Thursday, December 01, 2005

Believe in the Power of Santa: Or Get nothing


((Taking a line from my favorite Foamy the squirrel toon I am going to talk about Christmas today.))

I am not a Christian, I don’t believe some guy named Jesus was born in what is today Israel over 2000 years ago. Nor do I believe the religion being promoted in his name has any higher claim to my soul …or for that matter any claim to my soul. But I do believe in the power of Santa, and that’s why I want people to leave Christmas alone.

Jews celebrate Christmas, some celebrated it with Chanukah and some just celebrate Christmas. We’ve all watched that movie with Jimmie Stewart and we all remember the famous words of Tiny Tim. If you live in the United States then Christmas is all around you. And this next part to you folks who believe in Jesus isn’t going to be pretty so bare with me.

All of us in the Non-Christian horde don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reason then why do we celebrate it? The answer is simple the spirit of Christmas which still lives, even though in the Pre-Christmas moment we become blinded by the commercialism of the day. In that single moment there is giving, caring, and communing with another person. The holiday of Christmas as it is practiced brings out all the best in human beings. And it does it without a direct “This holiday is brought to you by Jesus” message.

Christmas is in this age of fallen families, of broken divorced homes one moment when the family however torn can come back together. Even the Christmas mythology we teach to children in this modern day appeals to our better natures.

The number of books, TV shows, movies and the like influenced by Christmas and a sense they need to appeal to our better natures during that time of year is good.

Christmas is a secular holiday Christians. Just like Halloween, Valentines Day (formerly St. Valentine’s day), Easter, Mardis Gras (yes Mardis Gras), and even Thanksgiving. These holidays that all held religious orientation and origin have all become even in their practice by Christians secular affairs and that is a good thing. All of these holidays form strong aspects of our culture and appeal to the innocent natures of children. They help bring people and families together. Their impact is universal because Christians have brought them into the secular square. Their positive appeal helps make our society better. Aspects of the holiday show the bad, but that too is good because we all decry the gluttony and excesses of the holiday season as a lesson for the rest of our year.

So Christians deal with it…. The culture of “Western” societies still is built on the foundation of Christianity. So the appeal of those holidays will be part of every citizen in those societies. You can have your Christian celebrations of them but keep in mind if we like something you enjoy in those celebrations don’t be surprised we won’t be celebrating it in the non Christian sphere.

Now that I’ve said my bit to the Christians it is now time for either the liberal (theology and politics) Christians and Non Christians out there. Merry Christmas isn’t offensive. Its based on an assumption that isn’t universal ( as we attest to) but some one trying to be nice and extending a blessing he feels is great shouldn’t be told to go F*** Himself. You can say “Happy Holidays” to him. You could say “And I hope you have a Merry Christmas.” And then you go to the aisle and look for the sale for your own winter gift giving.

If you want say Happy Chanukah or Happy Kwanza… or whatever holiday to him to.

Kids having anything short of; A Cross, a bible, a “Jesus is the reason for the season” sign, or a nativity scene in the communal part of their school space should be allowed to go nuts with whatever decorations the school can afford. If it’s the kids private space let them put up anything that isn’t overtly offensive “Non Christians burn in hell” they want that is intended in good spirit.

You want to put a nativity scene with a big Menorah in a public park fine…Muslims want to put something up for Ramadan to great.

These things don’t hurt… they expose us to the reality that people of different cultures exist.

Drink your Eggnog, sit on Santa’s lap and have a Merry Christmas.

And I hope Santa is as good to you as he’ll probably be to me.