Sunday, December 04, 2005

Christmas Under Siege

Rarely do I agree with the extreme positions taken by Jerry Falwell, but this is one case where I have to agree with him. Christmas is indeed under siege. Oh, not the secular shopping frenzy that has come to characterize this time of year. No, that is alive and well and doing just fine. Rather, what is under siege is the very reason for this holy season. (Miami Herald: Putting Christmas back in season's greetings).

First of all, this is not a "holiday season" so stop greeting me with Happy Holidays. Nothing, absolutely nothing, offends me more. What we celebrate on December 25th is not some secular holiday, it is the most sacred Feast of the Nativity. It is the Christian remembrance of the human birth of Christ Divine.

Nothing about this time of year is secular. Jews around the world celebrate Hanukkah, a sacred remembrance of the re-dedication of the holy Temple of Jerusalem. Christians celebrate the Feast of the Nativity, or "Christmas" as it is popularly called. Even for pagans this was a holy period with the religious festivals of Yule and Saturnalia. What is happening today with this secular attempt to degrade this most holy season is both offensive and intolerable.

If you wish me a "Happy Holidays" be prepared for a "Merry Christmas" in return, followed by a lecture on the meaning of this season. For those of non-Christian denominations that have religious holy days this time of year, I welcome and support greetings in your own traditions. They are most certainly in keeping with the spiritual nature of the season. For those that have no religious beliefs, however, spare me the "Happy Holidays." It offends me and is a totally meaningless sentiment.

Much of what has happened to Christmas has been the direct result of corporate greed and avarice. The shopping frenzy that accompanies the Christmas rush not only detracts from the meaning of Christmas, but it is also nothing less than a corporate attempt to profit from a holy day that few businessmen understand or support in the first place. If you truly want to embrace the true nature of Christmas while still providing a gift to your loved ones, then consider a donation to a favorite charity in the name of the person you wish to honor. Nothing could be more Christian. Leave the shopping frenzy to those who see Christmas as a reason to indulge in a meaningless materialistic secular holiday. As for the rest of us, let us remember to put Christ back into Christmas and to keep Him there.

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2 comments :

Alan Fraser said...

I am the standard-model, left-wing, godless communist but my reaction to Christmas is that I simply couldn't be bothered with it. I loathe the music, particularly when it's played in inappropriate places (as in just about anywhere). Is it played in the supermarket so I will buy an extra bag of potato chips. What is that about?

I dislike Christmas but it's largely a practical matter as only single people really get anything out of it. For anyone in any kind of a relationship, no matter what you do during Christmas, you will hurt the other side of the family for doing it.

There is no possible way of getting through Christmas without offending someone even if your intentions are pure as can be. That's why I hate it and it has nothing at all to do with what some people consider spiritual about it.

Maggie said...

You are confusing two different things -- the commercialization of Christmas, and the celebration of a traditional holiday on December 25.

It is completely possible to celebrate a non-commercial, traditional holiday on December 25th without being Christian.

Likewise, it is completely possible to go on a buying binge and be a "Christian." I'd guess that most people on the buying binges are "Christian."

Originally this holiday had nothing to do with Christ, as I'm sure you well know. Christians usurped it to fit in with the pagans around the second or third century AD. Christian authorities are well aware that December 25 is nowhere near Christ's actual birthday, as determined by Christian scholars and scientists separately.

Stop shoving your Christianity down other people's throats. Truly your opinions are ugly and intolerant and not particularly Christian.