The Words of the Moffitt Family
Sick And Tired Of Xmas - Commentary: San Viejo's Journey
December 19, 2005
UPI Religion & Spirituality Forum
WASHINGTON, December 19 (UPI) -- I keep reading about schools and churches "calling off Christmas" this year. Schools are doing it in the name of diversity. They don't want to offend those whose religion doesn't include Christmas. I have never met a non-Christian offended by the celebration of Christmas. Likewise, I have never met a non-Muslim offended by Ramadan or a non-Jew offended by Passover. We are long accustomed to being a diverse culture, so gimme a break.
In addition, a number of Christian churches are canceling their Christmas service (which falls on a Sunday this year) so people can stay home with their families. That sounds laudable at first blush, but don't Christmas and church sort of go hand-in-hand? What with Christmas being more or less "about" Jesus and all? But I also understand the cancellation of the services. People are simply worn out by the "happy holidays" hype that now begins at the end of August.
Which brings me to my real problem with Christmas. It's the same thing that bothers everybody. Christmas is a total money-grubbing feeding frenzy and is not publicly celebrated anymore in the context of its origin.
Many Christians are so thrilled by the fact that Macy's ads started mentioning the word, "Christmas" again, as though this means Macy's recognizes Christ as being the "reason for the season." Macy's doesn't recognize jack. Macy's is savvy to the fact that nobody is offended by the use of the word, "Christmas" in an ad, and Christians like it. Therefore, win-win. That the word "Christmas" contains the word "christ" is simply a coincidence anymore. What's important to Macy's is that the word "Christmas" contains the sound -- cha-CHING.
Where does anyone think "Happy Birthday, Jesus?" They do in their hearts, in their families, in their churches. That's fine. Good for them.
But the rest of the world has been carrying on since the end of summer with window tinsel and relentless jingle bellery and jolly festiveness like little Shirley Temple on speed, tap-dancing a thousand miles an hour. Will someone kindly slow the room down, please? If this is the way it's going to be, let's jettison Christmas. We can call it "Xmas." Or we can even still call it "Christmas." Or hey, we can call it "Aunt Betty." But let's separate the feeding frenzy from Jesus' birthday party.
Since we don't know for sure when Jesus was born, let's celebrate it in February. Or May. We'll call the new holiday Jesus' Birthday. No presents, no hype. All we will take with us are those Christmas carols that are specifically about his birth.
What's sad is that the only thing that took my mind off the seasonal insanity was encountering something even shallower. Going through the supermarket checkout stand I noticed no fewer than four major pubs with photos and headlines of some combination of Jennifer Aniston/Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt on the covers. Maybe that's worse than Christmas commercialism because it goes on all year long. And when it's not that trio, it's Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton etc., over and over and over.
The only checkout stand publication to get the real story of the day was the Weekly World News tabloid. Their headline blazed: "Miller Lite TV Guy is a Werewolf." Not only that, but they had dramatic before-and-after photos.
The other headline on that same issue said, "Frozen Civil War Soldiers Brought Back to Life." The thought that popped into my head when I read that was that this newly-awakened brigade of innocents is going to be easy prey for those spammed Nigerian get-rich-quick scams and manhood enhancement ads you get in your email.
Then I got a mental image of a tattered horde running around partially decomposed and completely ignorant of the modern world -- with 19th century job skills, larger-than-average private parts and terrible table manners.
Suddenly my seasonal depression over the crassness of Christmas, seemed insignificant.
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