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Monday, December 12, 2011

The War on Christmas: Is Jesus STILL the Reason for the Season??!

Full disclosure: I was raised in a Southern Baptist church. I learned about Santa Claus in school. I got in trouble for telling a few students that Santa was not real. I wasn't allowed to believe in Santa Claus bringing gifts through our chimney because the story  did not make sense to us. Our home in Florida didn't have a fireplace or a chimney so a jolly fat guy in a red suit coming down our chimney with presents just wasn't possible.  I was taught Jesus blessed my parents with the means to purchase presents for me. I was allowed to shop with my parents and pick out my own toys. My Christmas list was composed during commercial breaks when I looked at toy ads and said, "I want that one too daddy." The presents were wrapped and put under our tree and I opened them on Christmas morning. Christmas was about celebrating the birth of Jesus and that is what we did. It was not about what gifts you received, it was about celebrating Jesus. 
Now that we have that out of the way...MOVING.ON. 

In recent weeks, I have noticed an increase in stories regarding Christmas and people who are offended by "Christmas." It has made me so sick and tired of hearing the back and forth that I decided to write a post about it. Read it if you dare...

Christmas begins with CHRIST for a reason. The book of Matthew in the Bible tells the story of the birth of Jesus and although the bible does not give a specific date, it is celebrated as occurring on December 25.   

Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth by attending church, exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, sharing meals with loved one and awaiting the arrival of Saint Nick. 

December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. 

My observation about every report exploring the war on Christmas can be summed up with one word: RIDICULOUS. If you don't want to celebrate the birth of Jesus, then don't celebrate! Its really that simple. I understand retailers and money hungry companies capitalize on the season, but that doesn't mean you have to give in. If you don't celebrate Christmas, put a condom over your heart and protect your feelings.  Stop being so darned sensitive. People should not be forced to walk on pins and needles because they are afraid of how others will react after hearing, "Have a Merry Christmas!" 

I don't ever hear people complaining when they get a day off, but they start to complain about the reason for the day off. If you don't want to celebrate Christmas, ask for a work assignment. 
Whats next? 
St. Patrick's Day is an Irish holiday. Will people be offended by the tradition to wear green and drink green beer? 

Will people be offended by St. Valentine's Day when they don't have a Valentine to celebrate with?

What about President's Day? Martin Luther King Day? Independence Day? Juneteenth? 

To play Devil's Advocate (and be fair), I know it must be frustrating to have something that you don't believe in forced upon you.  I get that. I really do get that. The feeling of a forced celebration is reason enough to ask others to respect your beliefs by not saying "Merry Christmas" to you. Its enough to tell people to respect your "Holiday Tree" and "Holiday gift exchange." I respect that adjustments must be made for people who have religious beliefs that prevent them from attending the company "Christmas Party." The jist of it is Americans are self-centered and selfish. We have a tendency to only think of ourselves and not totally consider the feelings of others. 

You should be able to enjoy your day off without feeling guilty for the reason you got the day off. You should be able to celebrate your family during the holidays without being forced to engage in a sacred religious holiday. Make sure everyone in your household understand this so you don't feel guilty for not celebrating. 

You should not be forced to celebrate because of what your children are taught in school. 
Your children should not feel isolated because they don't celebrate Christmas. 

America's national religion is Christianity. Regardless of what people may claim, we don't relate to other religions all that well. We are so comfortable in our Christianity that we don't always take significant time to learn about other religions. Why else would we question how Mitt Romney's mormonism will affect his ability to lead? Why else would there be a tv show called All American Muslim?  

Devil's advocate time over. 

Jesus IS the reason for the season. His birthday is nationally accepted to be on December 25(although there is some dispute about the actual day). If you don't follow the religion based upon the teachings of Jesus, then don't celebrate his birth. 

If you celebrate Christmas, celebrate Christmas. 
If you celebrate Hanukkah, celebrate Hanukkah. 
If you celebrate Kwanzaa, celebrate Kwanzaa. 

People are so hellbent on being politically correct and not offending people that they continue to explore things that might offend others. Christmas is just another one of those things. Don't let the army of politically correct people take it away from us.  Throw your CHRISTMAS parties. Decorate your CHRISTMAS tree. Attend your company CHRISTMAS party. Allow your loved ones to open their CHRISTMAS gifts. 

You can celebrate in your own way and respect the religious views of others without being offensive or too focused on being PC. 

If you're looking for someone to blame--->Blame retailers for taking advantage of the way the holiday has evolved. They stopped having Christmas sales and removed the word Christmas from their promos. 

In all fairness, retailers have moved up Christmas celebrations so much that it has become obnoxious. Roughly 5-10 years ago, you didn't put up a tree until Black Friday (until after the Thanksgiving turkey is gone). In 2011, people were putting up decorations as early as the day after Halloween. Its absurd. Its enough to turn a regular person into a Scrooge. 

Bah Humbug!

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