Monday, December 05, 2005

It's Christmas, dammit.

I'm tired of this argument:
Please step back as I set up the Improbable Bostonian Soap Box, completely decorated with Christmas wrapping, Christmas ornaments and a big bow.
Awww, that's right, bitches - I said it. I said "Christmas". Take THAT, all of you overly PC goons.
It seems like every year more and more "politically correct" people with nothing better to do with their time attempt to make sure that we as a society de-Christmas Christmas, hopefully allowing all people of all faiths to feel included in "holiday" celebrations. In doing so a Christmas tree becomes a "Holiday tree", we wish people a "Happy Holiday" instead of a "Merry Christmas", yada yada yada.
I don't mean to be indelicate here but what a load of crap.
I understand and accept the separation of Church & State. If Boston was lighting the Christmas Tree on the steps of City Hall at the exclusion of all other faiths then I would take issue with it. However, a Christmas tree being lit on Boston Common is acknowledging that December 25th is Christmas Day. Christmas Day is a nationally recognized holiday and it is celebrated with certain iconic imagery that has become indelibly linked with the day. Yet the idea of a decorated Evergreen tree did not begin when Christ died. In fact, the tradition of the ''holiday tree" predates Christianity.
The ancient Druids of Northern Europe used evergreen boughs as solstice decorations centuries before Christ was even born. At the time of Christ's birth, the Romans decorated evergreen trees and lit candles as part of the Saturnalia, a solstice-related holiday. It seems obvious that early Christians adopted these traditions (as well as MANY others) as their own as a way of incorporating the "old beliefs" into the new religion. Heck, the traditional Christmas tree as we know it was not even part of the tradition until the year 1000 at the earliest. And as recently as the mid-19th century, the Christmas tree was considered an oddity by most American Christians. Yet over time the Christmas Tree has become a symbol of Christmas Day, one that is recognized the world over.
Christmas Day is just that - CHRISTMAS Day. This day is represented by a CHRISTMAS tree, CHRISTMAS cards and CHRISTMAS presents. We'll be having CHRISTMAS dinner at our house and listening to CHRISTMAS Carols while we eat.
I am all for being sensitive to other faiths and beliefs. However, I am not offended by other religious beliefs nor do I expect people to alter their faith to meet my Christian sensibilities. When I see a menorah being displayed I do not expect it to become a "Holiday candelabra" because I am not Jewish. Also, if someone displays their belief in Kwaanza then I will respect that, too. I simply do not expect someone to change their belief system to suit me.
Because I certainly will not change my belief system to suit them.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.


Blogger George Withers said...

Ah .. hmm .. you do realize there is such a thing a de-caffinated coffee .. ;)

2:12 PM, December 05, 2005  
Blogger Andy said...

de-caffeinated coffee? What's that? :-)

3:03 PM, December 05, 2005  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I second George's comment. :-) I have seen a coffee cup with the words "Decaf is the devil's brew"...

Being mindful, though, also implies realizing that Christianity is the dominant religious culture in our country, and so we must not only be mindful of others but move over to make room for their minority voice. I too think the "holiday tree" is just PC-too-far. However misguided this attempt, it is a stab at trying to move over a dominant culture that tends to come on like a steamroller...on caffeine.

So do as you please, of course. But ask yourself: how can we as a nation offer hospitality, as it is defined in the Bible, to those of other faiths and traditions and those of no faith?

I have heard of secular Jews; is there such a thing as a secular Christian? Would you term yourself as that?

7:39 AM, December 06, 2005  
Blogger Andy said...

No, I wouldn't term myself as a secular Christian. and I am completely mindful that mine is not the only belief system at play during this time of year. As a nation I feel we offer hospitality to our citizens by allowing the practice of ALL religions.

The idea of calling a Christmas Tree a "Holiday" tree is ridiculous. If the Christmas Tree is some tpe of religious icon then no one has the right to change what we call it becauser of the religious freedom that we pride ourselves on. If it is just a "Holiday" tree then what holiday does it represent? Hannukah? Kwaanza? Pastarianism?

However, don't you think that Christmas has transcended its religious beginnings? Santa Claus and Christmas sales have long since diluted the original meaning of the day. I'm fairly certain that most of the people wishing a "Merry Christmas" to a store clerk or co-worker are not reminding them that it is the celebration of Christ's birth. In fact, there is probably more religious sincerity coming from friends that wish me a Happy Hannukah then most of those who wish me a Merry Christmas. Does Christmas really need to be diluted any more?

9:10 AM, December 06, 2005  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I don't like having a conversation like this in this way because I can't truly hear your tone of voice nor you hear mine.

You're being very 'black and white' about this. What about this kicked up all this angst? You're beginning to sound like a fundamentalist about Christmas trees.

It's only diluted if we allow it to be. Besides, if the true Christmas message was popular instead of subversive it would lose its power.

So what would you call yourself? I'm curious.

8:19 AM, December 07, 2005  
Blogger Andy said...

I agree - it's always important to hear tone in a conversation.

This issue has nothing to do with the separation of Church and State and everything to do with the fact that I hate it when PC goes too far.

We wouldn't change the name of a Menorrah or any other celebratory religious icon because we would not want to offend those worshippers so why change the name of a Christmas Tree?

Gee, I guess this really does annoy me, doesn't it? :-)

What would I call myself? At this point I'd call myself "disillusioned".

10:44 AM, December 07, 2005  

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