Christmas, Sacrifice and Charity

Published on 23 December 2023 at 15:49

Christmas is celebrated all over the world, especially in originally Christian countries. But even in Japan, where Christmas is not an official holiday, it is becoming increasingly popular.

Commerce has had a significant influence on the way Christmas is celebrated today. This includes Christmas gifts, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, Christmas stockings, Christmas sweaters, Christmas cards, Christmas lights, Christmas decorations, Christmas parties, Christmas breakfast, Christmas lunch, Christmas dinner, Christmas cookies, Christmas stollen, Christmas markets, Christmas specials, Christmas stories, Christmas movies, and Christmas songs. Besides being a traditional celebration, Christmas has become a lucrative business model for numerous companies and retailers.

Whether or not it's a business model, most people love the Christmas atmosphere. They carefully select the most beautiful gifts for their loved ones, decorate a stunning tree in a single color or with various ornaments, prepare a delicious Christmas dinner, and enjoy the festivities with family and friends.

Christmas is a romantic celebration. In literature, emphasis has been placed on the importance of love and compassion in the past. ChatGPT mentions a few examples:

  1. Charles Dickens - "A Christmas Carol" (1843): This classic Christmas tale by Charles Dickens follows the miser Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by spirits on Christmas Eve. His transformation into a more generous and loving person is the subject of many Christmas films.

  2. O. Henry - "The Gift of the Magi" (1905): This short story revolves around a young couple, Jim and Della, who each sell their most valuable possession to buy a gift for the other.

  3. Louisa May Alcott - "A Merry Christmas" (1882): Louisa May Alcott, the author of "Little Women," emphasizes warmth and love in this short story, focusing on family ties and kindness towards others.

Later Christmas stories center around romance and love. ChatGPT mentions the following books:

  1. Richard Paul Evans - "The Christmas Box" (1993): This Christmas story follows the life of a young family and a mysterious widow. The story revolves around love, loss, and the meaning of Christmas.

  2. Debbie Macomber - "Mrs. Miracle" (1996): "Mrs. Miracle" tells the story of a widower and his children who hire a mysterious nanny that transforms their lives, eventually leading to romance.

  3. Nora Roberts - "The Perfect Hope" (2012): In "The Perfect Hope," part of the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy, a love story unfolds against the backdrop of the Christmas season.

The themes of sacrifice and charity seem to be less popular in later Christmas literature. Whether these themes also play a lesser role in current Christmas celebrations is not clear to me. Church services still call for charity, and many volunteers work to give lonely people a beautiful Christmas. However, to what extent has charity become a distant concept for the average Christmas celebrant? Perhaps charity is extended to people in a far-off land but not to 'strangers' just around the corner.

If there is a (literary/romantic) book that addresses this theme, I would be happy to mention it here. And if such a book does not exist, perhaps it can be written. Who knows, you might become the new Dickens!

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