I believe this is a valid concern, and this year, the commercialization is at its worse.
When I was growing up, Christmas was different. Sure, there were the Christmas-slanted advertisements for merchandise, but there were also feelings of celebration, goodwill, and a spirituality that ecllipsed the mere selling of stuff. In most neighborhoods, few houses passed the holidays undecorated. Most Christmas trees were bought live or cut from the woods and so homes smelled of evergreen. Even city buildings were decorated and lights were strung at intervals across municipal streets. There were Christmas parades, Christmas office parties, and every television series had it's Christmas show.
Now, driving to work every day, I see few decorated houses and no outside city decorations. The building where I work has done only token decorating compared to what it's done in the past. Even WalMart's "decorations" are only those to be sold. There's no appreciation for the holiday's annual "specialness." No festivity.
I drive through a city that is largely dark and gray, with only a few lights strung here and there in a perfunctory acknowledgement of the Season.
Even nature is affected. The dry, cold, nippings of Jack Frost that we resist with a cozy hearth, are replaced by waves of damp, warm, and stormy air. And when the warmth clears out and the temparture does drop, we lose the icy twinkling of winter stars behind greasy streams of chemtrails stretching horizon-to-horizon.
So where's it all gone? Where's Christmas?
There's no shortage of the plastic imitation of Christmas. Plenty of commercials, direct mailers, and Internet spam push gift-buying for everything from snuggies (with a hood, they'd look like a monk's robe) to super-wide flat screen TVs (to watch snuggie commercials on).
But, to me, the most perverse expression of the plastic Christmas is the Nissan commercial where a singer intones in a weak Andy Williams imitation: "It's the most wonderful sale of the year."
What? Grrrr. We've gone from holly-and-mistletoe Williams family Christmas specials to pretend Christmas sales of overpriced-to-begin-with car imports.
This is Christmas the way the one percent want it to be--an orgy of buying the latest and most expensive of anything to put us deeper into debt, and to finance their multi-millions in bonuses.
The rest of us stand, destitute, on the edge of a neighborhood of foreclosed houses and look down a dark street at a distant red light, and strain to believe it's a Christmas decoration.
As part of their machinations against us, from their total control of the media and business, the power elites have taken our biggest, holiest (among Christians), holiday and sucked all the spirit out of it; because they can't conceive of spiritual things--only buying and selling and profits.
Where does that leave those not enticed by new-car smells, corporate hype, or aspirations to work hard so they can work harder for less?
Maybe we walk down the dark street towards that single red light. Moving on faith alone, we reach it and find the light is from an electric Christmas star, strung long ago, forgotten, and dangling from rusty cabling in the cold wind. Still, it's connected to a power source and pulls enough electricity to shine as a symbol of hope in a world that's traded hope for corporate gratification.
Maybe, inspired, we move on and find others that have been disillusioned and abandoned. Then we form our own community and infuse it with mutual respect, love, and values beyond the physical. Values like the appreciation of beauty with a reverence for life, expressed through our Christmas celebration.
There is power in such a confluence of honest, searching energies. Enough to build a community that doesn't exploit its members, but rather, supports them, and provides tinder that just needs a spark of the divine to blaze.
I think we won't find Christmas in the corporate world and, right now, the corporate world pervades everything. It has commodified and put a price on everything. It has priced the plastic Christmas, but not the real one.
And it's the real Christmas that the rest of us celebrate. The one that avers hope for a second chance in a fallen world; that strives for peace and sees strength in sharing for the common good. It's a shared Christmas that's the most meaningful, and corporations don't share, they only sell.
But people can share, and that's our clue. Wherever we find people sharing love and hope, and encouraging one another, is where we'll find Christmas.