Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Taking the Christ back out of Christmas...

Russell Smith has a nice (though, as always, a little too much) column about how unChristian Christmas is in today's Globe.

The debate over the word "Christmas" is somewhat similar to that over the word "marriage," I feel. Both are words that mean different things to different people depending on how secular or religious they are. For my historically-Christian family, "Christmas" has always (in my lifetime) meant "the time of year when we have a big meal and decorate a tree and listen to Nat King Cole and exchange gifts with the family." Someone may raise a glass to baby Jesus and wish him a happy birthday, but that's about it.

Usually the different definitions of "Christmas" or "marriage" co-exist peacefully. But then some smart guy draws attention to the discrepancies or launches a court case and everyone gets up in arms, their own personal definitions threatened.

So here's the question: Do religious Christians really want non-religious people to say "Merry Christmas, if what they mean is "Happy holidays!" and not "Enjoy your celebration of the birth of Christ!"? Why not see "Happy Holidays" as "civil unions" to "Christmas"'s "marriage"? Encouraging non-religious or ambiguously-religious people to say "Merry Christmas" is totally gonna backfire...

How about this: You can EITHER complain about Christ being left out of Christmas OR complain about people saying the "politicially correct" Happy Holidays. Anyone caught doing both these things must realise the contradiction and skip Christmas altogether.

1 comment:

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