Is there really a war against Christmas? Everywhere I look, many Christians are throwing fits because stores have holiday sales and displays and not Christmas sales. Yet, the Jewish population gets the smallest holiday section in stores for Hanukkah and we don’t hear them complaining.
First of all, the US is NOT a Christian nation. We are a nation that has NO national religion, that has the freedom to choose what to be or not to be religious and the choice to choose our religion, and so many other things when it comes to religion. We are free to worship any deity that we choose to worship, if we choose to worship a deity. And guess what, not all of those belief systems celebrate Christmas.
Let’s take a step back to the historical aspect of Christmas. Historically, it is a well-known fact that people would have been traveling to pay taxes at some point in the spring, not in the days around the solstice. This fact alone puts into issue when the birth of Jesus is celebrated. The birth of Jesus was not celebrated on December 25th until sometime in the 4th century. There are NO historical records that show the exact date that he was born, but the spring time is believed due to why Mary and Joseph were passing through Bethlehem. There is the well-known Pagan holiday of Yule that falls on the winter solstice. With the large number of Pagan’s during the time it was determined Christmas would be celebrated on December 25th; there is a large amount of speculation around why the two are so close together.
If a Jew tells me Happy Hanukkah, I’m not going to get mad at them for not telling me Merry Christmas. I will wish them a Happy Hanukkah as well. Since not everyone celebrates Christmas, why should people demand that they wish everyone a Merry Christmas? There is no reason to get offended when someone doesn’t tell you Merry Christmas. A Pagan friend was telling me recently that when she worked in retail she had a customer make a comment to her about not wishing them a Merry Christmas. As a Pagan her response was Happy Yule, because that is the winter holiday for her beliefs and there is nothing wrong with that.
Now let’s look at something that people just get wrong, the Nativity. Being raised Catholic the Nativity was part of Christmas because it was the reason for the holiday. However, I see far too many people who put the baby Jesus in the manger the day that they put the Nativity out when they put up all of the other Christmas decorations and they put the wise men next to him at the same time. Jesus should not be placed in the manger until Christmas day and the wise men should not be placed with the Nativity until Jan 6th, Kings Day, as it is said to have taken them 12 days to travel to Jesus. It is a Catholic tradition to start the wise men on one side of the room and each day move them a little closer to represent their journey. Not only do I see people getting this wrong with the Nativity scenes in their yard and the pictures they post of their table top Nativity scene but I’ve also seen countless churches get this wrong. Seriously, if anything Churches should be getting this right.
The winter is full of a variety of holidays depending on what your beliefs and culture and there is no reason that society as a whole should be demanded to wish everyone one Holiday. There is no war on Christmas. There is simply, a desire by those who celebrate holiday’s to be recognized. We should embrace all of the Holiday’s equally.