Holiday versus Christmas
December 15, 2006 9:57am CST
Some of you may remember the historic battle that took place this time last year. Well, if you believed the wackos out there like Billy-boy O’Reilly and other whack-a-moles who were trying to convince the world there was this “Assault on Christmas.” Yes, it was a historic battle, on par with the Battle of Britain or the Battle of Midway or Gettysburg. I am happy to say that major combat operations over Christmas have come to an end and the holiday appears to have survived intact and better than ever. I would have parachuted onto an aircraft carrier had I been able to find one parked outside of my apartment building but, strangely enough, there weren’t any. Of course, although people like O’Reilly and others were extremely misguided (there was no assault on anything) some of the points they made were sort of accurate. While I doubt there was any organized attempt to eliminate Christmas the fact is that it is rather silly to try and eliminate the word because it is too “Christian” and replace it with the more-generic “Happy Holidays.” You see, Christmas may have been entirely co-opted by Christianity but, in case you hadn’t heard, the entire holiday was a pagan holiday. It was quite a popular holiday and the Christians were standing around trying to figure out how to get people to stop dancing nude and praying to trees with lights on it, or whatever those pagans were doing (and really, what good is a pagan ritual if it doesn’t contain nudity?) and they were having trouble doing so. It must be hard to sell a religion that essentially first comes across with the message, “yes, whatever it is you are doing, it’s all wrong.” So, those early Christians just thought and thought and thought much like Winnie the Pooh in that one story and they came up with the solution. They would just take the holiday almost entirely as it was and glom Christian bits all over it. They concocted convoluted Christian meanings to Christmas trees, for example. They completely changed the accepted time when Jesus was born and put it smack down at the end of December and acted as if it had been there all along. Then they changed the time when the wise-men and others showed up and, voila, you now had to have a manger scene in addition to your Christmas tree and they topped it all off with a angel. It wasn’t until much, much later that someone decided the angel should also have electronic flapping wings and sing but had the early Christians had electricity and motors available to them at the time they might have included that in their original plans as well. Over the years, of course, commercialism has pretty much neutered Christmas and whatever religious message, pagan or otherwise, that may have been there at all. Now the religion connected with Christmas is consumerism and their message seems to be, “whatever you are doing is fine as long as you pay me.” You can see why this might be a slightly more popular belief for people to hang their hats on. So, the word “Christmas” may have the name “Christ” in it but, essentially, it has been sucked of all meaning regarding that. To be honest, in my opinion, if you are a Christian the holiday that should really mean more to you than this one would be Easter. Christmas is supposed to be about the birth of a baby. While that is certainly a great event, had the man not died and rose again, as is believed by Christians, then he would have just been another baby born amongst farm animals. So, as far as faith and doctrine go, if you buy into this particular one, then the Easter holiday has to be a little bit more important. However, it seems to me, that most Christians tend to hide eggs for some reason and then sit around and eat ham on that holiday. Perhaps the true commercial value of that holiday has yet to be seen by those who believe in consumerism. Of course the main root of this entire controversy is the ridiculous notion that we all need to bend over backward, turning ourselves into large Os, to be nice to everyone. This is an insane notion and should be disposed of entirely. It’s impossible. If you say Merry Christmas to someone and they happen to be Jewish or Muslim or believe in a religion about little men living in light bulbs and they take offense, it should be THEY who are at fault and not you. Once again, Merry Christmas essentially means “happy shopping” in this day and age so why should it offend anyone just because they are busy kneeling down in front of light bulbs. I experienced this myself not that long ago. I wrote an article about how celebrities were acting a little crazy. I happened to mention the rapper Kanye West. I was talking about how he seemed normal at first and, when compared to others who were about when Kanye first appeared, he might have seemed like a good guy to support. However, I used the universally known and accepted term, that comes from the horse-racing community, that it seemed like people may have “backed the wrong horse.” A day later I got a message from someone saying that “comparing African Americans to horses was racist.” First off, I was not comparing anyone to anything. A comparison, by definition, must compare two things. I did not say, hey, that Kanye sure looks like a horse. Now, THAT would be a comparison. Second, I hadn’t even mentioned, at any point, throughout the entire article, the race and color of the people I was talking about. You see, to me it didn’t matter. The color wasn’t important, just the actions of the person. What animal comparisons cannot be made? What’s so insulting about horses? I WISH someone would compare me, especially certain parts of my anatomy, to that of a horse. I think horses are rather beautiful, powerful, majestic animals. When it comes to the animal community horses have to rank right up there with a cool animal to be compared to. So, it is very easy, indeed, to accidentally insult someone these days. The fact is most of the world is just too sensitive. Parts of the world are more willing to kill you because they perceive some sort of insult than actually just shrug things off. They then have the nerve to accuse the other people of being too violent or for criticizing them for being violent. So, please, enjoy the holiday season. Say Merry Christmas to everyone. Enjoy your shopping. Good lucking finding parking. Better luck finding that Elmo doll. Hopefully we can all forget about assaulting Christmas and turn our attention toward attacking more worthwhile holidays like Arbor Day. Bryan W. Alaspa’s novel Dust is now available in print and eBook format at his website www.bryanalaspa.com and www.amazon.com. He would like to point out it would make a FABULOUS holiday gift regardless of religion or beliefs.