Just think about the different stories associated with Christmas, and the multitude of icons they produce. One would hardly know the same holiday was being honored (or exploited) by the diverse messages we get and pass on.
Christmas is at least two very distinct brands.
There’s the story of the birth of Christ. Then there’s the Santa Claus story. (For business people and the economy in general, there’s also the economic and promotional aspect of Christmas with its own language, practices and set of principles.)
Associated with the child’s birth are:
The manger scene
The star of Bethlehem
Shepherds keeping watch by night
Three wise man
Angels from on high
Choirs and carols
Christmas eve ceremonies
Salvation Army bell ringers
For the secular aspects of Christmas you have:
The north pole
Stockings by the chimney
Electricity-sucking light displays
And of course, Santa himself
Then on the commercial side there are:
No wonder there’s tension, hurly burly, indigestion and credit-limit challenged shoppers.
A time of peace on earth and good will toward mankind?
I certainly hope the latter is your experience this Christmas.