Christmas for Christians?: An Open Letter

I post a somewhat revised/expanded version of this every year.  And here it is again.  My present to you.

Dear Christians,
For all the whining your flock does about "Keep Christ in Christmas" and all that, I have news for you: The battle's over, and you've all lost.

I haven't thought of Christmas as a Christian holiday for most of my life, and this is in spite of the fact I was raised by church-going parents.  Even as a kid, going to church on Christmas Eve was just a depressing interruption to the fun everyone rightly associates with the holiday.  However you want to believe, fine, but church has nothing to do with the occasion.  It didn't at the start, and it doesn't today, no matter what you want to claim to the contrary.

If you knew your history, you'd recall that Christians originally fought most of the traditions you now want to claim as your own precisely because they said these things were Pagan (which they were) and a distraction (which at best they are).  Yet you still cling to these as Christian traditions even when the Bible expressly mocks the "vain" people who would decorate a tree in silver and gold and nail it in place (yes, really; see Jeremiah 10:2-8).  Christmas is about as Christian a holiday today as kids dressing as ninja turtles on Halloween is Satanic.  (Admittedly there are people who believe this, and they should not be allowed to breed.)

You can try to demand people stop having "Happy Holidays" just because they aren't Christian, but the Christian elements of Christmas are about as relevant today as my appendix, something else that's entirely vestigial in an evolution you would deny, and something I similarly only take note of when it's inflamed and about to kill me the way many of you are when the obvious is pointed out to you.

Christmas wasn't a Christian holiday for the Hindu kids who grew up down the street from me when their parents put up a tree every year.  They did it because they raised their kids in America as Americans. That doesn't mean they shoved what you imagine is the prerequisite dogma down their throats.  Trees and presents and family get-togethers have nothing to do with talking snakes and returned-from-the-grave characters with supernatural powers.  That's Halloween you're thinking of, and that's a subject for another time.

See, whatever nominal claim you imagine you once had over it, Christmas is steadily being transformed into a holiday we --Americans, that is-- all enjoy, one filled with fairy tales exactly like those most of us who can think usually do think of when we think of Christmas.  For most of us, it's about Santa and Rudolf and Jack Skellington.  When these characters are placed side by side with statues of Jesus and angels and the Three Kings (or shepherds, depending on what conflicting version of the story you go by in your "infallible" book), guess what?  No one can tell which ones (supposedly) aren't fiction without a whole childhood's worth of brainwashing.  Find me the chapter and verse where Frosty and Tiny Tim and the Grinch showed up, and I'll eat your fruitcake, you fruitcakes.  And, yeah, that's another example of tradition lingering long past its expiration date.

So go on.  Have your protests, have an aneurysm, or just have a Merry Christmas with the rest of us.  Because, really, it doesn't matter to me and my family what you do with your time off so long as you don't tell us how we can celebrate a holiday you never had no jurisdiction over.  Frankly, I don't care if someone says "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas" to me.  Either way, the celebrating we call Christmas isn't very Christian at all.  And that's a very good thing indeed!

-Merry AleXmas from Alexplorer!

Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008 Alexplorer.
Back to the index