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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The "War" on Christmas

First off - I don't want to get into the "JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON" vs. "Nuh uh, because PAGAN!" argument. I'd like to be respectful of whatever you believe.

I used to think Christmas sales in stores before Halloween were the worst thing about the Holidays. Not anymore.

The "War on Christmas" is being waged earlier and earlier and louder each year, and almost totally by the people who think they're being persecuted because the Holiday they want isn't the only one all winter.

I think it's great that people want to celebrate Christmas. Religious or not, Jesus was a pretty chill fella, and I think his birthday should be recognized, even it the day was moved to usurp the Pagan Yule during the Crusades.

That's not bashing, that's what happened. Pagans decorated for the Winter Solstice by decorating their homes with evergreen branches, as a sign of renewal, and the coming spring. That's all this "evil" Pagan ritual was - the shortest day of the year meant that every day afterward, there would be more and more sunlight. More life. The Earth was renewing. I have no idea how that's evil, but people are afraid of the word "Pagan" for whatever reason.

In the 16th Century - not that long ago, relatively, Germans began the tradition of bringing entire trees inside and decorating them for Christmas. Somewhere along the way, it became "their" idea. "Their" holiday.

As a race, humans have had to learn to read the sky in order to survive. To know and prepare for seasons. As a result, if there were a large enough culture uncontaminated by the rest of us since the dawn of humanity, and we suddenly discovered them, guess what? They'd have a big winter celebration too. The Earth is waking up.

"Holidays" is plural.
Back to Christianity, with the Earth waking up and renewing, why not use that time to celebrate Jesus' birthday, even if scholars' best estimates were April or June? It makes perfect sense.

One thing I like about Jesus was that he knew the spiritual value of remaining humble. I totally doubt that he, as person or Messiah, would tell people to "Shut up about everything else and tell me happy birthday for three months!"

December 25th is Christmas. Religious or not, it's a national holiday(in the U.S.). It is that day, even if you don't celebrate it, sure as May 5th is "Cinco de Mayo" or October 31st is Halloween(and my daughter's birthday!) There are plenty of other holidays, too - Thanksgiving, New Year, so that "holidays" used during the season is more correct. I don't tell people to wish me a happy birthday all of January and February, even though mine is in March.

This is why, on December 25th, I use "Merry Christmas", and non-specific days sort of around that time, "Happy Holidays".

No one is trying to take Christmas away. There are a few bad eggs that want to sour anybody's season, but getting angry about a perceived "War on Christmas" isn't any better.

Government entities cannot and should not be specific to a single religion. Even if they said "Let's be Christian", which specific interpretation would they use? It still might not be yours. As much as (I'm sure) you complain about the government being inept, do you want them to handle your faith like they do paperwork?

By playing victim to an imaginary war, and getting angry at people who don't...actually not even that - might not - celebrate exactly what you celebrate, exactly how you want it celebrated, you are the ones ruining the spirit of goodwill that every other culture wants to spread.

The only "War" on Christmas is in your head, and ruining people's goodwill isn't in the Holiday Spirit. In the tradition you claim of "giving" and "goodwill toward man", think about others. Stop being selfish.

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