December 24, 2004
Christmas: Only for Christians?
I'm getting very sick of hearing and reading that Americans have taken "the reason from the season" of Christmas and all of that bullshit. Sure, for a lot of people, Christmas is a religious holiday, the way it began. But I can't believe that people are so clueless and naive that they actually think that Christmas in the United States has been a religious holiday in recent memory, including those you-should-believe-what-I-do middle-agers who've found the Lord. How many people are still alive who didn't get Christmas as a commercial or -- at best -- a cultural holiday? I know some people still experience Christmas firstly as a religious observance. Yes. But, as a culture, that's just not how it is here in the United States. Everyone knows that, right? No one says you can't go to church where you can say "Merry Christmas" and not "Happy Holidays," right? Why should your church extend to the mall and to the bookstore? Why do you need to "get Christmas back" from its current cultural and commerical meaning? Who's stopping you from still letting Christmas mean to you what you want it to mean to you? What can't we all have Christmas and have it the way we want it without people speaking out telling us that we stole their holiday and that we should give it back? As if Jesus was really born on December 25th and as if the idea of the Christmas season wasn't stolen from someone else. Oh, wait, I forgot. This is America, and we were founded by Christians, and "most" of us still convince ourselves that we're Christians, so we should all just let Christianity go where it wants to go? Right. You know what? The real Christians I know don't want to claim Christmas for what it is anyway, since they can tell the difference between the public sphere and the private one. I wish there were more people like that.