|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Gretch Who Saved the War on Christmas|
For some reason, this week marked the first time in 2010 that I heard mention of this year’s “War on Christmas,” first in church and then in the “Daily Show” clip embedded above. At church this past Sunday, it was proclaimed twice (not by the pastor) that we should all remember that “Jesus is the reason for the season” and that we should all say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays.” In the clip above, Jon Stewart highlights Fox News’ personality Gretchen Carlson as going off on the city of Tulsa, OK for changing the name of their 70-year-old annual “Christmas Parade” to the “Holiday Parade”…back in 2009…
Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand the frustration. Christmas is a holiday celebrating Jesus’ birth and, thus, is a Christian holiday. And this Christian holiday has been hijacked by all these other groups, including the atheists that believe in Santa Claus, or the Jews and their Hanukkah celebration. We should all stand up against this onslaught and proudly exclaim “Merry Christmas” to everyone, and help ensure that we get a “Merry Christmas” back instead of the more generic “Happy Holidays” (you know, ’cause there’s only one real holiday…so we can’t make it plural). <end sarcasm here>
As the last half of the video above suggests, this trend is hardly new. If you watch many of the old classic Christmas movies, including “Rudolph,” “A Christmas Carol,” “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” etc., you won’t find much mention of Jesus. Only “A Charlie Brown Christmas” comes to mind in mentioning it at all, with the iconic recitation of the Christmas story by Linus, but that still only lasts a few minutes compared with the rest of the plot line. Why, exactly, these TV and radio personalities are so uppity about it in recent years is beyond me. It’s been happening for decades.
What Carlsson, and many, many others, fail to understand is that Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t actually born on December 25th, and that the date was (likely?) chosen by Rome because of other festivals occurring around the Winter Solstice; or the fact that Hanukkah predates Christmas by almost two centuries. These people miss the fact that the very idea of “Christmas” has become something more to the general population of the world.
A time of peace. A time of giving and sharing. A time of remembering and helping the less fortunate. A time for friends and family. A time to end hostilities between you and your neighbor. A time to think back on those that have gone before you, and a time to watch new lives grow.
I’d be willing to bet that Jesus would rather you love and remember your neighbor, instead of getting caught up in saying “Merry Christmas.” He’d want you to say something. And mean it.