Calvin Coolidge, the thirtieth president, once said, "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." If a pre-schooler was asked what Christmas is, he or she would simply respond with Santa Claus, but if an adult was asked the same question, the answer would vary from a time to give to the less fortunate to a time to spend with your loved ones. Christmas means many things other than the birth of Christ. So what is Christmas? Christmas is a kid's season, with presents and Santa Claus. Christmas and Santa Claus go hand-in-hand. At malls across the country, Santa imitators are found taking pictures with kids and asking them what they want for Christmas, putting the kids on cloud nine.
Little kids cannot be happier than when they are perched on Santa's big red thighs, telling Santa what they want for Christmas. For little kids, Santa isn't just a seasonal symbol, but he exists, and really does come down the chimney on Christmas. He eats the homemade cookies, and drinks the glass of milk. Then, he leaves the gifts before moving onto the next house.
The little kids awake to find their stockings stuffed and hung above the fireplace, and gifts of every shape and size neatly placed underneath the well decorated, glistening Christmas Tree. To a kid, that is all Christmas is about. Christmas is music and movies. Christmas has more songs than any other holiday.
Radio stations, such as 104. 3, only play Christmas songs during the couple of weeks before Christmas, to go along with the handful of versions of every Christmas songs. Christmas always has more movies than any other holiday. The movies are usually watched during that time between thanksgiving and Christmas, but those movies are watched over and over again. A Christmas Story, a humorous movie about a young boy's Christmas, is played for twenty-four hours each year on Christmas, and each year still receives high ratings. Christmas is white and cold.
Christmas is walking outside and the air being so cold outside that it takes a person's breath away, and on each exhale, all that is seen is a cloud of vapor. The sidewalks and streets are blanketed with white, fluffy snow, twinkling underneath the gleaming sun. Freshly fallen snow sits perched on every tree branch, weighing each arm down. Snowmen of different sizes, and made with different household items stand in front of houses throughout the neighborhoods. Christmas is the number one shopping season. Someone once said, "Before Christmas says hello, it is already saying Buy, Buy." The day after Thanksgiving, the "Christmas Shopping Season" officially starts.
And for almost a month, people are crammed into every mall like sardines. Christmas is always associated with buying gifts for everyone that is close to you. In 1997, an estimated thirty-four percent of the people spent between five hundred and a thousand dollars, and forty-eight percent of those people did all their shopping in December. With inflation and an economy that is only becoming more materialistic, these numbers are only going to increase throughout the years. Christmas is a spirit. Christmas time is said to be the time for caring, and it is better to give than receive.
During this season, clothes and food are raised to give to the needy. This kind of effort to help the less fortunate is on such a large scale only during the Christmas season. Schools only make an attempt to contribute to the community during this time. Henry Ford II High School has a can food drive, a clothing drive, and a toy drive. Each drive is very effective; the can food drive raises more than twelve thousand cans, the toy drive raises more than a thousand toys, and the clothing drive raises more than six hundred articles of clothing... Christmas is more than just the birth of Christ.
It's a time to be spent with your loved ones, a time to give to the less fortunate, and a time to take in all the extras, like music, movies, and stories, that the Christmas season has to offer. A person can take in the Christmas spirit and enjoy the season, or just simply say Bah Humbug to the season. Christmas is a commercial holiday filled with love, lights, laughter and lots of shopping.