Of course, in retrospect, he was completely accurate. As I revisit his sermon, I realize that he was trying to make the point that the commercialization/Santa/merchandising parts of Christmas were for children while the Christian origins, and the "family gathering" aspects were for adults. I've been realizing this more and more in recent years as I struggle not only to find things to buy for others...but thinking of things to even ask for on Christmas. It turns out that when you have disposable income, and free time, you tend to just buy the things you want, when you want them. If I want a new movie, I'll go buy it. If I want Steelers tickets, I'll buy them. If I want a new computer each year...I won't buy it because that would be crazy, but it certainly can't go on the Christmas list. At this point, I've already purchased all the moderately priced "giftable" objects, leaving only the "too-cheap-to-be-a-gift" items, the "too-expensive-to-be-a-gift" items, and the "stuff-I-would-never-buy-if-I-wouldn't-hate-it-if-it-showed-up-one-day." Gift cards work sometimes, but it's sad going from getting video games and Lego sets to getting small pieces of plastic to partially subsidize a future experience. It's tough to be as excited counting down the Advent wreath for these options. As a kid, Christmas was the Super Bowl of gifts...and now it's like a preseason college soccer game.
To my current students who read this: this may be one the last "fun Christmas seasons" of your life. To the adults, you'll either find this entirely accurate or slightly depressing. As for me, I realized today while Black Friday shopping that after four years of having a disposable income, I've finally purchased all the Blu-Rays I want and went home empty-handed. I felt a sense of victory...but also thought "now what?" People wonder why I've started to re-collect Legos. Honestly, if you're going to be asking for things you don't really need, they might as well be toys. I suggest everyone do the same; it'll make shopping not only cheaper but much more nostalgic and hilarious than it's current state. Deep down, isn't that what we all want for Christmas?