True meaning of Christmas season lost in petty, sensationalist holiday warfare

Ian Zulick and Ian Zulick

Thursday’s snow [hopefully] marked the arrival of winter and we all know what that means: eggnog, itchy sweaters, warm fires, annoying relatives whom we say we love but really don’t, holidays, relaxation, good food and a generous helping of incitement to cultural warfare right along with our

cranberry sauce.

Yes, ‘tis the season for the latest installment of “The War on Christmas.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I loathe even hearing the word “Christmas” until well after Thanksgiving, but seeing as our material-obsessed culture can’t help but try and butter us up for the shopping season like so many crescent rolls, I guess it’s futile to wish things were otherwise.

And right along with this comes the news circuits with fresh new examples of how Christmas is being ever more denigrated and destroyed by the

secularist agenda.

Now, I don’t like the terminology one bit. I don’t like titles like “The War on Christmas” or “The War on the poor” or “The War

on women.”

These are sensationalist, vacuous catch phrases that add absolutely nothing to the respective cultural discussions they’re supposedly meant to sum up.

So it is with the vaunted War on Christmas.

I remember growing up in the Church with my dad at the pulpit and how much I loved Christmas season.

There was a general air of happiness abound and I really did [and still do] love the atmosphere.

Even as a kid, although I dragged my feet to go to the Christmas Eve service, I always ended up enjoying it. And I still do.

But then the next morning came and all

was forgotten.

Greedily, I tore open the wrapping paper encasing my presents and cast it aside while extending a brief “Thank you” to

my parents.

Now, maybe I was just a spoiled child who should have thought about gratitude a little more, but something tells me that my Christmas experiences as a kid were likely similar to many, if not most,

of yours.

Even as a Christian then, I wasn’t thinking about the birth of Jesus or what that meant and neither was anyone else.

The truth is that Christmas has gradually become a bastardized commercial holiday and if there is a war being waged against it, it doesn’t take the form of some band of bookish secularists chanting “humbug!”

It comes from the holiday being embedded in our culture for so long that it has become beholden to the whims of the million-headed hydra of commercialism and I think anyone, like myself, who celebrates Christmas needs to accept this.

I don’t blame Christians, nor do I blame Christianity, but the increased meaninglessness of Christmas in a religious sense is


Battles may be waged against symbols and court cases will be won and lost, but I think all of the preoccupation with free expression and what iconography is or isn’t acceptable misses the point of Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever winter holiday you celebrate.

The meaning of all the holidays is that you’re together with your family and that you’ve all lived another year on this

earth together.

Drink to the memory of those who’ve gone and hold on to the time you’ve got left. And celebrate whatever holiday

you choose.

And if taking down Christmas trees in an airport ruins the meaning of Christmas for us, then perhaps we’ve been wrong about its true meaning all along.

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