Yes, most certainly I view Christmas as more than a marketing festival.
I absolutely LOVED Christmas as a child...Life was so simple back then. My grandmother who raised me made Christmas cutout cookies with red cinnamon candies which I loved.
Excitement was in the air! LOVED Christmas vacation from school. My sis and I went sleigh riding in the deep snow. In those days chains were put on car tires and sounded to me like Santa's sleigh going by the house.
We went to the Presbyterian church and were told very early about the birth of Christ. (even though I did not learn of salvation through Christ until I was eighteen years old...from another church). I remember as a teen praying at the foot of the bed with my Bible...I read the Psalms. So God knew I was searching.
I loved the magic and the ambience those days...NO bickering about being 'offended' at "Merry Christmas"...I LOATHE, LOATHE, LOATHE 'HAPPY HOLIDAYS' and the brouhaha attached to Christmas now.
I miss my childhood days when Christmas was so much more real. Now people complain about a manger on a neighbor's lawn.
I get very upset when someone says, "Christmas is for children."
It. Is. Not.
Christmas is for EVERYONE. It is the celebration of the birth of the Person who saved my life. The whole meaning of Christmas is Jesus birth.
Alas, it has become a marketing fiasco, with a child ripping open one gift after another...
It has become an awful marketing tool...The Christmas commercials have started already!
Last Christmas my daughter's gift to me was a NYC trip to Radio City Music Hall. We only live 3 1/2 hours away...I take a bus there quite often as I LOVE NYC! She bought us tickets for the Christmas show. There were dancing Santas, the Rockettes, comedy, light and funny music...but the FINAL part was the manger, angels, and a tribute to Jesus Christ. It was SO beautiful, and tears streamed down my face. I just wept for joy that they did not leave Jesus out of Christmas.
All this being said, I say to those who do NOT believe in Jesus and criticize "Merry Christmas" and get offended by mangers and carols: Simply tell your children there is no reason to participate...that this is a religious holiday you do not believe in and treat it like another day...and let those who DO believe in our Lord and Savior celebrate Jesus's birthday.
Also, I DO love the giving as the joy is in the giver...and Jesus was born to GIVE US ETERNAL LIFE. Praise God! Blessings, Michael Milec