3 Thoughts on the War on Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Green-Walled Tower! I got the ladder out and put up lights around the ivy and put a bit of mistletoe somewhere, in case the missus wanders by. I’m sitting, looking out my window at the world all lit up with lights and I notice a small point of conflict.war on christmas

Apparently there is a war on Christmas. For those of you who haven’t heard this term before, it is the conflict (mostly in North America) about saying Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays, and using religious Christmas images in public places. I’m not here to debate the details of this or to say that there isn’t a war on Christmas. I’m here to say why it doesn’t matter one way or the other. I know that this is a very charged issue for a lot of people, but please here me out.

What does Christmas mean?

I’m sure you could get a million answers to this question, ranging from “absolutely nothing” to “buying a lot of expensive crap” to “spending time with family and friends” and “celebrating the birth of Jesus”. Sure, the birth of Jesus is the original meaning of Christmas, but all of these answers are valid. I’m not saying that all of them should or shouldn’t be the meaning of Christmas, but pragmatically, they are. Christmas is a lot of things to a lot of people.

I always try to be a peacemaker and I try to see both sides of every issue. As a Christian, I understand people getting upset that Jesus, not only the reason for the holiday in the first place, but also our Savior, gets a back seat to Santa Claus a lot of times. However, for those of you who think that there is a war on Christmas, I have three thoughts.

Christmas

1. The original Christmas story is unchanged

I just went and watched the second Hobbit movie a couple days ago. And while I didn’t like everything about it, it was a pretty good movie. However, even if they had really butchered it, the book The Hobbit would have remained unchanged. That is how I view Christmas. Rudolph and Santa cannot erase the Christmas story. Christmas has survived the introduction of Christmas trees, holly, and mistletoe, as well as numerous other traditions that have nothing to do with the original Christmas. Even if the word Christmas is eventually effaced from public usage and people use the term Annual Gift Exchange Day or Santamas, it still won’t affect the original meaning of Christmas, which brings me to the second point.

christmas_day

2. What matters most is how you personally celebrate Christmas

In Korea, Christians in Korea go to church most of the day and then go help poor people. This makes me a bit embarrassed since although I’m a Christian, I don’t go to church on Christmas (that’s for Christmas Eve). Christmas for me is a time for family. I wouldn’t want Koreans judging me for not going to church and so I should not judge others if they want to say Happy Holidays or  read The Night Before Christmas instead of Luke 2. Honestly, I think it’s pretty impressive that non-Christians talk and sing about Jesus as much as they do around Christmas time.

Christmas peace

3. Let’s have a little peace, shall we?

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

 

Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you have a great day.

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About David Stewart

I am a writer of anything quirky and weird. I love most genres of fiction and in each there are stories that I would consider "my kind of story". View all posts by David Stewart

15 responses to “3 Thoughts on the War on Christmas

  • Browsing the Atlas

    Beautiful and wise messages here. Merry Christmas!

  • sharmishtha basu

    i am quite old fashioned when it comes to celebrating durgapuja 🙂 In place of all the modern touches that people add to it i love the old way, without any glamour only devotion and real obsession with the actual ways of worshipping (here i let the cat out!) 🙂

    I really believe in an ideal society every religion should be allowed to follow its ways openly unless it causes others heart attack or chops off the heads of innocent people 🙂

    • David Stewart

      I tend to be a traditionalist myself when it comes to holidays, although not as much as some people. I hope you have a great Christmas, even if you don’t celebrate it over there. 🙂

      • Sharmishtha Basu

        I too am moderately conservative, I love the festivals with their true spirits, a little change here and there is ok but too much keeps me out of it, its been eight years in kolkata but i have never visited a single pandal 🙂 I am afraid they may cause me a culture shock!

  • sharmishtha basu

    Merry Christmas! Have a blessed and joyful time ahead! btw, what is mistletoe?

  • Joyce

    David, well said. The way we live (as Christians) should speak loudly enough of our thoughts and perspective on Christmas without making it a point of conflict or argument. Thank you for sharing and addressing this issue in a way I believe Jesus would be pleased as it is said in love. My last three Christmas poems posted over the last two weeks (with the last one today, “And His Name Shall Be Called”) presents a different perspective on Christmas with something for everyone to read, like it or not. Merry Christmas, David and hope your new year is a happy and healthy one. Beautiful pictures above and love the cute nativity one, too. Be sure to visit my blog and read my last three poems/posts on Christmas. God bless.

  • sustainabilitea

    Nicely done, David. I celebrate Christmas with Christ as the focal point and if I wish someone Merry Christmas, I hope they don’t take offense. It’s not in any way meant to “force” them to acknowledge Christ as Lord. I’m not offended if someone else says happy holidays.

    As for the latest edition of The Hobbit, which we saw last night, we really enjoyed it, just not as The Hobbit. We loved LOTR despite any differences from the books and the first Hobbit, but this was quite a ways away from the book. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t look forward to the next movie. 🙂 Also looking forward to the next three episodes of “Sherlock” and found the part with Bilbo and Smaug to be quite ironic because of that.

    Merry Christmas, David!

    janet

  • Don Royster

    I think Christians everywhere should applaud your message here. But sometimes I wonder if Christians really believe they have a responsibility to work toward that peace on earth we all long for. They seem to be to deep into condemning–and, yes, hating–to be able to pursue that work.

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