The secular meaning of the Christmas holiday is wider than the tenets of any particular religion: it is good will toward men ...
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." And the good will is expressed in a material, earthly form -- by giving presents to one's friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance ...
The best aspect of Christmas is the aspect usually decried by the mystics: the fact that Christmas has been commercialized. The gift-buying ... stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by department stores and other institutions -- the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colors -- provide the city with a spectacular display, which only "commercial greed" could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle.
-- Ayn Rand, The Objectivist Calendar, Dec. 1976
Edited by Old Toad on Dec 6, 2007 2:32 PM