The War of Christmas

Creepy-Christmas-2It was a typical Monday morning, I got the kids up and ready for school, dropped them off before the bell, and headed off to work.  Halloween was still fresh in our minds, the candy piled high on the kitchen table, costumes laying clumped in piles in the kids’ rooms, skeleton decorations still hanging on the front porch.

As I drove into the small town that I work in, a glaring reminder that the holidays are upon us struck me like a slap across the cheek.  A giant red glittery, metallic, shimmering “Merry Christmas” was strung across the entire street.  Overhead, it glittered and shimmered overwhelmingly in the morning sun, almost blindingly.  It was huge.  Is it wrong that it felt like an assault?  Not an assault like a gunman barging into a bar and spraying bullets into the crowd kind of assault.  More like an assault of the senses, an assault on anyone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas.

I celebrate Christmas, I am a Christian, but even I don’t understand this war-like stance that Christians take about this holiday.  This garish sign across the street heading into town might have well read, “Merry fucking Christmas” or “Merry Christmas, motherfuckers” or “If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then get the fuck out.”  Yet, in this same small town, one might hear people sitting in the diner complaining about immigrants coming into our country, or how our taxes support all these lazy people on welfare, or how they support a man that tells it like it is, even when he says he grabs women by the pussy or degrades fellow Americans with disabilities.  You can’t have your “Merry Christmas” sign and spew hate or support those that do.

The first Christmas was spent on the floor of a barn amongst the sights and smells of the beasts of burden.  Immigrants traveling and not being welcome, a man and a woman in need of shelter, a human baby born without the comforts our humanity can provide.  His birth, ultimately leading to his death for all of us, despite our depravity, ignorance, greed, jealousy, hatred, sin.  The first Christmas was void of red, glittery, metallic signs.  It was dark, cold, and dangerous.

Today’s Christmas is an assault.  The quiet, solemn moment of the Christ child’s birth and the subsequent story of Jesus as savior is overwhelmed and outshined by the jolly round Santa, flashing lights, piles of presents that no one really needs, the bustling crowds selfishly hoarding their baubles amid immigrants seeking asylum, children living in poverty, and veterans living on the streets.

If someone doesn’t tell me “Merry Christmas” it does not anger me.  I am not proud of what Christmas has morphed into.  People wear bracelets that read “WWJD (What would Jesus do)” and I wonder what would Jesus think of what the celebration of his birth has become.

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12 Responses to The War of Christmas

  1. V.J. Knutson says:

    So well said. Our family has re-evaluated the meaning of Christmas over the years, easing off on the commercialism and focusing on togetherness. There is no spirit other than malice in cursing others for not saying Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, truly. Hypocrisy abounds. I like the lights, for the most part. It’s nice to brighten otherwise dreary winter nights. But it certainly seems that rather than promoting the idea of warmth which can lead to introspection and greater compassion, everything bright turns garish instead. Then it’s easy to slide into a sense of in-your-face bravado. And we’ve got too much of that right now. Thanks for getting me thinking about this.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Deb says:

    I think you know that I don’t follow a religious path, but I think that there is much more to this entire time of the year than glitter, and massive amounts of gifts, and whose decorations can out-do someone else. I always tried to make this season about a few traditions for the kids when they were young and just about family in general. My oldest, the only one with children, has/continues to struggle with the bombardment that hits her two girls from October on. The idea of celebrating kindness over stuff…I wish our society was ready to embrace that more, especially now.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good post. You brought up facts that most people seem to forget at this time of year. While I have no objection to Christmas decorations, I agree that things have gone overboard – too much and too early.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. drabk says:

    YES! YES! A thousand times YES! I recently came to realize one of my implicit biases and it had to do somewhat with this same topic. I also am in a small Southern town and I was raised Episcopalian. Yet, I have come to realize I have a visceral and physiological reaction to a particular phrase. That phrase is “I’m a Christian….” it’s the “…” that throws me. I am constantly waiting for the vicious, horrible, judgmental phrase that will come after the … This struck me so much, one of my students and I are now working on a project to study religiosity and cultural competence in physicians and medical students. I’m really glad this is not just me….


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