The Purity Culture of Christmas: Commercialism is Bad. So?

The Purity Culture of Christmas: Commercialism is Bad. So? December 13, 2018

Let’s kill the Purity Culture of Christmas. Our family fought Christian Gnosticism (“purity culture”) as best we could in the Nineties, given the Church’s teachings. As a result, we fight Christmas hypes who would deny us a party out of their worry about someone else’s motives.

If there is one thing secular and religious Americans agree on, it is that “commercialism” ruins Christmas. This is true, but what is not true is the weird belief that “commercialism” has ruined Christmas.


I have yet to have a single Christmas ruined by commercialism, but quite a few made nicer by free people in free markets making things merrier and brighter.

How is this possible? Aren’t we bombarded with advertisements? Doesn’t even poor old Charlie Brown worry about Snoopy going commercial? If Snoopy cannot resist buying an aluminum tree, how can we?

Yet my family does resist, will go on resisting, and it is not even hard.

We do not wish to buy stuff, so we do not, having liberty and all.

The good news is that a free market means nice people can entertain us and offer us goods and services and we are free to say ‘no.’ There may be a few who believe the reason for the season is stuff collecting, but few dare admit it openly. In fact, they go out of their way to celebrate family, togetherness, and jollification.


Hell hath no prudery like the buzzkiller quick to see prosperity as greed, a party as debauchery, and an advertisement as a requirement. In contrast, the reasonable Christian will know the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils, so says “no thanks” to many offers without condemning those making the offers.

We will enjoy our holiday without judgment. Perhaps all those advertisers, all of them are evil, though I suspect many are just making us an offer we can refuse. Who am I to judge? The car companies will show me scores of interesting pieces of art hoping I buy a car and I will surely say “no thank you.”

Meanwhile, I get the pleasure of their artistry.

Freedom will decorate my city and my family will enjoy the lights for free. Freedom will allow me to go to as many liturgies as I can and I will. Freedom will give me options to get awesome gifts for my beloved, if I wish, and I will. Freedom will allow marvelous groups like Star of Hope to use the season of giving to remind me to give to the poor and I will.


Where is it? If you see a Hallmark Movie, then shame be to he who thinks evil of it.

If I see something too vulgar, I will turn away and get on with the party. Free markets let me buy a childhood game for my brother that we can play this year. Little money was spent, but much joy will be had.

Ah, the sweet liberty of a holiday.

Most heretics hated jollification. Origen castrated the party and himself. Cromwell hated Christmas. They come shouting Jesus and ended up banning Christmas. Watch and see.

Purity culture blamed the attractive for the sins of the licentious. Purity Christmas shamers blame abundance for their greed. It is the same. As for me and my house, we will reject commercialism (duh!) and go on worshipping the Christ Child while enjoying liberty.

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