This year, I have decided to celebrate Advent rather than the co-opted version of christmas forced upon me by American culture. Who cares if store clerks in the mall say "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas?" Mall shopping has N O T H I N G to do with the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ. The American christmas has nothing to do with the Christian celebration of Emmanuel, God with us. The American christmas has nothing to do with the Christian celebration of Christmas, Christ's Mass.
In his 1950's book "Season's of Celebration", Thomas Merton wrote:
It is important to remember the deep, in some ways anguished seriousness of Advent, when the mendacious celebrations of our marketing culture so easily harmonize with our tendency to regard Christmas, consciously or unconsciously, as a return to our innocence and our own infancy. But the church, in preparing us for the birth of a “great prophet,” a Savior, and a Prince of Peace, has more in mind than seasonal cheer. The Advent mystery focuses the light of faith upon the very meaning of life, history, humanity, the world, and our own being. In Advent, we celebrate the coming, and indeed the presence, of Christ in our world.
There is so much more to Christmas and Advent than commercialism and there is more to the season than complaining about the commercialism. I choose to ignore the American christmas and celebrate the coming of Christ and the realization of God with us.