War ON Christmas?
All my life I’ve heard about “The War on Christmas”. This year it occurred to me that it’s not a War ON Christmas but a War FOR Christmas and Santa has won.
A couple of things happened this year to make me realize this. Mostly I was inundated with exclamations of “Don’t tell ME ‘Happy Holidays!’ JESUS is the REASON for the SEASON!” It’s just plain RUDE to give a snide response to a cheery greeting!
We spent more than a month “Keeping CHRIST in CHRISTmas” while reading news reports of people being spit on, pepper sprayed, stabbed, shot, and otherwise attacked or murdered… all to get the best deal on next year’s landfill offerings. Then I’ll hear someone bragging, “Oh, whoa is me when the bill comes in January!” while they are dropping a few coins in the charity kettle.
Now thoroughly annoyed I learn that multiple churches have opted to close rather than celebrate Christ’s Mass! Seriously? Churches have closed their doors so their congregants can stay home and have a sunrise Sacred Rite by drawing a circle of train tracks or wrapping paper or ribbons around that most Pagan of Winter Solstice symbols, the brightly lit Evergreen tree, while eating the monkey bread flesh and drinking the egg nog blood of Santa and tearing the sacrificial paper to discover the Gifts of the Claus? Really, churches? On SUNDAY???
Before I continue, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not a churchgoer. This is not about my beliefs, which are irrelevant to this issue. This is a discussion of people who pay lip service to Jesus while actually worshipping Santa.
To these people I’d like to offer an alternative. You can tell your children that Santa is angry about the hypocrisy and the closed churches and this year he’ll only give presents to children when they’re at service! Put the kids in the car, do the Santa thing, go to church, then YAY! Toys!
I’ve also heard that Christmas is about sacrifice. I’m not quite convinced that maxing the credit cards and spending yourself into debt is technically a sacrifice. How about everyone go out shopping, purchase their prized gift of the year, then give it to charity? Of course, most families couldn’t afford 2 HDTVs or 2 IPads so be creative!
Full disclosure again: I don’t really care what holiday you celebrate. Most pre-Christian religions and civilizations celebrate a virgin birth at the winter solstice. I will wish you a “Merry”, “Happy”, “Festive”, “Blessed”, anything and I appreciate good wishes back rather than snide comments! If I say “Blessed Yule” and you reply “Festive Saturnalia”, I’m good with that.
Just perhaps between now and next shopping season, if you realize you’ve been paying lip service to Jesus while worshipping Santa, maybe we can begin to remember peace, love, generosity, sacrifice… the messages that are pretty universally brought by winter solstice children of virgins and Gods. Or not. Presents are way more fun!