Remembering the Reason for the Season

Posted: December 20, 2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

As the Christmas season quickly approaches (no, we’re not there yet!) I pause to observe how Christmas has been commercialized to the point where a truly traditional Christmas celebration would seem archaic to most people in the USA today.  Also, many stores have eliminated all references to Christ, Christmas, and in a few cases, even Santa Claus.  Presumably this is done in an attempt to not offend those who are not Christian, yet this is wrong-headed.  First of all, probably 80-90% of people in the USA are at least nominally Christian, and would certainly not be offended by religious imagery.  Of those, half are offended that companies eliminate the reason why it is that we should be buying their products this time of year.  Also, most people of other faiths (Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.) are well aware that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus.  Many of them, despite not being Christian, celebrate Christmas anyway and do not complain that we Christians would dare wish someone “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays” or some other lukewarm greeting.

So why is the removal of Christ from Christmas so pervasive?  The real reason, is because we have allowed Him to be removed.  I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t buy presents for each other, or anything like that.  What I am saying, is that we have allowed Christmas to be watered down in all realms of life.  At stores, we purchase things that say “Seasons Greeetings”.  At schools, we allow “winter programs” instead of Christmas plays.  What other season is celebrated?  Most schools don’t have spring, summer, or autumn programs, so having a “winter program” is a clear veiled reference to Christmas without having to face the reality of the birth of Christ.

If a Jew or Muslim were to wish me a happy Yom Kippur or Eid al Fitr, I would not be angry with them.  Also, they would be within their rights to do so.  If an Asian person wishes me a happy Lunar New Year, there is no problem.  To object to these acts would not only be wrong, they would not be politically correct, as these are minority religious or ethnic groups.  Given that the majority of Americans are Christian, there should be no question that wishing someone a Merry Christmas or having a Nativity scene are allowed, even in the public square.  To do less would be to deny the Christian heritage of most Americans.  While there is some debate about how Christan the Founding Fathers were, and while the Puritans did not like Christmas due to its Catholic origins, Christians of virtually all stripes celebrate Christmas in 2008.  Let’s make sure that we all have a Merry Christmas, and not just a Happy Holiday.

 

http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=31127

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