The Christmas season is officially upon us.
The holiday decorations are up in malls and homes. Shoppers are out in full force, ready to bite and maim anyone who stands in their way. And soldiers are enlisting again for the all-important annual tradition, the war on Christmas.
There’s no doubt that that the war for Christmas continues. Bill O’Reilly may have fired the first shot in this year’s battle with an opinion segment a week before Thanksgiving. Over the next few weeks, the good cheer of the season will be peppered with stories of oppressive governments and secular retailers and godless neighborhood associations facing off against valiant defenders of Jesus’ birthday celebration. It’s up to the few, the proud, the Christians to save Christmas.
And as the battle heats up again, I realized that when it comes to this annual tradition, I’m a card carrying Christmas pacifist. I might even hike to Canada this year to dodge my Christmas duty. I just don’t care. Let them take Christmas.
The Front Line
If you want to know how to enlist in the Christmas army, it’s pretty easy to find information. I liked this website, the aptly named War on Christmas.com. Though the laughable production values are about that of a fifth grade science project, it will give you all the information you need. For example, the opening sentence gives this battle cry:
“Preserve and protect the most beautiful of American holidays.”
In case you don’t see what I immediately saw, the site continues by calling itself:
“A place to treasure and…preserve our traditional American culture.”
That sums it up. The war over Christmas isn’t about preserving Christmas. It’s about America…or what we think America should be. When was the last time any Christmas soldier took the fight to Japan or Russia to ensure that Christmas was being properly observed in those Christmas loving places? Never. Because this isn’t about Christmas. It’s about American culture. Japan loves Christmas, even though it is one of the least Christian nations on earth. But we don’t care about that.
The Key Battlegrounds
There’s always a couple of key battlegrounds in the War for Christmas.
Key battleground number one: “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas.”
Fact: people who care about what a retail cashier at Target says to them as they hand them the receipt are idiots.
Let’s see, why are you at Target in December? To max out your credit card on junk you don’t need and will forget about on approximately January 2? Exactly. You’re shopping in the first place because you’re celebrating Christmas no differently than the secularists celebrate. You don’t deserve a “Merry Christmas,” Satan’s minion!
And just where does the phrase “Merry Christmas” come from? Is it even “biblical?” (To borrow a word so overused, it has lost all meaning.) News flash: It became a popular greeting as, what else? A greeting card slogan in 1843. Ha! I win again.
Key battleground number two: Christmas decorations in public. We deal with stores putting up Christmas decorations in October now. Clearly, people have more access than ever to gaudy, mass produced, cinnamon scented holiday “décor.” But people go berserk if a wreath is taken off the door of a government building.
I think the key question that people are forgetting to ask in the hustle and bustle of the season is this: who the hell cares? Was anyone ever walking around the town square in the midst of a spiritual crisis and, seeing a cheap plastic Nativity scene in front of City Hall, turned his life over to sweet baby Jesus? It seems unlikely.
An Army of Saboteurs
Christians, you are fighting the wrong fight. You are a bunch of saboteurs. Christmas has ballooned to an American consumerist monstrosity that no army of atheists could kill. And Christians have bought into all of it, while Jesus languishes in the background. The real Christmas is being killed, in the hearts and homes of every Christian who picks a fight over petty and meaningless traditions.
Maybe God is even using the politically correct “war” on Christmas to show Christians all the things they can do without this holiday season.
But what do I know? Tell me what you think. Is it our holiday to protect, or did we lose control of Christmas long ago? Are we preserving our Christian-American heritage, or are we missing the point?
This post is sponsored by Ministry Matters.