For those who ventured out to a mall in Knoxville or in respective
hometowns this past weekend, it is evident that the Christmas season is
upon us. Honestly, the commercialism of the holiday is an outrage, and it
preys on the pocketbooks of many, while ignoring the sentiments of selfless
giving and rejoicing in life, which are at the very essence of the
celebration.

Coupled with the fact that not everyone celebrates Christmas and it is not
exactly fair for everyone to be subjected to its commercial images, it is
obvious that Christmas has lost some of its humbled meaning. Everywhere we
see reindeer and Santa, but where's Jesus?

You've all seen the bumper stickers that say, "Jesus is the reason for the
season." AMEN, brother. Christmas is founded on certain religious beliefs;
it has very little to do with retail. So, whether you choose to participate
in the holiday or not, at least know what it's about and why you should
celebrate.

But instead of simply making simple gestures toward people we love or who
are desperately in need of assistance, we spend time and money making
painstaking decisions about gifts for people we work with that we actually
don't like or hardly even know. Parents from less fortunate families feel
guilty for not being able to lavish expensive gifts on their children, let
alone spending a considerable amount of money for that "traditional"
holiday feast. It's all ridiculous.

People should be challenged to look at Christmas a little differently this
year. When you think about giving, try giving something with special
meaning. Give of your time, your knowledge, or your energy. Give something
to loved ones or to those who you know need your help and refuse the office
name drawings if you want to. And give something that won't be found in a
thrift store or garage sale in a couple of years, but might have a lasting,
positive effect on someone's life.

But above all, don't accept today's standards of the holidays. Watch one of
the holiday episodes of Little House on the Prairie, then you'll get the
picture.

And for those who celebrate other religious holidays at this time of year,
the staff of The Daily Beacon would like to hear from you to help
educate others about your beliefs in later articles and editorials.