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December 22, 2008

Ah, it’s that time of year. The time of commercialism and gift-giving. The time of holiday cheer and good tidings for all.

A lovely Christmas scene

A lovely Christmas scene

Yes, Christmas. There are a lot of things that annoy me about Christmas though. Even though it’s just a few days before Christmas, please, hear my rant. Yes, the iconic Christmas television programs are really annoying (everyone seems to love A Christmas Story, but I despise it). Caroling is almost worse. And eggnog…uggh. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just overreacting, but eggnog is disgusting. And people want to drink an alcoholic version of it?

But there are two things that particularly annoy me about Christmas-time…and these are things that don’t really have to do with Christmas at all. First, is the “War on Christmas.” I haven’t seriously been keeping up on this, so I don’t even know if it’s official, but recently, there has been a trend to make Christmas-time politically correct. Of course, Christmas isn’t “politically correct,” because it slights all non-Christians, allegedly. It slights those who celebrate Hannukah, or Kwanzaa (don’t get me started on Kwanzaa, but you do realize that holiday was made up out of thin air? it’s even less legitimate than most holidays), or Winter Solstice, or whatever else. And people have gotten offended because of so much religious talk. So, people have fought to have “Merry Christmas” replaced with innocuous replacements like “Happy Holidays”. See?

The Trophy of Political Correctness

Happy Holidays: The Trophy of Political Correctness

I don’t mean to be a scrooge or anything, but I have some problems with political correctness. Like tolerance, I think political correctness is a tool that was meant originally to help some group, but which really hurt the group in the long run. If people tolerate, they don’t have to accept. They can still think what terrible things they want, as long as they speak and act politically correctly.

BUT…that’s not what this is about.

Where was I? So, the War on Christmas. Why do I have a problem with this? Should I really care about people fighting for their rights…or fighting to feel comfortable? Or something like that?

Well, I have no real sympathy. It’s because…Christmas isn’t an offensive holiday. It isn’t a preferential holiday. I’ve had Christians ask if atheists can celebrate Christmas, and I just have to blankly stare at these people (it’s almost like the time someone asked me if atheists can marry.) See…Christmas isn’t a Christian holiday. It’s a neutral holiday of consumerism — anyone can participate because anyone’s money is good.

What’s the symbol of Christmas? I’ll show you:

Santa Claus

Santa Claus

I hope you weren’t expecting Jesus.

Santa, by the way, is public domain, so he truly is an equal opportunity symbol for everyone. At least, it works out for Coca-Cola because they don’t have to pay any royalties to put him on their cans.

That brings me to my least favorite thing about Christmas though: the people who would like to remind us that the holidays should be about Jesus. So, not only do we have a War on Christmas from one side (based on a lie of what Christmas means), but we have a competing war on Christmas from the other side (that perpetuates that lie). I mean…giving gifts is not a bad deal and people are still whining about it. I suppose it would be one thing if these guys were just harping about commercialism (there are people who are opposed to Christmas for that reason), but the Christians who want to “retake Christmas” would exchange *my* gifts with…the birth of our Saviour?  Perhaps if the Christian idea of Christmas involved the active giving of gold, frankincense, and myrrh…

I don’t really rage about this in real life or anything. I really don’t care too much — it’s just a day of the year. I’m not that sentimental of a person or anything, but it confuses me that there are people who care so much that they have some concern that this holiday isn’t being focused on Jesus. As if Christmas was ever about Jesus.

Once upon a time, I would have said something like, “Why wait for one day to think about Christ when you ought to be thinking about him every day?” I guess that’s a more positive and Christian-friendly message to end with.

(P.S. What’s crazy funny is how I can anticipate that…if there are people who stumble upon this page, at least a few of them are going to be indignant of my irreverance. I really shouldn’t be this inflammatory.)

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One Comment
  1. lol. I hate A Christmas Story too. And Christmas Vacation. About the war on Christmas: I’ve never actually met anyone who was offended by the phrase “Merry Christmas”, but I hear conservative talk show hosts spouting off about it all the time. I think they’re blowing this out of proportion because it’s easier than coming up with something legit to talk about.

    To add force to your last point, Christmas originated as a pagan celebration commemorating Sol Invictus and Mithras, both of them sun deities. Many of our Christmas symbols are rooted in pagan practices. The “Christian” aspect of the holiday has always been something of a superficial overlay.

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