While driving home the other night I heard several interesting commercials on the radio--Give the gift of hairplugs for the holidays! Give the gift of plastic surgery for the holidays! Now, I could go on for hours about the idea of gifting such, shall we say, personal gifts. But the most interesting thing to me is the novelty that is "the holidays."
First things first--I am fully aware that there are indeed multiple religious holidays in December. I do, in fact, fully believe in the right to celebrate these holidays! So stay with me. I am not here to bash other faiths.
No. My fascination lies with the sudden need to exterminate...dare I say it? Christmas! Ok, it's done, the "C" word is out. I have been told many times, that due to fear of offending anyone, Christmas just simply cannot be uttered. Uhhhh huh.
Just this morning, I turned on my TV to a lovely IHOP commercial. Now, I love fluffy, syrup covered treats for breakfast as much as the next girl, so this ad had my attention. I watch as they serve up a plate of pancakes with red and green sprinkles! Yum! Yes, it's true, the new "holiday" pancakes are here.
Come on. Can we call a spade a spade, please? Because the last time I checked, Hanukkah is commonly represented with the colors of blue and silver (please, correct me if I am wrong.). Christmas is commonly represented with red and green. So why must we neutralize Christmas? I would understand the need for plurality if other colors were used, but alas, there were none.
Think about it--all things Christmas must be neutralized, taken apart and rearranged to cater to....who? I know of no other holidays that celebrate by decorating trees and hanging stockings. So why are Christmas trees and Christmas stockings suddenly reduced to Holiday trees and Holiday stockings? These traditions are unique to the holiday celebrated among Christian denominations--the holiday celebrating the birth of Christ.
Many people I have listened to about this subject have explained to me that relating Christ to CHRISTmas, is far too offensive. We must be an open, free thinking people! Free of any prejudices. Many of the same people have explained to me at different times that we also need to be free of greed! Free of self centered consumerism!!!
So let me get this straight, to be free of prejudices, we must deny Christians the world over the basic right to use the proper name for one of their biggest holidays ? Other holidays are just fine, but a Christian one cannot be tolerated. How free thinking and open minded. It seems prejudice against Christianity is the only legal prejudice there is left. Somewhere along the way, Jesus replaced Lord Voldemort as "the one we don't speak of."
Now, free of greed and self centered consumerism, I can get behind that! This year, it is my goal to try to purchase as many gifts as possible through charitable organizations. I say this not out of pride, but because I think it is very important for me to really reflect on the meaning of this "holiday"--peace and good will towards men, Christ centered love of neighbor.
But what happens when you take Christ out of Christmas? Well then, we have a baseless holiday! It has no purpose, no meaning, no tradition. When children ask why we get presents, what do we tell them is the occasion? What exactly are we celebrating? I was told that the meaning of Christmas is simply to be with family and the people who matter the most. Lovely. But aren't we about to do that with Thanksgiving? No, I am not saying that Thanksgiving has no other basis or tradition. My point is we gather with those we love annually on Thanksgiving. But there are no presents. Why? Hmmm.
Birthdays are an annual event. Birthdays have presents. Is there any special birthday to commemorate on December 25th by giving a loved one a gift as an expression of your love and appreciation?? No. Absolutely not. That is not politically correct. Problem is, by removing the meaning from Christmas, have we not just created a greedy, wish list induced, self-centered consumer based holiday? Wordy, but wasn't that a problem in the first place???
Perhaps Shakespeare was not quite on the money. Perhaps that which we call a rose, by any other name, does not always smell as sweet.
Give me Christmas back. Give us all Christmas back. I don't want a menorah to be renamed a "holiday candelabra," I just want to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. I happily respect the traditions of other faiths. Please respect mine. And give back to the world a concept that it so desperately needs--peace and good will towards men.
And, though a bit premature, Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday to you.