What Christmas Means To Me

This is an article written by CS Lewis in 1957. I agree 100%

What Christmas Means To Me

By C. S. Lewis

Three things go by the name of Christmas. One is a religious festival. This is important and obligatory for Christians; but as it can be of no interest to anyone else, I shall naturally say no more about it here. The second (it has complex historical connections with the first, but we needn’t go into them) is a popular holiday, an occasion for merry-making and hospitality. If it were my business too have a ‘view’ on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs. But the third thing called Christmas is unfortunately everyone’s business.

I mean of course the commercial racket. The interchange of presents was a very small ingredient in the older English festivity. Mr. Pickwick took a cod with him to Dingley Dell; the reformed Scrooge ordered a turkey for his clerk; lovers sent love gifts; toys and fruit were given to children. But the idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers. Neither of these circumstances is in itself a reason for condemning it. I condemn it on the following grounds.

  1. It gives on the whole much more pain than pleasure. You have only to stay over Christmas with a family who seriously try to ‘keep’ it (in its third, or commercial, aspect) in order to see that the thing is a nightmare. Long before December 25th everyone is worn out – physically worn out by weeks of daily struggle in overcrowded shops, mentally worn out by the effort to remember all the right recipients and to think out suitable gifts for them. They are in no trim for merry-making; much less (if they should want to) to take part in a religious act. They look far more as if there had been a long illness in the house.

  2. Most of it is involuntary. The modern rule is that anyone can force you to give him a present by sending you a quite unprovoked present of his own. It is almost a blackmail. Who has not heard the wail of despair, and indeed of resentment, when, at the last moment, just as everyone hoped that the nuisance was over for one more year, the unwanted gift from Mrs. Busy (whom we hardly remember) flops unwelcomed through the letter-box, and back to the dreadful shops one of us has to go?

  3. Things are given as presents which no mortal every bought for himself – gaudy and useless gadgets, ‘novelties’ because no one was ever fool enough to make their like before. Have we really no better use for materials and for human skill and time than to spend them on all this rubbish?

  4. The nuisance. for after all, during the racket we still have all our ordinary and necessary shopping to do, and the racket trebles the labour of it.

We are told that the whole dreary business must go on because it is good for trade. It is in fact merely one annual symptom of that lunatic condition of our country, and indeed of the world, in which everyone lives by persuading everyone else to buy things. I don’t know the way out. But can it really be my duty to buy and receive masses of junk every winter just to help the shopkeepers? If the worst comes to the worst I’d sooner give them money for nothing and write if off as a charity. For nothing? Why, better for nothing than for a nuisance.

For me, Christmas means babysitting my neighbor’s elderly cat, who this time, got sick and had simultaneous projectile diarrhea and vomit while standing right in front of me. I wish this was a joke.


Greenie how do people in your town react when you say Merry Christmas, and they reply “thanks but I don’t celebrate” ?

I have never in my life heard a person say that they don’t celebrate Christmas.

Maybe they don’t celebrate it and just choose not to say so, but I have never heard “I don’t do Christmas”. (Except from Jehovah’s Witnesses, but they don’t celebrate any holidays.)

^do you think there’s a reason they don’t choose to disclose?

What about Jews or Muslims? I’m pretty sure Christmas is not a thing for those guys.

I think the combined number of Jews and Muslims in Texas make up like 1% of the population.


Jews and Muslims are the 1%? Shit we need to MAGA quicker than I thought.

I don’t think too many of those reside in West Texas

I like how people give Greenman72 a hard time as they hang out with their Jewish white friends in Manhattan! But greenie is the one in a bubble with (I’m guessing) a quarter or more of his town is minorities.

Everyone is sort of in a bubble. NYC is multicultural, so there is no ethnic bubble compared to elsewhere in the US. However, people here are probably in a liberal bubble, finance bubble, college educated people bubble, pizza bubble, or something.

i want to get into that bubble butt.


I personally know one Jew and one Muslim in Midland, TX.

The last guy I worked for was Muslim, and a lot of his clients were Hindu. Most (if not all) of them did not celebrate Christmas. But I didn’t exactly shout, “JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD HAS COME, A$$HOLE!!!” across the building at them when they came in, either.

And like somebody else said, I find it odd that people denigrate me when I act like a normal person in my home town–just like you all do, I’m sure. Your hometown is just more “enlightened” than mine.

Mmmm pizza

Jeez now we can’t even make fun of Texas anymore? Thanks Trump!

I seem to have misread the tone of this thread. I didn’t think it was contentious to say something like “I don’t celebrate Christmas”. It seems just like a statement of fact. It appears that this statement is more controversial than I had assumed.

Which is why I asked, as people who celebrate christmas seem to be offended by statement of this fact, almost to the point that they feel it’s being thrown back into their faces, or that their festival is being disrespected. which it is not by any means. Obviously, Greenie’s a good person to ask as he’s a respectful, rational individual who lives in an area that would be ripe for this kind of observation (homogeneous population - less influenced by globalization)

there is no god

Now _ that’s _ a statement of faith!