The Four C's of Christmas!

Posted by DrEdwardHudgins 4 years, 5 months ago to Culture
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From the Archive: Can four words guide you in the joy of the season? Here I offer reflections for the spirit of Christmas!

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  • Posted by $ Dobrien 4 years, 5 months ago
    The best aspect of Christmas is the aspect usually decried by the mystics: the fact that Christmas has been commercialized. The gift-buying . . . stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by department stores and other institutions—the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colors—provide the city with a spectacular display, which only “commercial greed” could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle.
    Ayn Rand
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    • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 5 months ago
      Funny the usage of the word and concept of Greed...originally a good thing which is demonstrated by the saving or "Hording" of gifts, money for gifts, stowing of decorations, food and hordes of pine trees all to be shared at just the right time with others.
      Not exactly the evil thing progressives make it out to be now is it.
      I've always said that conscious man, once his needs met, if allowed, would always share the resulting abundance of his industriousness.

      Christmas proves that theory...which is now observable truth to be reproduced time and time again.
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      • Posted by $ Dobrien 4 years, 5 months ago
        Well said OUC,
        Your concept of man's generousity under his own terms played out recently in New Zealand when an earthquake put many in need of food and water. A "Marae" or public gathering place took care of over 1000 tourists and displaced neighbors all with goods offered by folks in Christchurch under their own desire to assist. When forced to give , is when it all goes haywire. The most important aspect of your statement "the resulting abundance of his industriousness". Progressives are regressives ,real progressives those who seeks progress would recognize the abundance is a virtue not a vice. Yet they do love their They confuse me again.
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        • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 5 months ago
          Yep...just like every cell in our ancient Greece, "greed" wasn't a bad thing, the booty was always there in times of need... then a 1000 or so years later the French got a hold of the word and used it against "Fat" people, therefore turning the concept around backwards.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 4 years, 5 months ago
    Thanks, Ed. I recommended in another topic that readers here put "Christmas" in the search box at the Atlas Society.

    The Four C's of Christmas
    The revelries of the December holiday season inevitably are accompanied by sober inquiries about the “true” meaning of Christmas and, too often, somber pronouncements that kill our buzz when a’buzzing we should go. Before you throw down this article...

    Better to Give? The Virtue of Selfishness at Christmas
    Winter 2011 issue -- When I think of Christmas, I think about gathering with family, sharing bounteous feasts, warming up in front of a roaring fire after shoveling the snow off the steps, decorating a tree, singing carols, and watching familiar TV...

    The Human Spirit of Christmas (by Dr. Edward Hudgins)
    The holiday season is a time for spiritual reflection, celebration, and frenzied commerce. These activities might seem incompatible. They are not, and that's what makes this such a joyous season. Christmas commemorates the birth of a child whom many see as manifesting the highest aspirations of the human spirit. But what exactly...

    Of Catalogs and Consumption
    The Christmas catalogs start arriving in September, a trickle that becomes a flood by Thanksgiving. They pile up in colorful drifts until it’s time for my favorite part of Christmas: choosing gifts for the people on my list. Christmas has roots in...

    Film Review: It Was A Wonderful Life
    December 2006 -- It’s a Wonderful Life. Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame, Todd Karns, Samuel S. Hinds, and H.B. Warner. Screenplay by Frances...

    On that last, reviewer Robert L. Jones wrote:
    "However, I’ve learned first-hand that professing my love for this film is sure to provoke arguments with those who accept the ethics of rational individualism. On its face, the message of the film appears to endorse self-sacrifice for the good of others. But I disagree with that interpretation—and that’s the reason for this special review. In fact, I think that the choices made by George Bailey during his life were truly wonderful, embodying a full and proper conception of personal, long-term self-interest."

    Indeed, back in 2002, this appeared on "Rebirth of Reason"
    It's a Thankless Life: The "doormat syndrome" and George Bailey
    by Alison Randall
    It's the holiday season again, and television viewers will be treated to the same lineup of Christmas classic movies and specials, with several common elements: altruism, redemption, and depression.

    That provoked a good discussion, with Chris Sciabarra (editor of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies) speaking up for the film, as did Philip Coates, another knowledgeable Objectivist.

    I will point out here that in explaining her theory of aesthetics, Rand focussed on plot and theme (and invented plot-theme as an integration of the two standing as a separate concept). She did not endorse or condemn novels or films solely on the basis of their apparent ideology. The works of Victor Hugo and Fyodor Dostoevsky come to mind on that account.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 5 months ago
    I like and agree with this article.

    I want to point out something about complaints of the winter holidays being taken over by "dead-end streets of consumerism." They say "consumerism" not consuming or commerce. Sometimes very unhealthy behaviors people work into the winter holidays:
    - Buying gifts the are in appropriate to the receiver's situation, e.g. buying a car that amounts to half someone's net worth and expecting him not to sell because it's a gift.
    - Gifts inappropriate to the giver's situation
    - Pressuring people to make charitable gifts
    - Obsessing about getting people the right gift.
    - Complaining about the value of gifts

    These problems have nothing to do with the winter holidays, enjoying the benefits of work and trade, or capitalism. They're just nasty behaviors. They exist without the winter holidays or capitalism. I think some people who complain about commercialism are actually talking about these behaviors. If you asked them what they think about someone who has built wealth taking time off and spending it on things provided by some person just starting out wracking up a lot of holiday overtime, they'd think that's great.

    So I say enjoy the four C's and if someone seems to be opposed to them, dig deeper. Some of them may be opposed to being hit up at work to make a gift they don't want to give rather than the holiday itself. If they're intent on making it about self-deprivation, there are plenty of selfish (in the good way) people in the world to spend time with.
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