This letter is in response to Toni Malafronte, who in turn responded to a column by Karen Rubin.
While Ms. Rubin could certainly be more tactful, I essentially agree with much of what she is saying.
Although I am Jewish and do not celebrate Christmas, I have the utmost of respect for Ms. Malafronte’s belief system. However, Ms. Malafronte has to understand the meaning of Christmas was perverted a long, long time ago.
Christmas has become, pure and simple, a cash cow. Any retailer will tell you 70% of their business is at Christmas, and Christmas season is often make or break.
I recall in 1974 Christmas decorations went up on Allerton Ave, in the Bronx the day after Thanksgiving. Now retailers are putting Christmas merchandise in the back of the store as early as September.
I have been divorced since very early 2019. Every Christmas season in our 17 years together – every Christmas season – my ex-wife and I fought like cats and dogs over spending money for Christmas.
No matter how well or how badly the children behaved my ex-wife believed in filling their stockings to overflowing.
With a few exceptions the only time my ex wanted to work was at Christmas, to make money for Christmas. I was once relegated to the couch for two days because my ex didn’t think I was spending enough on Christmas.
The stress this caused contributed to our breakup, although it certainly wasn’t the only contributing factor and I don’t blame my ex entirely for our breakup.
I live in the Parkchester section of the Bronx. I can look out my bedroom window and see the small park near my home brightly lit, filled with what I estimate to be between $10,000 and $20,000 of decorations.
Not to mention the electricity to run them. If half the money was spent to support an adult literacy project, contribute to medical research on the numerous diseases we have found no cure for, contribute to food pantries and soup kitchens, there’d somewhat less hunger, more literate adults, etc.
Let’s not forget about the environmental costs of Christmas. How many carbon monoxide inhaling trees do we lose to Christmas, how many more trees do we lose to wrapping paper that stays on the gift half a day before ending up in a garbage dump? How many poor turkeys are raised on factory farms and slaughtered?
Ms. Malafronte has the absolute right to believe in Christmas and believe in Jesus Christ as the savior of humanity. But this holiday has been perverted into something far, far different. I don’t agree with everything Ms. Rubin says, but she got the vast majority right.