Each December heralds renewed assaults on our Christmas traditions. We must forego any Christmas themed activity on public property to maintain the separation of church and state, a concept credited to Thomas Jefferson. True, the Founders wisely avoided establishing a Church of America. However, Jefferson's words don't indicate a man interested in silencing religious expression or debate:
Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them; they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only.
Engaging in pure and open religious expression would, in Jefferson's mind, elevate genuine religion. Can we not apply Jefferson's approach in determining the nature and spirit of the season? We can. Therefore, I conclude America recognizes December as the Christmas Season, not the "holiday season." If not, why aren't there seasonal television specials titled A Charlie Brown Hanukkah and How the Grinch Stole Kwanzaa?
The Nativity couldn't unfold in today's America as it did in ancient Bethlehem. Depending on Joseph's age, he could be charged with statutory rape for allegedly impregnating his teenage fiancé. He would surely be charged with kidnapping for transporting the underage Mary across state lines, from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Once in protective state custody, Mary would've received counseling and family planning advice from the nearest Planned Parenthood facility. Thus we would have the Greatest Story Never Told.
Consider the shabby treatment Rudolph received from Santa and the reindeer. The reindeer snubbed Rudolph because of his shiny nose, and Santa wouldn't even consider Rudolph for the sleigh team for the same reason. But once the fog rolled in and Rudolph's perceived liability became a needful asset Santa asked, "Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?" Then "all the reindeer loved him." Rudolph must've been an exceptional sport. Else he would've told Santa and "all of the other reindeer" to kiss his rosy-red nose.
Many people experience a mild depression known as the post-Christmas blues. For all of the intense preparation, the excitement lasts but a few hours. Yet you can find hope and optimism among the cold leftovers, shredded wrapping paper, and bulging credit card statements. After December 25th you won't be exposed to Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Jingle Bell Rock, or Holly Jolly Christmas until at least next Halloween. If you still have the blahs, try seeking next year's Christmas joy in a tiny stable rather than a big box store.
Why is there a Holly Jolly Christmas anyway? Anyone who has ever tried to plant, prune, or trim that prickly stuff can tell you there's nothing "jolly" about holly.
Christmas is often abbreviated as Xmas, which most Christians find an offensive indicator of the holiday's escalating secularization. Actually, Xmas is neither new nor insulting. The abbreviation dates to 1551. The "X" is the Greek letter "chi," which is the first letter of Χριστός (Christos), the Greek word for Christ. The "X" is a direct reference to Christ, not a replacement for Him. Furthermore, crosses used for crucifixion came in several configurations: T, , l, and yes, X. When you see Christmas abbreviated as "Xmas" remember its origin, think of the "X" as representing Jesus' cross, and refuse to be offended. Doing so entails dual benefits. You'll be happier and your antagonists will be suspicious.
In traditional America, immigrants came to our shores seeking a new life in the great melting pot. They retained their heritage, but they adopted and celebrated American culture and tradition. Those immigrants were determined and resourceful. In contemporary America we celebrate diversity, and immigrants are uncommitted and demanding. However, in the spirit of Christmas, I will make peace with modern multiculturalists: a Merry HanuKwanzMas to all, and to all a good night!