Certainly Christmas is overly commercialized, but where is it written in stone that you have to buy into that, I told her. Expectations be damned. The meaning of Christmas is what you bring to it. If it is the religious significance then there are any number of churches with like minded folks to fulfill that impulse. Beyond that is our thankfulness and celebration of the good in our lives, not only between family and friends yet also amongst your fellows in your community and around the world.
This is very true, Warped9
, and I think you've expressed it nicely. I'll add that a couple of years ago (on the heels of an unrelated depression), I became very "down" on Christmas. But I couldn't just not celebrate it, as I had a 4 year old child to think about. So, I decided to ask myself, "What does this have to do with the birth of Christ?" before buying into any of the usual traditions. It was a freeing experience for me (and, as a happy incidental, way
less expensive). If I couldn't come up with an answer for why I needed to do or have something without tortured logic, I jettisoned it. We still have a scaled down Christmas because of this mindset, and our kids haven't grown up with the gimme-gimme expectation of the holiday.
This works for me because Christmas is a religious holiday in our family, but I think a similiar "What is this really all about?" approach could work for anyone else overwhelmed by the relentless effort to separate you from your money during December.