This is the second post ever on this blog, if you havn’t already, you can check out the introductory one.
With Christmas and the holiday season, I think a question some people wonder is if Buddhists celebrate Christmas or what their opinion is on this. Does Christmas have a place in Buddhism? Christmas after all has its root in western culture and Buddhism comes from the east. All though I can’t speak for all Buddhists, I thought I would share some thoughts on this.
Growing up culturally catholic, I celebrated Christmas like most kids, basically to get new video games and toys every year. I never really became clear on the religious significance of Christmas day. I’m still not really clear on it, but I think Christmas is a good excuse for people to get together. Its true, many people on Christmas day spend too much money on things kids and adults don’t really need and the adults probably end up drinking too much, but I think its better to do this together than alone in some ways.
Christmas for me is really a non-sectarian day for celebration. I saw on the news people in Thailand celebrating Christmas. Thailand is a traditionally Buddhist country, so I thought this was hilarious because they were enthusiastically interested in all the stereotypical cliches. Here’s a image that you might fight funny. Elephants are trained to give presents to crowds of people.
I think with all the rampant consumerism going on surrounding this holiday, its really easy to get jaded about Christmas. Especially for people beginning to learn about Buddhism or just starting in this path. I think when people begin things, everything goes in cycles. Someone new to Buddhism might try to separate themselves from what they see as distractions, and Christmas can be seen as one of those things, and in a lot of ways it is that. I think if this goes too far, people become completely cynical and deem all this as superficial. And this is true, it is in many ways, but I think this is proverbially throwing the baby out with the bath water. The rampant consumerism and drinking is probably overdone, but I think we’re all very fortunate to even have this option. Most underdeveloped countries never even dream about Christmas. And with that, I thought I’d leave this with an interesting video I saw the day after Christmas. After feeling a little disallusioned as well on the day after, I found this interesting