I realize that people and businesses don't want to offend those with other religious beliefs and that is understandable. However, Wikipedia.org shows a Pew Forum (retrieved 2011-11-04) reporting that 78.5 of the U.S. population surveyed claim a Christian affiliation. So, in my opinion, most of the money to purchase gifts and toys are intended to celebrate Christmas. It might be a good idea for store owners to recognize this.
It also appears that the commercialization of Christmas is going to remain. Giving gifts at Christmas is a great practice to center on what the celebration really means. It's also an excellent time to teach children to look around and appreciate what they have. Many years ago, we decided to have a "giving" Christmas. We explained to our children, who were old enough to understand, that there were people who could not celebrate that year. So we would help them. We also told the children that they would not necessarily have as many gifts under the tree as they were used to receiving. Maybe they would get three presents each, instead of ten. We took them shopping for this family, who weren't able to provide gifts that year. We never knew who that family was. All we knew was the number of children in a family and their genders and age. The children were free to select what they thought the child might want, within our budget, of course. Our children really enjoyed it. And, on Christmas, they saw that they were blessed with many, many gifts under the tree. As the years went on, our children knew that they really weren't giving anything up by helping another family. That is what Christmas should be all about.
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