Musings for a responsible society

Amidst the dark and grey shades increasingly engulfing, invading and piercing deeper and deeper, let me try to enjoy the little smiles, genuine greens, and the gentle breeze. Oh! Creator! If you don't exist, my vain!
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In search of a Christmas Card

Dear Friend,

You know that I have never failed to send a Christmas card to you all these years. It was always fun and excitement every December to go to the nearby store and buy over a hundred Christmas cards to send to all friends and relatives. I remember that, during my school days, I used to spend the entire pocket money for buying Christmas Cards. As I moved to college, and with increased number of friends, I found the ‘card buying project’ too expensive. I started getting them printed with my own wordings and Christmas picture from the printer’s collections in black and white. Later internet made it easy to send e-cards. I got bored with 123greetings and started sending customized email greetings. Telecom revolution has made short messages through phones cheaper and thus I started sending Christmas messages through SMS.

This time, initially I planned to send greetings through the India Post snail mail. Usually during Christmas, the India Post circulates Christmas stamps and special Inlands. But, the officials at the General Post Office said that they haven’t got such stuff this time. So I went looking for Christmas Cards to Archies store and a few other shops. And I was disappointed!

What is the reason for my disappointment? For that, let us go through the transitions in Christmas Cards over a period of time.

During my Childhood

Symbolism: Beautiful Christmas cards with a colourful picture of Jesus, Mary, Shepherds,    Three Wise Men, sheep, cows, and trees in the background.
         Social Pathology: No visible indication

Animals and Greens missing, by the time I was in my teens

   Symbolism: Accompanying flora and fauna missing in the card 

   Social Pathology:   Represents a depleted ecosystem

Mary and Joseph missing as I became a young man

Symbolism: Slowly, Mary and Joseph found missing in Christmas cards. Mother Mary, who was the woman clothed with the sun (Rev 12:1-6), and the one who ‘found favour with God’ (Luke 1:26-38) for being the mother of God’s son (Luke 1:43) was intelligently pushed aside as unimportant. She not only received the Holy Spirit but also carried the Holy Spirit with her (Luke 1:41) and was the chosen intercessor ( John 2:1-12) and all generations call her blessed (Luke 1:48).

Social Pathology: Emergence of individualism and the declining value and relevance of family. Neglect and disregard of the elders. 

Santa joins Jesus in my prime youth

Symbolism: Santa joined the Christmas celebrations. As waves of consumerism engulfed people of all strata, Santa symbolized everything that does not belong to Christ and the way and life He suggested. While Jesus wanted everyone to be a giver and not a taker, Santa created a lifestyle that centre around maximization of returns to oneself ensuring minimum cost in the giveaways.

Social Pathology: Productivism, Conspicuous consumption, Commodity fetishism, and materialism

Santa displaces Jesus

Symbolism: The symbolic image of Christ was removed from the Christmas card, considering such a card conventional and orthodox. Jesus Christ lost mass appeal. How can one keep the image of a God who argued against material comforts, greediness, amassing of wealth, and indulgences (Luke 12:13-21) and who advocated loving one’s enemy (Mathew 5:43), embracing the weak, meek and the sick? (Mathew 5: 3-10) Jesus Christ and his impractical and idealistic principles were found to be obstacles in the journey to prosperity, merry making and freedom in a competitive economy and in the cooperative exploitation of all sources that give instant pleasure.

Social pathology: Globalization and consequent transnational movement of ideas, cultural ethos, goods and services facilitated by communication revolution have transformed the lifestyles of individuals across the globe. Santa emerged as the icon of extravagance, opulence, and pride, all opposed to the contentment, simplicity, and humility Jesus represented and advocated.

Christ got an apt replacement that symbolized the modern materialistic world. Christmas and Christmas cards glorified Santa and red nosed reindeer.

Many believed that Christmas is Santa’s birthday.

And now Christmas is out and the party is in!

Add caption

Symbolism: Christmas means pleasure and partying

Social Pathology:  Opposition to anything that advocates restraint, equity, welfare, peace, and solidarity.

Santa is losing its glamour. Now, it is the time of blondes and brunettes on Christmas Cards!

Symbolism: From normative society to an audacious and open society where relationships are blurred

Social Pathology: Instant gratification, rat race, and window dressing

What would be next?

(Google images used in the post have been customized by me)

Moral of the story

Jesus Christ, who born in a manger in a carpenter's family chose his friends from the poorest of the poor, sick people and sinners. He said, 'I am the way, the truth and the life. I give you everlasting peace'.   He said: (Mathew 5: 3-10), 
  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
  • Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. 
  • Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. 
  • Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
  • Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God
  • Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
  • Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Commentaries on underlined words can be seen here)

Wishing you dear friend, joy, peace and happiness on this Christmas, New Year and years to come!

And here is my Christmas Card for you designed by someone decades ago!

You may like to read my past Christmas posts

For posting comments, click 'COMMENTS' below

Link to recent articles, in case you missed.


  1. Dear Sibichen,

    I greatly enjoyed reading your thought-provoking piece; great analysis. Long ago many have 'X'd out Christ and their Christmas is only Xmas. No wonder then that by efflux of time Christmas Cards have evolved into meaningless merchandise and this pious occasion is used by all and sundry for merry making, drinking & dancing.

    Have a blessed Christmas.

    PC Xavier

  2. Thanks Xavier for your thought provoking comments!

  3. Sir, comprehensive and exceptionally clear analysis. Your feelings, thoughts and ideas are summed up by the writer of the 'Road Less Travelled ' , M Scot Peck, in his quote "Given the imperfections of our society and the apparent downward spiral of spiritual and moral values in recent years, thinking has become a grave issue. It is more urgent now- perhaps more urgent than any thing else - because it is the means by which we consider, decide and act upon everything in our complex world. If we do not begin to think well it highly likely that we may end killing ourselves.

  4. How true is your analysis. Even I am missing sending Sankranti and Deepawali greetings. Though it was a big budget,but was an immense pleasure and we could interact affectionately through written letters. Now with the mobiles tha world has enlarged but the feel for someone has drastically sunk. Now we have lost all those best friends with whom we use to have letter writing apart from parents and sibbling. Now there is no place for intimacy and personal interactions as everything now has reduced to good morning, good evening and good evening with WhatsApp!

  5. Why 'Atheist' should use the name of Christ (Christmas) and image of Santaclus in the greeting card above ?

  6. I am in agreement with you.Not only Christmas but, all things good and happy have turned into means of instant gratification and money earning commodities. But,I have not lost hope.Nor faith.H ence,an old style
    Merry Christmas to you and your dear ones, Sibi!


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