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Friday, 9 November 2007

In Defense of 'Christmas'

Upon setting forth to write a brief defense of the use of the word 'Christmas', I suddenly had a feeling that I had written on this topic before. Checking my archives, I found the following posted on December 4, 2004, which I am now re-posting here:

"Christmas is weird. What other time of the year do you sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?" I'm not defending any of the heathen customs that have come to be associated with the celebration of Christ's birth. But I fear we may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The Bible doesn't say we should celebrate His birth, nor when He was born. But it doesn't say we shouldn't. Isaac Watts wrote many hymns celebrating the future coming of Jesus; hyms like "Joy to the World" These are now mostly considered "Christmas Carols" and not suitable for singing except in December. While this is a shame, it's also a shame to avoid celebrating Christ's birth just because it's associated with Santa Claus. The dreary moths of November, at least in North America and Eurasia, are a good time to celebrate, and what better thing to celebrate than the birth of Christ? I for one think that Christmas is a good time to celebrate his First Coming."

During the three years which have transpired since I posted this, I've forgotten where I found it. It's certainly not the sort of thing I would have written (e.g. 'hyms' and 'moths'). I probably meant to add some commentary to the bottom but never got around to it.

Well, here's my chance. But rather than commenting on the above drivel, I choose to ignore it and go ahead with what I first intended to write when beginning this post. But I'll leave this in place for archival purposes, since I've deleted the post in which it originally appeared.

Should you visit the White Man's homestead on December 25th, January 7th, or any of the other days traditionally associated with the celebration of Christ's Advent, you won't find an evergreen tree in the living room, a nativity set on the mantle, or candles in the windowsill. There will be no wreath on the door, reindeer in the yard, Santa on the roof, or lights framing the windows. You won't be greeted with "Merry Christmas" or even "Happy Holidays." So it would be fairly safe to assume that we don't "celebrate Christmas" at our place. We don't particularly celebrate Ramadan, either, but we definitely know when it occurs, and what to call it. So it is from this perspective that I rise to defend, on strictly legal grounds, the use of the word 'Christmas'.

Every October, citizens of the USA rise up in protest that a certain word is being censored from our national speech. This has been going on for about as long as most people can remember, but every year it seems to get worse. Now it is not allowed, for example, to display an angel on the top of an evergreen tree in the common areas of HUD housing. Or to include the word 'Christmas' on a public school poster. Or to speak of 'Christmas Break' at government universities.

All of this is legalistic balderdash. As a matter of fact, all 50 States and the District of Colombia have set aside December 25th as a holiday, and that holiday does in fact have a name: it is 'Christmas'. And the day before it has a name, too, even though it's not a holiday. Al Qaeda may not have the usual celebrations in mind for the season, but at least they know what to call it, according to FBI spokesman Ross Rice. It is pure hypocrisy to allow the celebration but to refuse to call it what it is.

Christmas is the most banned holiday in history, yet it stubbornly refuses to go away, or submit to being called by any other name.

Even the latest Hurricane to threaten the Atlantic coast bore the Anglo-French version of its name. Perhaps this was allowed only because hurricanes never strike after November 30th.

1 comment:

  1. Well, Well. Another strike against the Christmas-bashers. I suspect that HUD was getting some "free" advice from the ACLU:

    Plant City Living Center attorney Steve Edelstein issued this statement today:
    "I am pleased to report that the Plant City Living Center's recent newsletter regarding holiday decoration policies has been rescinded. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guarantees the rights of citizens to display religious symbols in public. We support that guarantee."
    "I want to take this opportunity to reiterate to you and to inform your readers that Plant City Living Center respects the religious beliefs of all of its residents. In furtherance of that policy, Plant City Living Center allows residents to decorate their apartments and the exterior areas of their apartments in any manner they choose. To use your recent Action Alert as an example, this policy allows any resident to place a small Christmas tree outside their door and to decorate their tree in any way they wish. By the way, Plant City's policy also allows angels to be displayed in common areas."


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