It’s Christmas time. Really, it is, though in
public government schools, among myriad other places, you wouldn’t know it. Why? Because Christmas, and any reference to it, is being systematically squelched. It should amaze everyone that here, in 2012, in the freest nation on earth (well, at one time), we can’t publicly celebrate Christmas! At least, we can’t anymore without some recrimination. This has become one of the many things I hate about Christmas. Where has the good will among men gone, because it surely is not widely evident, not even in the Christmas season when it should be modus operandi.
As I headed into the grocery store last week, I encountered one of the ubiquitous Salvation Army bell ringers. He wished me Happy Holidays, and I responded with Merry Christmas. He had the audacity to chide me for that (Really!!), telling me I ought to say Happy Holidays, that it was better…and safer…these days. Better for whom? Safer for whom? And who cares!? This stance that we have to curtail our Christmas spirit (or have it forcibly curtailed) is stupid and infuriating, and yet in so many cases we who celebrate Christmas just shrug our shoulders as if there’s nothing we can do, so why bother trying.
Did you catch the irony that the bell ringer is working for a Christian organization as a Christmas employee, during the Christmas season…the season of giving…and during the Salvation Army’s largest fundraising event of the year?! I did, and I told him I did not believe in wishing Happy Holidays to everyone, when in fact I (and most others) are celebrating Christmas! (What I didn’t say was that I didn’t appreciate being chided for Christmas greetings, and that if he was looking for donations, that was a really poor way to go about getting any.) I did pass along my annoyance to the Salvation Army, however, and they (shockingly) responded…appropriately (to me), and (hopefully) appropriately to him.
Every single day I read or hear on the news about the latest assaults on Christmas.
- No more Christmas trees…now they’re holidays trees.
- Many places are banning
Christmasholiday trees altogether.
- Christmas carols? Nope, holiday music, and definitely no religious carols.
- Christmas shopping on Black Friday? None that I saw. Black Friday sales for holiday shopping.
- Some schools have banned the kids from saying Merry Christmas. What?? (First amendment, but I digress…)
- No Christmas decorations…winter decorations, or generic holiday decorations.
- Employers banning Christmas greetings. WTH??
It goes on and on. You can see the evidence of this even in Hollywood, with fewer Christmas movies coming out this year than in years past. I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas movies: Elf, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, How the Grinch Stole Christmas… They’re like Christmas music for me – a way to capture the magic of the season for a moment, and to celebrate what should make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year. They’re a momentary escape from some of the rotten realities of the season…like this ongoing war against Christmas.
What is astonishing is how infrequent it is that those who are exposing all of this anti-Christmas foolishness are not pointing out time and time again – loudly – how no one is seeking to ban anyone else from celebrating their holiday of choice. There is no movement to stifle Chanukah celebrations in this country. No backlash against Kwanzaa. No attempts to silence Ramadan observance. If anything, these holidays are protected and preserved, as are those who celebrate them. But Christmas…an official national holiday…is being silenced little by little, all in the name of fairness, equality, and the right to live unoffended.
Well, what about me? It offends me to CENSOR Christmas. It offends me that we have become a nation so over-sensitive to being offended that we stifle our own expressions of faith and joy lest we offend others who are expressing their faith and joy (publicly) in a different way. It’s stupid! It’s infuriating! Perhaps most of all (and in my opinion), it seeks to devalue the real reason for Christmas to the point where there is barely a vestige of Christ left in Christmas.
Truly, what I wish is that Christmas…Christmas…CHRISTmas…would be valued more as a celebration of Jesus’ birth than a holiday for extravagance and decadence. At the minimum, I wish that this ridiculous notion that those who celebrate differently are offended when Christmas is celebrated openly, publicly & joyfully would be put to rest. It’s not the case…at least, not in this country, and we should not behave as though it is.
So, that’s how I am celebrating, and I’m starting by wishing you all a bold & joyous Merry Christmas!