Welcome to the December 22, 2011 edition of the Objectivist Round Up!
It's almost Christmas! Are you getting excited? I tell you, my kids are about to EXPLODE with excitement (and cuteness) all over the place.
I used to be kind of a Bah Humbug about the holidays, but now it's one of my favorite times of the year. I love the lights and the decorations and Good Will Toward Men and the food and, of course, presents! And it's lots of fun to celebrate the holidays with kids, because let's face it--they get all the cool stuff. I'm very much looking forward to playing with their toys on Christmas morning. :D
So here's a relevant quotation from Ayn Rand on the holiday season (via the online Ayn Rand Lexicon ). And yes, Jason quoted this last week, but it's so good it bears repetition, I think (emphasis is mine)
[In answer to the question of whether it is appropriate for an atheist to celebrate Christmas:]
Yes, of course. A national holiday, in this country, cannot have an exclusively religious meaning. The secular meaning of the Christmas holiday is wider than the tenets of any particular religion: it is good will toward men—a frame of mind which is not the exclusive property (though it is supposed to be part, but is a largely unobserved part) of the Christian religion.
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.
The Objectivist Calendar, Dec. 1976
I hope you have a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah with your loved ones! And I really hope you get lots of cool stuff.
Jason Stotts presents Letters posted at Erosophia , saying, "One reader's remarkable story of a marriage gone awry and it's recovery."
Rachel Miner presents Nurturing Self At This Time of Year posted at The Playful Spirit , saying, "I share some thoughts about my Getting Things Done system and how it helps me reconnect with the goal of nurturing self. I'm interested in others' actions too that help them feel nurtured during this cheery time of year."
Paul Hsieh presents Gingrich and Personhood posted at We Stand FIRM , saying, "In my latest PJM Oped, I argue that if Newt Gingrich wins the 2012 GOP nomination, it would introduce the controversial "fetal personhood" issue into the presidential race and potentially tip the election to Obama."