The Commercialization of Christmas
One of the most surprising facts about our family for most people is that we do not celebrate Christmas by gift giving or otherwise celebrating, other than the fact that we might have a special dinner or watch a movie about the Nativity story in the evening. We do, however, get together shortly before Christmas to take our family photos which we send out to people in our Christmas cards for that year. Getting all those people together can be quite a process! More recently, we have been doing "themed" Christmas pictures; last year we all dressed as Indians and cowboys. The year before that, we were all shepherds.
Not celebrating Christmas was something we decided not to do, due to the self-centered-ness of the holiday and also because of the way it has become so very much commercialized. The focus has become less and less about Christmas, and more and more about "I want". And certainly, almost nothing to do with Christ, the Savior, except for hearing His name in songs or in passing. Setting aside a day for celebrating and exchanging presents is definitely something that we agree with, but we did not feel that that was how we wanted to convey the meaning of the Christmas story.
And so, we had to decide on a different day for gifts and fun. And that is how our family started celebrating, not Christmas, but Purim. We do, however, enjoy the peace and quiet that Christmas Day brings, but what a lot of hustle and bustle to get there!