Friday, November 27, 2009

Get Ready, It's Here....

Millions of Americans are flocking to retail establishments some getting started as early as 5:00 am at Walmarts in the annual ritual we've come to know as "Black Friday."

"Black Friday" is the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season, the make or break period for many retail outlets profitability. Over the past couple decades this ritual has become far more publicized and much more extreme as vendors resort to every trick or gimmick they can dream of to get as much traffic through their stores resulting in the familiar "ch-ching" at the registers.

There is no holiday on the calendar anything like Christmas. It is the most widely celebrated and the one that results in the highest level of activity by the public at large exchanging gifts among friends, family, and even coworkers. It is this writer's opinion that this is a reflection of the secular celebration of Christmas and that any connection with the Christian observance celebrating the birth of Christ is almost an entirely separate phenomenon. Certainly, millions of Christians will engage in religious activities, church services, participating in choirs, and engaging in community activities as part of the religious celebration, but the huge spending spree of Christmas shopping is more its own celebration that only uses the sacred holiday as a focal point.
One need not be Christian to celebrate Christmas. It is a Federal holiday for all citizens as the birth of Christ is perhaps the single most significant historical event mankind has ever known. There could be no US Declaration of independence or Constitution without a strong sense of deeply ingrained Christian morality. Further, "peace on earth, goodwill to men," is a message worthy of celebration for all citizens.

Take a look around and see if atheists you know don't exchange Christmas gifts with one another. How many decline to participate in social activities just because they might be called "Christmas" parties.

The whole point is, Christmas belongs to us all, though it would certainly be beneficial if some of the higher values associated with the teachings of Christ were given a much more significant voice not just for Christians but everybody. Likewise, perhaps we need to consider if the crass materialism that "Black Friday" represents doesn't get out of hand. How many Playstation, X-Box, or Wii games does your kid need anyway? Likewise, it's sad that Christmas often turns out to be used as an excuse for extreme gluttony.

No matter how much some might try to suppress the notion, Christmas is an American holiday for all of us to appreciate and enjoy. For this reason, the whole attempt by the forces of the politically correct as reflected by advertisements that go to extremes to avoid any mention of Christmas, schools and government agencies striking references to Christmas from their calendars, and the general attempts to get anything specifically Christmas out of the Holiday celebrations, is absolutely insane.

How sad it is that many school systems no longer allow the singing of traditional Christmas songs. The hideous rewrite of "Silent Night" to become "Lonely Night" a sickly attempt perhaps to sing of seasonal affective disorder brings home the insanity of the whole mindset. Some have gone so far as to not allow kids to give their classmates Christmas cards or to even wear the traditional Christmas colors of red and green near the Christmas holiday. Does your community intend to have a "holiday" tree on display?

We'll say it in case others are too timid to do so. We really don't care if a handful of militant atheists or practicing Muslims who hate Christians are offended by the celebration of Christmas. All are invited to join in the joy of the celebration. Reducing Christmas to "the Holidays" or "winter solstice observance" is just plain nuts.

Maybe if everyone pauses for just a moment to consider just a little more about what got the whole celebration of Christmas started, that would be a good thing.

In case we don't have the chance to say it later, "Merry Christmas to all, and God bless you, all our readers, whoever you are. May peace be with you."

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