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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Christ Never Left Christmas

I'm just going to leave this infographic here. It says every thing that I need to say about the imaginary war on Christmas. And I feel it would behoove me to ignore the temptation to go after the Ignorami in America. See, technically you aren't supposed to say Merry Christmas until Christmas day. Why?

Well, in terms of proper language use, to say Merry Christmas from Thanksgiving until December 25 would be the same as your friends saying Happy Birthday to you every time they see you for the whole month before your birthday. Like the infographic says... Advent's Holy Sundays are covered in the greeting.

Why does it matter? Because Advent is a crucial WEEKS long part of the holiday season. Each of the four Sundays of Advent is a special kind of Sunday. A candle in a wreath is lit, prayers are said and people of faith reaffirm their expectation of forgiveness and deliverance when the Christ child comes. These are the weeks in which the home is made ready for Christmas Day celebrations. This pre-event season is different from the pre-Easter event season of Lent in that there is no fasting, there is no drudgery. Advent still has Fish only Friday meals as does Lent (if you are Catholic then every Friday is fishfingers without the custard) but the countdown to Christmas is joyously expressed in the marking of days with the Advent Calendar and small treats that are not normally served during the rest of the year. This little tidbit is determined by family and can be anything from those special chocolates that one doesn't afford otherwise to small dime store toys. Advent is, in some ways, similar to the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

This season, unlike Lent, is fully joyous. Greeting others with "Happy Holidays" is very much appropriate. We are reinforcing the happy, spreading joy and good cheer. Of course, sometimes Hanukkah and Christmas coincide. And Happy Holidays is a good way to greet those not of your faith but who celebrate the season in their own way. Why is that wrong? That kind of inclusiveness doesn't happen every year. I think it only happens every seven. So why the hassle?

Whatever the reason, it is astounding to me that the people who are screaming religious persecution seem to not understand the very basic aspects of their own faith. And they certainly do not care to share their trademarks with anyone other than themselves. It is a poor representation of the very person whom you swear to worship.

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