Celebrate Christmas Commercialism
MARINA DEL REY, CALIF.--Novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand wrote that "the charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says 'Merry Christmas'--not 'Weep and Repent.'"
With that in mind, the proper source of Christmas cheer is not religion, but commercialism, said an Ayn Rand Institute senior writer.
"The commercialism of Christmas, its emphasis on ingenuity, pleasure, and gift buying, is the holiday's best aspect--because it is a celebration, the achievement of life," said Andrew Bernstein. "One of the best legacies of the Industrial Revolution is the fact that it transformed Christmas from a time of self-denial and lament to a time of celebration and good will. Only a life-enhancing society could create such a secular, non-religious celebration."
Bernstein added that Santa Claus, with his focus on rewarding the good whether they are rich or poor, is the perfect symbol of the secular Christmas holiday.
"Santa Claus is, in literal terms, the anti-Christ," said Bernstein. "He is about joy, justice, and material gain, not suffering, forgiveness, and denial. But Santa Claus is also a symbol of good will, and thus is the appropriate holiday symbol of America, a country that, because of its material prosperity, can inspire good will in all of its citizens."
Ayn Rand Institute senior writer Andrew Bernstein is available for interviews.