Can you believe that Christmas is right around the corner? Yet again.
Ah yes, Christmas, the holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus, is a jolly and joyous holiday to Christians.
Well, I, for one, am not so jolly. Okay, yes, I know. I’m a grinch. I admit it. But at the same time, I’m enough of a pragmatist to recognize that our nation, while not a “Christian Nation,” as some conservatives suggest, is a nation that is overwhelmingly Christian.
And yet, year-after-year, there are those — from virtually everyone on Fox News to President Trump — insisting that American Christians are being persecuted and that there is a “War on Christmas.” Trump has even suggested that, now that he’s president, Americans are once again permitted to say “Merry Christmas.” Wait! Did Americans ever stop saying that?
Seriously, do most Christians really believe that the small sliver of the American population comprised of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, and other non-Christians have somehow stolen Christmas?
I look around and wonder how anyone can come to that conclusion. I hear continuous, unavoidable Christmas music; it’s virtually nonstop. I see Christmas shows and specials on TV, Christmas movies in theaters, Christmas musicals and plays on live stage.
Flyers and advertisements for Christmas sales add significant heft to the newspapers I stuff into my recycling bin each week. The bulk of TV commercials at this time of year are all about the Christmas gifts you absolutely must buy. My mailbox is stuffed with Christmas catalogs.
I see formerly vacant lots filled with Christmas trees and wreaths that are selling briskly. I see homes, condos, and apartments throughout the city decked out with colorful, blinking lights and fully adorned Christmas trees in the windows. I see nativity scenes on public squares and common areas around city and on town hall lawns throughout the area.
I see grown men wearing red suits, fake beards, and pillows stuffed under their belts, little kids sitting on their laps in stores and malls. At any other time of the year, these men would be arrested.
But at Christmastime, there are long lines of parents, with their kids in tow, eager to put their little darlings onto the lap of some otherwise unemployable, probably drunk old man wearing a phony beard and dressed in a strange costume promising to bring them all kinds of gifts that their parents can’t really afford.
Can someone please explain to me how Christmas is being stolen?
Well, maybe the “Christmas spirit” has, in fact, been usurped by crass commercialism. Christmas has become less a religious holiday than a two-month long shopping spree.
Instead of the jolly holiday bringing out the best in people, it seems that this season of good will and joy instead brings out the worst in many. Me included.
Oh yeah. Happy Holidays.
Written for today’s one-word prompt, “jolly.”