Every year now it seems like the beautiful, magical spirit of the Christmas season is diluted somewhat by the constant accusations put forth by some people about the “war on Christmas”. I hear people talk about it, or see something on TV, or read posts or articles about this war almost every day during the Christmas season, and that has been the case for the last two or three years.
And often, I see accusations that this or that (non-Christian) religious group are trying to take Christmas away from those who enjoy it, because “they” are (allegedly) offended. The odd thing is, I never see anything from any non-Christian religious group doing that. So, how is it known that they are trying to wage a war on Christmas? You see, if you find something offensive, and want to see an end put to it, you kinda have to let people know. And, for something as huge, appealing, established, globally widespread, and massively lucrative as Christmas, you really need do that in a very large way. In a way that will be noticed. By everyone. Like politicians, lobbying groups, etc.
Because, otherwise, you would have no hope of ever bringing about the change or partial-ban or total ban that you want. I’m not seeing any evidence of this being done by members of other religions. All I’m seeing is these other religions being accused of waging a war.
So here is my theory. None of them are actually doing, or want, anything of the sort. In reality (I suspect), some misguided people who have issues with other religions want to generate more false reasons for resenting them, so they start circulating these fake memes, stories, etc. that claim that some group wants to ban this or that aspect of Christmas. Which, for the record, is not a very Christ-like thing to do. So, if you’ve done that, you’re actually a hypocrite and not a true Christian at all.
Once those things are posted, someone else looks at them, takes them at face value, has a knee jerk reaction, and re-posts, or forwards it on, and perpetuates the myth. Some of these memes, etc. seem to suggest that unless we share this information, and/or do something else to prevent it, “they” will win. First, Christmas is too big. It’s a vast machine with a life of it’s own that cannot be stopped. By anyone. Second, as noted, other world religions are not actually trying to ban anything. So we don’t need to do anything to prevent our Christmas being taken away by another religion as none of them have any interest in doing that. In fact, the evidence seems to me that members of other religions feel that if they can celebrate their holidays, Christians should be able to do likewise.
In addition, I also see similar claims made about this or that organization or company, that they also want to ban this or that aspect of Christmas. Again, I have my doubts. I see the “look at what they are trying to do!” claims, but I never see the actual efforts on the part of the cited organizations.
Granted, from time to time, a radical fringe group might try something whacky. A non-mainstream organization or a rogue politician might take up a misguided cause to negatively tinker with Christmas. But, these efforts are hardly worthy of suggesting that there is an actual war on Christmas, and if we don’t give them the attention that they are seeking, they won’t succeed!
And yes, sure, some songs or cartons or whatever may drop out of circulation, or be deemed, for some reason, to no longer be appropriate. Absurd? In many cases (at least the ones I’m aware of), yes. Totally insane. Worthy of trying to reverse? Quite probably. But that is a whole other issue, and is not at all limited to Christmas.
It is also true that some retailers, etc. may tap in the Christmas season with more general terminology or imagery. But that is understandable as our demographics change and we, as a civilized society strive to be more inclusive. I say let everyone feel the magic of the Christmas season, and you know what? Perhaps in time, as they become more and more comfortable with it, they might just decide that they have no issue with the more blatant Christmas stuff. In fact, I honestly don’t think they do now. The retailers are just being made to think that some people are; and are therefore being cautious. But, if we stop making a big deal out of it, these trends we are seeing may just reverse!
The only war on Christmas I see is the one that is constantly being waged by people who continually claim, with fear and resentment, that there is a war on Christmas. No, there isn’t, other than the one you’re fostering yourself. Because all the fuss you are creating is what is actually diminishing the spirit and magic of this time of year. Nobody can take your traditional Christmas experience away from you. Only you can do that.
And the more I think about it, the more I think of the classic cartoon “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. I think about it for two reasons. First, I wonder, who is really stealing Christmas now? Second, if there is one thing I learned from that show, it is this: the true meaning of Christmas does not come from a store, but perhaps means a little bit more (paraphrased). So, even if “Christmas” was somehow hijacked from us, if we remember what Christmas is truly all about, it cannot truly ever be taken from us.