Well, it’s that time again, but this is nothing new. For centuries, perhaps as early as 1565, children, especially those in countries blessed with the benefits of Judeo-Christian culture, have looked forward to this time. Many adults, despite the multitude of tasks and expenses associated with it, also look forward to this time. People seem to be friendlier and strangers smile and speak to one another.
Yes, it’s Christmas time again; but for some people that is a major problem. Apparently, to be “fair to everyone” (except Christians), we must partition the Christmas season. In public schools it is no longer “Christmas break”; it is now “winter break.” No longer can employees in many stores wish the people (doing Christmas shopping) a “Merry Christmas,” but they must utilize the politically correct “happy holidays.” After all, you wouldn’t want to offend anyone (except Christians), would you?
“Civil libertarians” are extremely zealous in their quest to “protect the rights, feelings and sensibilities of (some of) the citizenry” by banning any (God forbid?) “religious” inferences. Christmas must be seen as a secular season, lest it offend someone. While it is totally acceptable to celebrate Kwanzaa or Hanukkah and while atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus are all free to celebrate their specific holidays (thus far), Christmas is somehow offensive because it is seen as a Christian celebration. This somehow “violates the Constitution” (a document drafted by an overwhelmingly large number of men who believed in the God of Christmas.
This Christmas could be a little different. News flashes of Santa’s sleigh, led by Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, flying over the head of Frosty the Snowman, could be interspersed with more news of another North Korean long-range rocket being fired, or more rockets fired into Israel from the “peaceful Palestinians” in Gaza; “Silent Night, Holy Night” could be shattered by the sound of suicide bombers and other terrorists dying for their religious beliefs; children’s choirs alternated with news media coverage of children (mostly Palestinian) from the war zones. The beautiful song, “White Christmas,” could be interrupted by the sounds of Israeli jets bombing the Iranian nuclear facilities, being built in secret underground sites for the stated purpose of destroying Israel.
In the Middle East, the actual birthplace of Christmas, there could be conferences and negotiations between various “ethnic groups” in a vain attempt to bring peace to a region torn asunder by those who refuse to recognize the legitimate state of Israel. Politicians and government leaders negotiate endlessly the minutia of another “cease-fire,” which will immediately be broken by forces hostile to the very concept of the peace they claim to seek.
Is it just me, or does it seem ironic that into one of the most ethnically diverse, war-torn, strife-ridden area of the world should be born “the Prince of peace”? Maybe we’re missing something; could there be something in the following passage we have overlooked?
And it came to pass in those days, that they went out decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. This taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria; and all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David): to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night, And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men (Luke 2:1-14 KJV).
Aha, there it is! The solution! Simply stated: Christmas is the day set aside by a specific group of people to celebrate the birth of a particular individual. Henceforth, why not agree with the purpose? No more upset atheists and agnostics. (They can even let Charlie Brown out of the courtroom.)
We simply dispense with “Merry Christmas” and replace it with “Happy Birthday, Jesus!”