Sunday, December 25, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

From today’s Mobile Register:

What day is it? It’s Christmas Day
Sunday, December 25, 2024
Special to the Register

Merry Christmas. I hope that you and yours are having a blessed day.

Today, those of us who are Christians celebrate the miraculous mystery of the Incarnation, a central tenet of our faith.

Do note that the world around us has largely stopped to commemorate the day. If you have been out of your home today, or will be out later, the only traffic you are likely to see will be people going to the homes of family members and folks going to church. Indeed, traffic (so to speak) will be heavier today than most Christmases, since this year it falls on Sunday.

Dec. 25 is really only one of two days (Thanksgiving being the other) wherein the hyper-kinetic United States comes as close to stopping as it ever does. Think about that the next time you think that there is a war on Christmas.

Is there politically correct nonsense that pops up this time of year? Yes, there is. But really, when it boils right down to it, does anybody really doubt that today is Christmas Day, and has anyone been stopped from celebrating the day as they see fit?

Much has been made of the idea that there is a “war” on Christmas. Some people make it sound as if there is truly a concerted effort to remove the word from the national lexicon.

More accurately, I would argue that there is a concerted effort to sell books and raise the ratings of cable news channels and radio talk shows.

The main problem, it seems, is that some commercial outlets are opting for the more generic “Happy Holidays” slogan over the more specific “Merry Christmas.” There are also the normal examples of political correctness that can be marshaled, such as “holiday trees” (yes, Auburn SGA, I’m looking at you) and other nonsense.

Not only does the change create an awkward locution, but really, how many people are truly offended by the phrase “Christmas tree”? Very, very few, I would wager.

Still, the main concern this year seems to be whether or not “Merry Christmas” is being deployed.

First off, I have a confession to make. I have been known to say “Happy Holidays” — not all the time, but often. It has always struck me as a nice contraction of “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” as well as an acknowledgment that not everyone celebrates the same holidays.

This has always struck me as wholly harmless. However, I have recently been informed that the phrase is part of a secret war to purge Christmas from the national memory banks, or something like that.

In truth, it’s more a fight to see who can be the most offended. The irony is that the alleged reason that some people say “Happy Holidays” is to avoid offending people — and now some Christians have decided that they are in fact the more offended parties and have begun to protest in kind.

Such an argument doesn’t exactly reinforce the idea of “peace on Earth and good will toward men,” does it?

Also, as we decide whether it is worthwhile to get upset about the formulation “Happy Holidays” because we think it might be dismissing Christ, I think we Christians also have to admit to ourselves that not everything we do at this time of the year, or on the 25th specifically, is truly focused on contemplating and celebrating the Incarnation.

Trees, lights, holly, stacks of gifts, big meals, reindeer, family gatherings, jolly old elves, Jimmy Stewart, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and the like really have precious little to do with the Gospel of Luke, Chapter Two.

And as we all know, it isn’t even the right time of year to have the celebration if we want to be historically accurate.

Much of Christmas, as we commemorate it in the United States, has acquired meanings and practices that really are far from Christ-centric.

Whether this fact is a good, bad or neutral thing is a debate for another time, but it is, nevertheless, a fact.

Of course, such issues get to what I think is the real issue, and the one that people of faith overlook, and that is: Where should we be looking for spiritual reinforcement and religious guidance?

Do we really need to acquire it from a cashier at Target? Is Christmas meaningless if the banner at Wal-Mart doesn’t say “Merry Christmas”?

Do we really look to retail outlets for our religious messages?

Also, if Christ is the king of universe, is he really going to be daunted by the fact that the local department store is plastered with “Happy Holidays”? I think not.

In this country, where religious liberty allows Christianity to flourish, it seems petty and unnecessary to get worked up about such issues.

Don’t worry about the retailers. They exist to sell us stuff, not to bolster our faith.

So again: A blessed Christmas to you all. Try not to get upset over the trivial, and focus instead on what is really important.

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5 Responses to “PoliColumn: Christmas Wars”

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    1. Kingdaddy Says:

      All the best to you and your family this holiday season. Keep up the good work, both on this blog and in the rest of your life.

    2. bryan Says:

      Maybe it’s just me, but it seemed like there was a lot more traffic this year than I’ve seen in the past.

    3. reliapundit Says:


      The frontpage of the NYTIMES “SUNDAY STYLES” section features a HUGE 3/4-page photo of an UPSIDE DOWN CHRISTMAS TREE, and three (3) featured articles, each “lampooning” the traditional celebrations of Christmas, Hannukah and New Year’s Eve (under the main title: “HOLIDAYS ON THEIR HEADS”).

      These 3 “lampoons” are blatantly anti-traditional, blatantly anti-West and explicitly NIHILIST, though they pose as elitist cynicism – (a POSE so typical of the atheistic chic degenerati). Here are links to and excerpts from the articles:

      (1) DISCOVERING AULD ANGST SYNE – trashes New year’s Eve):

      “My big existential realization happened in a swift, barn-crushing fashion. Suddenly, when I looked at the people in Times Square on TV, they seemed to be laughing in slow motion, their voices now deepened, as if in some kind of nightmare sequence. “Haaaa haaaa haaaa!” they cried, basso profundo. What were they laughing about? Life was no laughing matter; it was serious, terrible, dark as an endless night. There was no hope for any of us.”

      (2) WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT MERRY – trashes Christmas:

      “For years, like many other deluded and self-styled elves of the season, I labored to whip up jollity. … A person less like my mother than John Waters is hard to imagine. Yet I like to think that her kooky 1960′s blue mood had the same counter-cultural brio that has made Mr. Waters such a valued gift from Baltimore to the world. I don’t know whether Mr. Waters even bothers with a Christmas tree. But he is religious about sending out cards each season, and this year’s is a mug shot of him in a Santa hat, looking a lot less like Kris Kringle than like a pervert posted on Neighborhood Alert.

      I will treasure that card, the way I hold dear the image of my tipsy mother waltzing around her melancholy tree. I like to imagine that, were she still alive, she would have evolved her approach to the point where, in place of the woozy holiday compilations by crooner ghosts of the 1940′s, she would be hanging her oddball ornaments to the corrosive sounds of Denis Leary singing “Have Yourself a Merry Bleeping Christmas” (although bleeping is not the actual word he employs).”

      (3) THE FESTIVAL OF LOOT – trashes Hannukah (and Yom Kippur):

      “True, we Borowitzes may not have been terribly observant in a religious sense, but we embraced all of the most important aspects of Jewish life: love, family and food. Especially on Yom Kippur.”

      The editorial gist of the three pieces, and the accompanying graphic: “The NYTIMES editors and writers and readers are sophisticated, atheistic, jaded, cynical and very intelligent. If you are an unabashed believer in traditonal religious celebrations, then you’re an unsophistcated rube.”

      By running this HUGE anti-Christmas graphic and these 3 anti-traditional attack pieces ON CHRISTMAS DAY – which is also the first day of HANNUKAH – the editors of the NYTIMES PROVE that they are, more than anything else, repulsed by tradition, and fanatical in their desire to radically alter America and make it secular to the point of being an atheistic nation HOSTILE to true believers.

      The NYTIMES is BLATANTLY “COUNTER-CULTURALIST” and the culture they’re “countering” is traditional our Judeo-Christian culture.

      The editors of the NYTIMES have no respect for us believers, and no shame. WHICH IS WHY THEY ARE TRUE LEFTISTS. And total scum.

      (Do you think I’m too sensitive?! Do you think I should just excuse their attempt at “humor?” I say no.

      And I say, I’ll take it all back only when the NYTIMES starts to ridicule homosexuals, communists, jihadoterrorists and multi-culturalist liberals.)

      [I am a native NY'er, a registered Democrat since 1974 - but a Zell Miller/Joe Lieberman Democrat -
      and I grew up on the NYTIMES. And I read it everyday - to find out what THE ENEMY is up to!]

    4. SamRocha Says:

      Very nice article, I enjoyed your treatment of this issue, I will be posting a link to it on my Blog and will cite you accordingly…
      Merry Christmas

    5. Jen Says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s about time someone said it!

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