main celebrations.
All year, the economists look forward to reporting about the high revenues from Christmas and Thanksgiving. But culturally and ethically, the financial stakes surrounding holidays are causing devastating damage to the essence of American original traditions. Over time, the spirit of faith has become lost while profits are the focus. Some say Christmas is not at all about Jesus anymore! So, has the U.S. fallen into cultural dis-function by exchanging spending for religion?
In America today, people leave the warmth of their Christmas day homes, the joy of family gatherings and the taste of their traditional cuisine to brave the crowds in massive stores such as Walmart, Best Buy and Target for good deals on disposable products. Should the focus instead be upon the needs of others, hunger across the world and the suffering of the oppressed?
St. Patrick’s Day is another example of extreme holiday spending and moral collapse. Every March 17, the U.S. celebrates and honors the life of Saint Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland in the fifth century. He is known for his quest for religious freedoms and fight for Irish independence. But St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are defined mainly by drinking massive amounts of green colored beers. People spend mass amounts of money on special costumes and Irish decorations. Drunks cause madness in the streets. The reason for the season, the highly-admired values and practices of spirituality and sanctity has fallen prey to the dramatic disfigurement of religious traditions. Marketing, money and selfish pursuits have indeed replaced honoring the moral values of the man.
Time honored traditions and the basics upon which America was founded have been traded in for marketing, personal gain and profits. The moral collapse of a nation leads one to question, what is next?
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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