I've been pondering Christmas myself lately. It is over commercialised and it does begin too early, the Christian message has been lost on most people in general anyway so its not the lack of God that drives the increasingly dire Christmas period. The trouble I find with Christmas, as thirtysomething, is that it just doesn't seem special anymore.
For children maybe, but in developed countries, most people already have everything they want. The special treats and novelties of Christmas are available all year round. People send Halloween and easter cards now, kids get big ticket gifts for birthdays or even just because they throw a tantrum, seasonal food is available all year round. Shopping for normal groceries becomes an exercise in futility as you come to hate your fellow man who stands between your and getting on with your life. Theres nothing special about Christmas, it just (alot) more of the same, but with decorations and a guilty obligation to join people you don't like to do something wouldn't want to do anyway.
I do look forward to Christmas Day, I will cook a nice big meal, exchange gifts with my nearest and dearest and then probably walk down the beach to the pub. What I don't like is taking gifts from family that don't really know me well enough to purchase something I would like or need, but wich then obligates me to spend money I don't have on something equally innappropriate. I do not like the panic buying that starts at the beginning of december. Having shops heaving with the haunted miserable souls determined to make this Christmas the best one ever. Its the whole pressure and guilt thing, even which part of the country to spend the say in becomes an issue.
It all just feels too forced and stressful to be the most wonderful time of the year for me.