Okay, I'm a day late, I've been busy like many people I'm sure. I'm hoping it was grand for everyone who celebrated. For those who didn't, I hope you either had a good down day or earned some wicked time and a half.
I'm mega late on this rant. I actually saw a great big fight (on Christmas no less) on one of my favourite forums at Chatelaine. It was the annual "Why don't we celebrate Christmas anymore." The fight usually starts like this:
"I'm a Christian, though I'm not a bigot, and I'm upset because people aren't celebrating Christmas properly! I want a Christmas tree, with a Christmas pageant, and my tax dollars going to support Christmas everywhere, and if someone doesn't wish me a Merry Christmas I'm simply going to DIEEEEEEEE!" Actually the big kerfuffle was someone taking offense that a store clerk replied "Thank you" to their "Merry Christmas" apparently this was indicative of how Christmas was being threatened.
Now I recently read an article by a friend about marketing and Christmas and it's an interesting point, his arguments are well thought out and eloquent. I can see his point. Ultimately I don't care if it's called a Holiday Tree or a big green thing with shiny junk on it, but if someone had delivered this message onto the forum, I'd be more apt to listen.
I've made no bones that I'm Christian, however I. Do. Not. Require. People. Celebrate. Christmas. The. Exact. Same. Way. I. Do. If you want to do is secular style go for it, you want to add your own religious traditions to the secular style, go for it. Yep, it's an important holiday for me. I mean, son of God's birthday is a big happening, but I also try to keep in mind of what he stood for. Love, sharing, generosity, tolerance, all that good stuff that seems to get lost in the hub bub of people complaining that they are somehow getting hosed at Christmas because there is a little diversity on how it is celebrated.
And for the record, if you're living in Canada (and if you know what hosed means, chances are, you are) you are not getting hosed! There is no one shouting that you cannot say Merry Christmas or have a Christmas tree or Christmas presents or Christmas songs. In case you haven't been to a mall since September, I think it's pretty clear that Christmas is a big event, for all the wrong reasons in the mall, but it's there, trimmed in green and red and shiny!
And to make this clear for Christians. Christmas is celebrating the birthday of a person who epoused Christian love, forgiveness, understanding. He bucked convention of being xenophobic, classist, racist. Bringing those ideas up to this day and age, is it really so horrible if someone who was non Christian shares goodwill with someone else. Donations to non-profits pile up during Christmas, I know it's not all Christians shelling out. And keep in mind that half of our traditions don't necessarily come from our religion, so when you're ranting about not having a Christmas tree in the town square, you better thank those Pagans for the Christmas greenery, they're also responsible for a lot of the traditions around Easter and Halloween too!
What truly threatens Christmas in my never so humble opinion, is those who rant and rail about sharing this momentous day. Think about the story around it. People brought all sorts of presents to that baby born in the stable, some humble, some grand. People of all types, traditions, cultures and religions celebrated. This is what we are told happened and how we believe. So why are we harping on the same thing happening much later in the calendar and within context of our day and age?
I celebrated Christmas with friends and family. Some Christian, some Pagan, some Muslim. It was a blast, I loved it. They loved it, and we got together for sharing, a great meal, good conversation and forming bonds, love and friendship that unite us as humans, which goes beyond race, creed, class, religion. And if that isn't what Christ would have wanted, then I'll eat this post!