The War on Christmas has been going on for a decade or so now, and though it may not rage with quite the fury it once did, it still serves everyone’s interests. The conservative Christians who gear up for the war every year get to feed their sense of persecution and the belief that their lives are a righteous struggle against the large and sinister forces working to destroy them. Conservative media get something to shake their fists at them for a couple of months. And the rest of us get to feel superior and mock them for being so ridiculous…
For most of this country’s history, Christianity was so dominant in American life that no one else’s culture needed to be considered in anything but an occasional way. If there were prayers in school, then of course they would be Christian prayers. If there were signs out for the holidays, of course they’d acknowledge only the Christian holiday.
But as the country grew more diverse in all kinds of ways, ignoring the growing minority of non-Christians no longer seemed like the neighborly thing to do. So among other things, department stores decided that to be inclusive and welcoming to everyone, they’d put up signs reading “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
Now that it is officially the Christmas season I need to get this post off my chest. First off I will proclaim that I am an avid follower of Jesus Christ and I certainly celebrate his coming to earth. What I am going to write here may get some of my readers riled at me. But I’m sick of the thing that always goes around this time of year complaining about not being allowed to say “Merry Christmas”!
I have lived long enough to realize that until relatively recently “Merry Christmas” was the only symbol for the month of December. It was in every store and most all December advertisements. How come things are changing?
Almost every culture throughout history have celebrated this time of year. Here is a little about why from Wiki:
The Winter Solstice is the day where there is the shortest time between the sun rising and the sun setting. It happens on December 21st or 22nd. To pagans this meant that the winter was over and spring was coming and they had a festival to celebrate it and worshipped the sun for winning over the darkness of winter. In Scandinavia, and some other parts of northern Europe, the Winter Solstice is known as Yule and is where we get Yule Logs from. In Eastern europe the mid-winter festival is called Koleda.
Part of my roots is native-American so I will site an example. Soyal is a traditional solstice celebration which is held by the Hopi Indians on the day and night of the winter solstice. Many cultures all over the world celebrate the solstice since the shortest day of the year carries a lot of symbolism for cultures which live by the cycles of the seasons. For the Hopi, the Soyal ceremony is one of the most important ceremonies of the year…
I did a study and found dozens of holidays in different cultures for this time of year. Since we are a nation of diversity more so than ever now it just makes sense to not focus exclusively on just one of them. Contrary to some of the ranters it is not illegal to say “Merry Christmas” but don’t get upset that other cultures among our American population celebrate other things too. The term “Happy Holidays” includes them without degrading the usual Christmas cheer. We are quickly becoming a nation of minorities so just get used to sharing this holiday season with others. I know that some Christians are upset that they don’t have exclusive control of the holiday season anymore but all I can say about that is “Get Over it”.