It has now turned to December and for billions of people globally, Christmastime will be rapidly approaching. Some of them will be looking forward to it with enthusiasm, particularly the kids who are hoping they are going to get some presents on or around the 25th December.
The adults who are looking forward to a few days holiday from work and will manage to pay for all the extra costs the festive season brings without having to borrow, will also be happy to see it and enjoy it, especially if they get to celebrate with family and loved ones.
Millions of borrowers will still enjoy it, happy in the knowledge that they always manage to get out of debt by Easter.
One Internet site estimates that around 13% of the world’s non-practising Christians also celebrate the occasion and guestimates the total number as being something like 2,250 million people or 45% of the world population who celebrate in some way.
The mystery however, is how many people are left after we deduct the enthusiastic lucky kids and the adults who will not have any real debt problems associated with Christmas celebrations?
On that basis I suspect, more than half, probably many more than half. So will these poorer people actually ‘celebrate’ Christmas or just recognise it as a religious anniversary.
And what do I mean by ‘celebrate’? Giving and receiving lots of lovely presents whilst over eating at meals where there is 10 times more food than is needed, whilst forgetting the true reason why Christmas day really exists? Or going to church and singing Carols, saying prayers and generally celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Christ?
What I do know is that for the vast majority of non-practicing Christians who do not celebrate Christmas, most of them accept it for what it is and have no problem with it, just as we are happy to see them celebrate whatever means a lot to them.
Since 1959 I have been involved with the marine industry for most of my working life and a world-wide traveller. In over 55 years I have never found the fact that I am a Christian and sometimes work with or alongside people of other faiths or religions, to be any sort of problem.
Occasionally, when I have mentioned Christmas to someone they may have responded at some point with a comment like, “We don’t celebrate Christmas”. It has always been in the context of an explanation why they were not as motivated or happy as I may have been but they always seem to have understood and accepted why I was. After all, they would usually have celebrations themselves at specific times of the year.
Whatever your faith I wish everyone a great December and when it arrives, if you celebrate it, a very merry Christmas.