Brenda J. Verner is a nationally known media analyst on racial and women's issues, a former talk radio and cable television host and lecturer at scores of the nation's most prestigious universities. Describing herself as a life-long "Christmas" person, she wrote the books "Happy Birthday Jesus" and "101 Ways to Have a Christian Christmas," adopting the title of The Christian Christmas Lady. Her next book is entitled "101 Ways Christians Can ReclaimMore ↓Less ↑
After watching the shameful, mindless behavior of shoppers being stampeded, like cattle, into stores, in the middle of the night, on (odiously named) “black Friday,” it should be apparent to even the most unsophisticated observer that the American Christmas experience has been hijacked by retailers, who have absolutely no respect nor regard for American life, Christian sensibilities, nor Christmas itself.
The pathetic sight of human beings trampling over other human beings in a frantic frenzy to get “things,” all in the name of Christmas, is gut wrenching.
Who came up with the offensive idea to call the day after Thanksgiving, which is traditionally the opening of the Christmas season, “black Friday”?
Why should the act of retailers making money be given a day of worship? A day, by the way, that intrudes upon Thanksgiving – the day set aside to thank and worship God for the bountiful blessing He has bestowed upon this nation.
Retailers apparently want to show us the power they wield to undercut our spiritual experiences and religious rituals by wrenching us out of our mode of thankfulness and gratefulness to God with their incessant cattle-call advertisements right before and on Thanksgiving Day. They lure us away from our families and friends to participate in an obscene exercise in greed and dehumanization. They show no respect for our virtuous cultural folkways. Their demand that we worship them and the things they want to sell us.
“Black Friday” is an ominous day that also desecrates the opening day of the Christmas season – a time that promotes “peace on earth, and good will towards men.” The day that opens the season focused on the most important event to occur in human history, the birth of Jesus Christ, is now being contested by a day designated for the worship of conspicuous consumption with the brazenly stated goal of filling the coffers of retailers. Far too many retailers are incredibly arrogant and disrespectful of the cultural hand that feeds them.
It is no coincidence that these are the same people who have banished the Nativity from their store windows and catalogs. The same people who have banished Jesus Christ from their Thanksgiving Day parades (which use to be called Christmas parades) and replaced Him with a fat man in a red suit who also offers our children something for nothing, if they would only believe in him.
These are the same people who have instructed their employees to refrain from uttering our traditional cultural season greeting of “Merry Christmas.” They have not only made “Merry Christmas” verboten, they have expunged the word “Christmas” from their corporate speech and have replaced it with the Christian culture-killing term – “holiday.”
Make no mistake about this: A large percentage of retailers, along with the Hollywood elite and anti-Christian politicians who have seeded our court system with their minions, have long since declared war on the fabric of American life, which is Christian culture.
Christian Christmas, the Nativity, the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ, is the crux of the Christian identity, which is the reason it has come under unceasing attacks by anti-Christ forces who are attempting to use our laws to de-Christianize American history and the American public square.
Of course, the looming question is, “What can we do about this situation? How can we fix it?”
There are probably many ways to approach workable solutions. When the Christian majority puts its collective mind towards solving this enigma, we will see effective solutions enacted. Organization is the key to turning back Christmas defamations. Standing organizations aimed at instituting cultural and political curriculums designed to re-educate retailers, the Hollywood elite and hostile political activists to the sensibilities of the overwhelming Christian majority in our nation will generate positive change.
On an individual basis, be can refuse to participate in undignified Christmas behavior. We can commit to make people the central focus of our Christmas celebrations – not things. Our focus should be on the edification of Christ and lovingly interacting with the people in our lives at this “most wonderful time of the year.”
We can create comforting Christmas memories, without debt, stress or chaos. We can give baked goods and modest handmade gifts as tokens of our love of God and respect for the irreplaceable fellowship of family and friends.
When I envision my childhood memories of Christmas, I don’t remember things. I remember the church services, the smiles on the faces of the people I knew. I remember the smells and sounds of my mother and aunt cooking in the kitchen. I remember pomegranates, oranges and apples and the Christmas ritual of cracking nuts. I see the bubble lights on the tree with the village under the tree. I remember the warm coziness of our house while watching Frank Sinatra in “The Bells of Saint Marys,” Spencer Tracy in “Boys Town,” and of course Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and Natalie Wood in “Miracle on 34th Street.” Also, somehow in my mind, Andy Williams was synonymous with Christmastime. I remember the beauty, gentleness and the quiet.
There were no Christmas Wars, no Christmas insults by the non-Christians, no laundry list of what we couldn’t do to recognize Christ at Christmas.
We can have an acceptable Christ-focused Christmas in the American public square once again. However, must be willing to pay the price to make it happen; and we must diligently protect it once we have acquired it.
I , the Christian Christmas Lady, wish you all a delightful 2011 Christmas Advent.
And may you have the very merriest Christmas. Please visit WND’s Christmas Superstore. Buy a bumper sticker or a history book that boldly proclaims we do have a valuable heritage that is worth knowing and preserving. Don’t forget my book, “101 Ways to Have a Christian Christmas.”