Where Did Christmas Go?

Okay, Christmas has not gone anywhere. It is still the birthday of Jesus, a great man, and, for many, a Savior. Jesus gave birth to the philosophy of Christianity and he gave us many golden rules by which to live our lives. He was a simple man with a richness of heart, mind, and soul who sought to provide all of us, the poor, the rich, the disabled, with a vision beyond ourselves and beyond our problems. From the teachings of Jesus came many branches of religion to satisfy the soul-needs of many.

For some among us, Jesus has little or no meaning beyond His mere existence. For some there is no religion that has meaning. For some there is only this life that we shall live. For some, death brings down the final curtain…an eternal darkness. These people among us have this right to their secular non-belief in God, in Christianity, in all that is Holy. The Christian and the secular can walk side by side, be friends and neighbors, be tolerant of each other’s views.

For me, I say Happy Birthday, Jesus! I say, Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year. I say, enjoy the lighting of your Christmas Tree and the presents you place beneath it. It is the Yuletide season. It is a holiday season. Christmas is a federal holiday. Our Constitution was formed by those of Judeo-Christian values. We allow for a separation of Church and State in our federal and state business. Why is this not enough?

From the polls we get the information that ninety per cent of us Americans still want a Christmas holiday, a Christmas tree, presents under the tree. We ninety per cent see this time of year as a time to spread love, peace, and good will. Is that really so bad? Why is it that some want to make such a big deal about calling a Christmas Tree a Holiday Tree? Why is it that a Nativity Scene is no longer allowed in certain venues? Why is it that the majority does not seem to govern our affairs because of the ‘suffering’ minority?

When does this madness end? When do the encroaching seculars finally take over our country? When does the politically correct get to rule every aspect of our lives? Where did Christmas go? Have we not given in enough to the minority groups? Can we still keep in place some vestige of our heritage as a nation? I know changes must come as we outgrow some primitive laws on the books. Some of our language must change when it is so obviously insulting to some. Some things just need changing. The difference between conservative and liberal does not escape me, not does ‘far right’ and ‘far left,’ nor does ‘moderate,’ ‘progressive,’ ‘extreme.’ Neither of these groups will ever win all the political and social battles, but could we just call ‘Time Out’ for this beautiful season that is now here. Most of us will, but could the zealots call ‘Time Out’ as well. And, yes, I know the liberals want to blame the conservatives, the ‘talk show’ fringe, certain news channels, and it likely doesn’t really matter to most of us. It just seems to come up each year, this issue of ‘Christmas Tree’ versus ‘Holiday Tree,’ the issue of ‘Nativity Scene Displays,’ the issue of ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Happy Holidays.’ Guess we can say both, ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Happy Holidays.’ It just bothers me when some retailers warn their workers only to say ‘Happy Holidays’ because ‘Merry Christmas’ might offend someone. So many of us have become hesitant in uttering something so naturally spoken over the years.

Christmas will never be for me the way it was so many years ago. I’ve aged and the season in upon me and past me before I know it. I overheard an argument about all this ‘Christmas Tree’ and ‘Political Correctness’ stuff and it just bothered me. Guess it’s kind of natural for an anachronism like me to be bothered.

Guess it’s kind of natural for an ‘old dog’ like me to wonder, ‘Where Did Christmas Go?’

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11 responses to “Where Did Christmas Go?

  1. Whatever you do, don’t come to the UK!
    A few years back, when my kids were still doing what was supposed to be nativity plays for Christmas, there was such a politically correct agenda from ‘above’ that we had 4 consecutive years of anything other than Christmassy performances. The parents (me included) were in uproar. We threatened to withdraw our kids from the school play unless they stopped the stupidity.

    • Thanks, Ella, for your comments. Being older, it’s more difficult to accept what appears to be inevitable, that is, the world is becoming increasingly more secular. Maybe it’s just this old timer making too much out of the Christmas issue, but, at times, the world really seems to be tearing itself apart with its political correctness, its endless appetites for gratification, and giving us a real time view of ‘Revelations.’ But, then, I suspect that ‘book’ in the Bible’s New Testament gets read very little these days… Hopefully, it’s just me in the ‘gilded age.’

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  3. Billy, I can address a few of your issues here, and you will see why the world fights inevitable change. It’s not secular, but a difference perspective and it will take some time, and probably a “big event” to open eyes to see how much more we are alike, rather than how we differ.
    First, Dec. 25 is the date chosen for Jesus’ birth because it was the date used for Mithras’ birth to a virgin in Roman mythology, and prior deities. It’s close to the Winter Solstice, which is the shortest, darkest day of the year. So don’t think Constantine converted on his death bed if the first “Christian” church was Catholic, meaning ONE, referring to the one belief that includes all other beliefs, especially pagan, so everyone would be happy and Christians could quite being used to feed their lions. In fact, if it hadn’t been for Martin Luther starting a reformation, protesting things in the church conflicting with the bible writings, we would all still be Catholic. He was the first one to take the teachings out of the hands of the priests and put it into the hands of the people. It hasn’t done much good in the following generations. (5% think; 10% think they think; and 85% would rather die than think-Thomas Edison)
    Because of this I like the idea of a Holiday tree, and a gift-giving season with the promotion of peace and good will, leaving out all the religious references. It’s appropriate a the end of the solar year when there’s a “rebirth” after the darkest day (of death, of the year).
    As for our country being founded on a Judeo-Chistian belief system that is totally wrong. The Christians, or specifically, the Puritans, would have liked it to be and it’s been promoted as such to the point of mass brainwashing and an almost fanatical determination to keep that belief, rather than the true facts. We are a country of religious freedom, insuring no one religion or god would dominate. It’s obvious what that can do as we witness the quarrels in other countries. We forget our own. There in lies the wisdom of separation of church and state. Our founders were Deists. They did not believe in the god of the bible. In fact, Thomas Jefferson rewrote the bible (you’ve probably heard of the Jeffersonian Bible) leaving out all of Jesus’ miracle and some other things. But the real reason was to insure no one suffered religious persecution in the country, ever. It’s not working so well because of Christian’s belief they are the sole group saved…I could go on, but that may be another topic.
    And, most important, Jesus was not the founder and promoter of Christianity. It was that Roman named Saul, renamed Paul, who promoted it. Without him there would be no Christianity. It would have faded away as most short-lived schisms tend to do. Elizabeth Vargas was hostess on her networks’ special about this a few years ago, about the time of the Da Vinci Code, maybe. Think about how dominate Paul is in the NT. In my opinion he gave an unbelievable story of conversion that many believed. Maybe it was a UFO, but those folks are never believed.
    While there is no proof a person named Jesus lived during that time, Jesus being a common Greek name for the Hebrew Joshua, the words attributed to him by those who wrote them a few hundred years after his death, are good. Personally, I don’t believe such a person as Jesus is portrayed would have ever approved of a religion being started in his name. So much of what he is quoted as saying is meant for only those who had inner knowledge (for those with ears to hear) that the only way the words can be truly understood is to study those mystery schools from which he came, i.e., his Egyptian Jewish background. The keyword here is Egyptian, and with the proof coming in that the First Dynasty was only a remnant of a previous matriarchal society far more advanced than we are today, it’s no wonder he outsmarted the rabbis in Jerusalem when he was only twelve.
    One of the best quotes attributed to Jesus, in my opinion, was in the lost books of the bible as mentioned in DaVinci Code: Heaven is on Earth, but men do not see it. I find that very interesting.
    As for the current madness: it’s the people’s way of clinging to something held close and dear but is now fading away. The heart knows this, but the person fights to keep it. Because a belief taught by others has been held, rather than questioning everything as Jesus advised and learning and discerning for oneself, everyone who struggles with this and fights to keep it is a terrorist. The middle eastern people just picked up on the changes sooner and began their fight to keep everything the same because they allow their emotions, where our majority European descendant stock is less easily provoked, so slower to respond. Don’t be surprised if Christians in this country in their desperation start doing their own bombing of those who disagree with their beliefs or are “different.” That has always been in our history, and as long as there has been religious differences in the world, there has been war. There will be no peace on earth until there is no religion, at least not as we have it today, with so many factions. As the collective unconscious matures and becomes more aware with consciousness expanding, it will slowly change like an old skin sliding off a snake.
    Please accept these comments were made with the best intention to education, not ridicule or humiliate. I hope it starts some deep thinking and research to broaden views.

    • Hello, Judith. I find your comments to this post very intriguing. Let us just say that I am a believer. On one side, I feel offended by your comments because it is negating the beliefs that I’ve held since childhood. However, I have been and still continue to be exposed to different perspectives like yours concerning religion (not only just Christianity). I live in Canada which is proud of its multiculturalism. I can see that, yes, Christianity is still very dominant in this country, albeit its “multicultural” nature. I’m also currently attending university and I have met a lot of people who hold the same views as you (most of them are renowned professors). I deeply respect them. I am fully aware of the information that you posted in your comment. I did my research, as well, long ago when Dan Brown’s THE DA VINCI CODE was published.

      I don’t advocate forcing or urging people to convert from one belief to another (especially if it’s of a very delicate kind like religion). I strongly believe in free will to choose our own beliefs. I agree that Christianity has had an immensely dark past (burning, murdering, etc), and I cringe at that. I don’t advocate that. At all.

      As for these statements: “As for the current madness: it’s the people’s way of clinging to something held close and dear but is now fading away. The heart knows this, but the person fights to keep it. Because a belief taught by others has been held, rather than questioning everything as Jesus advised and learning and discerning for oneself, everyone who struggles with this and fights to keep it is a terrorist.”

      Perhaps I am one of the people who “fights to keep” my beliefs. I understand your opinion of this, but it is my decision to keep my beliefs. After all, a person is nothing without his or her beliefs. You also have your own beliefs, evident in your comments to this post, and I also have mine. I used my free will to choose the beliefs that I have now. I could throw away my beliefs right now, but I choose not to. Similarly, you also used your free will to have the belief that the key to a peaceful world is a world of no religion.

      As for your statement that “everyone who struggles with this and fights to keep it is a terrorist,” with all due respect, I totally disagree. It is like saying that everyone who is part of a religion is a terrorist. I’m a believer and does that make me a terrorist? I can understand your previous arguments but this one, I simply cannot accept it. It is not also insulting but very downgrading.

      Finally, I doubt that “[t]here will be no peace on earth until there is no religion.” Even if there is no religion at all, humans will find a way to fight wars. It’s not always religion that instigates war, you know.

      “Please accept these comments were made with the best intention to education, not ridicule or humiliate. I hope it starts some deep thinking and research to broaden views.”

      Thank you. I greatly appreciate the mental stimulation your comments have given me.

      Best,
      JK

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    • My ineptness in the digital world is my excuse for a very tardy reply… But, thank you for visiting my blog and hope you will return. I am following your site. Belatedly Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  5. I grew up being always reminded that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. The Christmas trees, decorations, food, parties, and presents are all nice but I never forget that this is supposed to be Jesus’ day.

    That’s why I’m problematizing the fact that two of my little siblings (brother & sister) are not even concerned that this is Christ’s birthday. They are only concerned about having lots of presents on that day and complaining about “boring presents.” I find these unacceptable. I try to teach them otherwise, but I wish our parents would explain the true essence of Christmas to them better. Oh, well. Who says being the eldest sister is easy?

    Thank you so much, Billy, for this wonderful post. I know that there are some people, ahem, who would not agree with you because they don’t have the same beliefs as us. I completely understand. Living in Canada which is proud of its multiculturalism, I deeply respect that people have different beliefs and values. Great post!

    I wish you and your family an extremely wonderful, fantastic, and awesome MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  6. Dear Judith,

    Your erudition is most impressive. Quite better now do I understand the saying, “Ignorance is bliss…” Perhaps the ‘history’ of this quote is attributable to Thomas Edison’s ‘…rather die than think…’ I would like to ‘think’ I’m among that ten percent that ‘think they think’ although there is likely no conclusive evidence of that in any of the books and/or posts I’ve written — my writing would not appeal to those of the 5% in the rarefied air…it is too mundane and emotional and likely trite.

    If my opening remarks here seem snide, forgive me — that’s the way we ‘ignorantly blissful’ counter the elite 5%. Really, and, seriously, I am indeed impressed with your ‘fact based’ knowledge. You’ve mentioned some historical data of which I was unaware. Thank you for this, but I would ask the question: When does fiction become fact and fact become fiction? Do scholars pick and choose which recorded documents in time they accept and those they do not? It seems to me, unless someone is a ‘talking/walking’ encyclopedia of all recorded facts, there must be something lacking in a person’s education. I choose to show my ‘lack’ through blog posts and a few books I tossed together.

    As regards my post, “Where Did Christmas Go?”, I was giving an old man’s perspective on traditional Christmas values. I’m very much aware that traditional values (based apparently on ‘fiction’) are being seriously eroded by secular progressive folks. That may be all educationally sound and good, but I still think it rather silly and pretentious to quibble with how someone might utter a ‘holiday’ greeting or how someone might refer to a tree. The 5% and many in the 10% could just maybe call ‘time out’ for a season that has some universal goodness to it.

    I choose to believe that a man named Jesus lived and gave ‘Paul’ the groundwork for his good delivery system. Yes, Martin Luther posted his ‘demands,’ Thomas Jefferson ‘re-wrote’ his own bible because he wanted no one to suffer religious persecution, and even I have modified my own ‘Southern Baptist’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” fragile beliefs. James Kavanaugh wrote a beautiful book of poetry called, “There Are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves.” You likely have read him, Judith. There’s a narrative poem in this book entitled, ‘My Easy God Is Gone,’ which spoke so loudly to me about my childhood. As you perhaps know, Kavanaugh left the priesthood, departed the east, and moved on to California…

    Look, I don’t wish to debate you. Your erudition would beat me every time…like my PhD son I love dearly who teaches at Marquette — he nearly always wallops me with the ‘facts.’ (‘I hate it when he does that!’) You were kind enough to respond to my post, and I’m truly grateful for your intellectual insight. Your blog site uses words like, ‘Howdy’ and ‘Y’all’ so I know you can’t be all bad — just needling! LOL

    Hope you will stay in touch…Just go easy on my brain, erudite lady!

    Sincerely,

    Billy Ray

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