I'd like to differentiate why I am the way that I am about Christmas, and many others are of the same conviction. I love the meaning of Christmas, but dislike the Christmas season. How can that be? The easy accusation is that I'm a scrooge, but because I love to give, I'm not.
Let me give an example. When I graduated, the routine was to send invitations out to about one-hundred people, even those who were mere casual acquaintances. One of those said to me, "I got your dun today." We don't use the word "dun" anymore, but it means "demand that a debt be paid off". He was referring to my invitation as a demand for money.
To be honest, he was absolutely right because my motives was to manipulate free things from people that I barely knew. I have been sensitive to that comment ever since and as such, I never wanted anyone to give me any material nor pecuniary payment as an obligation. That's engrained within me, and in this age of he politics of jealousy and free things (i.e., socialism), it irks me to be manipulated for gifts.
Jealousy is the part where the have-nots desire to have what the have's have without the hard work that it takes to have!
There is one thing that I love to receive: that is love. Love is what I got every Christmas, never gifts to entertain, if anything at all, but gifts of my family given of themselves. My best memories are waking up to the excitement of a good meal (which people get every day now), and all my family together, laughing and just having a good time. We had Christmas decorations and a tree, but they were merely decorations. Beyond the tree was abundant love!
In my family seldom was their an argument. On Christmas there was never an argument because "things" lead to expectations and disappointment because happiness lies not in the tangible, but intangible.
I celebrate Christmas. I do it inside. I celebrate it my way, not the way of the world. Christmas is not "My-day"; it's Christ's-day. Not being Catholic, since we don't have mass, I don't even celebrate Christ-mass, I only celebrate Christ. That day is not "my Christmas" as some call the season, but a day belonging to someone else... God himself. It's not about self-satisfaction, but service. What is a better service than to love others as I do myself. As such, giving is great, but the best gift is the gift of love!
The problem with Christmas is that it now belongs to Satan. He has usurped the meaning of Christmas and made it, in effect, "his-day". Admittedly, few people overtly praise Satan, but when we expect things for the self, it robs Jesus of the gift he should receive: peace on earth, good will toward men.
Note that it was Jesus who received on his birth day, not others. That tradition is how early pagans distorted the meaning of his birth. Furthermore, the gifts to Jesus were not to make him wealthy, but were symbolic of his Lordship, life and death (gold, frankincense and myrrh, respectively).
There are two gifts which Jesus expects, not only on Christsday, but everyday: our love to him and to others. It's a good thing when a modest gift is given any day, especially to meet the needs of the less fortunate. However, extravagant gifts lead to high expectations. The thought, even sub-consciously may be this, "I hope I get something really good for Christmas this year." Expecting is appeasing the self. On the other hand receiving with gratitude things of nominal value is relaxing the focus from being on yourself.
Gift-giving is not an obligation. Christmas is not the bill-day to dun others. A person should be as content with nothing as something as long as the nothing is accompanied by love. Expectations of a gift, especially by manipulation, is dunning the giver, so to speak.
I love to give good gifts. I do all year long with my family. First off, I give them all love, all the time. Secondly, my hard work has made life easy for them and I enjoy their joy when I give them good things, even the money to buy good things, throughout the year. Because I am generous throughout the year and my loved ones have their needs and desires met, at Christmastime, there is not much more than I can buy. As such I get frustrated during the season. For me it's not one of joy, but tension. When tension arises, Jesus loses and Satan gains. Jesus' day becomes Satan's day because dissension occurs.
My wish is to return to the days that I remember; when the season was a season of love. Love makes it Christsday. Expecting things makes it My-day and dissension makes it Satan's-day.
My gift to all my friends, acquaintances and even enemies during this season, is that I love you all. Of course I may disagree with behaviors, but my desire is that "none should perish and come short of the glory of God". That my friends and enemies is love and that is what Christmas is all about!
Now for giving: I love to give.
I, however, don't like to give to those who waste their own money on trivial things and excessive entertainment. I especially don't like to give to those who waste their own finances on drugs, alcohol. tattoos and expensive designer clothing. I don't enjoy giving to those who expect gifts. Those are self-worshiping; things to appease the god of self.
If I give gifts, let's say to help one pay off a medical bill, and that person buys a tattoo or marijuana, in effect I am buying their tattoo and marijuana. I don't choose to do that! (Tattoos are ornaments which adorn the self and the use of marijuana is the self's way of finding happiness without Jesus).
The "other gods besides God" is each of our own selves. We are of whom God is jealous. He topples idols easily, but his design is that we have our own will. Unfortunately, most people's will is to self-indulge. In effect we worship ourselves, if we're not careful and Christsday becomes My-day. "I" have a wonderful day when things are given to "me" and I have it "my way". Where is Christ on that day as you stand under the tree of pleasure? The Tree of Life is there by himself with nobody standing under him.
Remember that on Christsday, the Tree is not the evergreen; he is Jesus. The gifts are not the wrapped presents. The fruits are not in the beautiful ornaments, They are the unseen things that offer happiness. They are the fruits hanging on the Tree: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fruitfulness, gentleness and self-control. Those are all fine Christsday gifts!
I am in the Christsday spirit. My way is just different. I'm not scrooge and I'm not cheap. I just endeavor to keep the focus on Christ and stay away from the false day called Christmas. That is my Christian belief and all the dark angels will never entice me to change that. Please bear with me as I worship the way which seems right for me to worship.