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December 24, 2007

Have a Merry, Socially, Culturally, Religiously Correct Christmas


While shopping for Christmas presents in the past week alone I have been hit with approximately 257 “Happy Holidays” and a grand total of zero “Merry Christmas” greetings. Although I managed enough politeness to resist the burning temptation to reply with “What holidays might these be?” I could only in good conscience wish others a Merry Christmas when I was the one initiating the goodbyes.


That this has been a hotly debated matter for years is no secret to anyone, but it is always one thing to read about an issue in newspapers and quite another to experience it yourself. Somehow, some way, the political correctness that was once confined to the limited circles of academia and the media has seeped down to affect virtually all Americans on an individual level.


And somehow, some way, Christmas has become a dirty word for too many. That is because apparently, the “Christ” in Christmas stands for, umm, Christ.


“How appalling,” card-carrying members of the ACLU and other champions of political correctness might insist. “How dare those Christians insert their religion into our festival of shopping, pine trees and days off from work! Next thing you know, they’ll be taking over our Spring-time fiesta of eggs and bunnies! Where does it end?”


Thus, over the years, they have come up with convenient alternatives for “Merry Christmas,” seeking to wipe out any reference to the fact that Christmas does indeed celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. These new phrases have trickled down to average Americans who naively use them left and right, assuming the terms are acceptable substitutes for “Christmas.”


One of these is the increasingly used “Xmas.” Now I’m not so sure who this X character is (no offense to any Xians out there), but I do know that “Christmas” is not-so-ambiguously derived from the Old and Middle English versions of, literally, “Christ’s mass.” So does Xmas stand for X’s mass? That sounds ridiculous.


Of course, some would argue that “X” has historically stood for Christ even in a religious context, and that is true to some degree. But no reasonable mind can credit the spread of “Xmas” to those trying to reinforce Bible studies in society – to the politically correct crowd, “Xmas” is a four-letter word that omits Christ from the celebration of His own birthday.


A much more blatant effort to secularize Christmas comes with the epidemic use of “Happy Holidays” as an unhappy replacement for “Merry Christmas.” Ironically (and somewhat gratifyingly), what the term’s users do not know is that “holiday” is directly derived from the words “holy day.” Whoops! Not so secular, is it now?


Now that the secret is out, I fear the worst coming: “Season’s Greetings!” I see it in stores and on products everywhere – and it’s good for them if they feel like celebrating the coldest and worst of all seasons for us non-avid skiers. Thankfully, however, its use has not yet become rampant. Although friends of mine have gone through the horror of receiving personal Season’s Greetings, I have yet to get such greetings from another person, which is good, because I wouldn’t quite know how to respond. Would you?


According to the latest Rasmussen Poll, fully 85 percent of Americans believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God sent to Earth to die for our sins. Therefore, 85 percent of the time you wish an American a Merry Christmas, you are joining another Christian to celebrate the birth of the Son of God among us. It will be appreciated, and it will reinforce the true meaning of Christmas.


The remaining 15 percent of the time, you are wishing that a fellow American spend his Christmas Day – a national holiday, I might add – well, merrily. The fact is, Christmas will happen on December 25, this year and every year. And the non-Christians will live through it like everyone else. Many of them will put up Christmas trees, buy presents, take pictures with Saint Nicholas, and donate to the Salvation Army. They will celebrate Christmas Day in their own way, at least by taking a day off – as they do with Martin Luther King Day, Independence Day and so on. And this, indeed, I hope they do merrily.


This holiday is called Christmas, and it exists because of the birth of Christ, if not as a religious figure, then at the very least as a historical figure. Forcefully changing its name and origin is nothing short of an assault on it, and we will never let it happen.


With this I leave you today, my friends. And I wish you and your families a Merry, Merry Christmas.


It may be politically incorrect, but it’s socially, culturally, and religiously correct. So I’ll go with that.


© 2007 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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