195 thoughts on “The War on Christmas”

  1. Nothing shows our Christian love like imposing our traditions and beliefs on everyone.
    Why do so many Christians say they don’t care about pop culture and then respond in anger and hate when one person on TV says “holiday” instead of “Christmas”?

  2. And then there’s the offshoot of fundies that claim that Christmas was a pagan holiday started by the druids and we should never celebrate it EVER and Christmas trees are the Catholic church’s symbol of compromise to pagan religions and it’s silly to put a tree in your house anyway but candy canes are okay because the guy who made them ORIGINALLY wanted them to be a “J” with the stripes from the cross all over them so go ahead and eat those but don’t do the trees or holly or gid help us all MISTLETOE because we’re playing into Satan’s hands worse than on Halloween and what is this I don’t even.

    (Run-on sentence intentional. After a while, that’s what it sounds like.)

    1. I’m sure they’re consistent about Halloween, but I wonder if they’re also consistent about Easter, given its pagan origins…

      1. Oh, they are. My ex-church believed all three were pagan. The only holidays we were allowed to have were 4th of July and Thanksgiving.

      2. Depends what part of Easter. True, the name is pagan in origin, and the practice of decorating eggs and celebrating rebirth and all that, but at least we can know, based on the Jewish calendar, that the Resurrection did indeed happen roughly around that time of year. Christmas, however, is a replacement for old Winter Solstice traditions; given the activities of the shepherds and so forth (why they would have been grazing outside Bethlehem, for instance), it is far more likely that Jesus was born around May.
        Ah well; doesn’t stop me from watching The Grinch (NOT with Jim Carrey, mind you) and baking gingerbread men. Mmmm…

        1. When I was at PCC, There was an article in the PCC update PROVING that Christ was born in the winter. Something about the sheep being in the field that only happened in the winter time. He had the day pinned closely to Dec 25th too, can’t remember how he arrived at the date. I believe Dr. Mutch wrote the article.

    2. Yesterday at the dinner table a loved relative told us all how angry and apalled it made her that Halloween was being held on a Sunday this year. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      1. Uh …

        I do recall, though, that once when I was a kid, the mayor of the town I lived in suggested we should all celebrate Halloween on Saturday (October 30th that year) instead of Sunday (October 31st). This had the result that about one-third of the kids went Trick-or-Treating on Saturday, one-third on Sunday, and one-third both days, so Halloween effectively lasted two days, which was fine with us kids.

        1. The non-college towns around us had it on Saturday this year. I think the only reason our town didn’t is because there was a home football game on Saturday. ๐Ÿ™„

        1. When I was a kid we did that once; one neighbor didn’t get the memo that Halloween was early, so he didn’t have candy for us. We got cans of Coca-Cola instead.

        1. Baal Bush — OMG I had forgotten all about that!! Several years ago we had some IFB “friends” separate from us over a Baal Bush… This couple stepped into my living room and the first thing out of the man’s mouth was “What is this abomination?” Bewildered, the first thing out of my mouth was, “Excuse me?” Big mistake. I received a 1/2 hour sermon while they were packing up to leave. He grabbed the keys, while wifey, laden down with four kids, a diaper bags, a covered dish, winter outdoor clothing etc. submissively followed him out the door. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

        2. @belle, the other day Pita posted, “They donรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt grasp true grace and virtue, so they have to invent false virtues. False virtues are handy tools. They feed your ego while giving you excuses to alienate and demonize the people Christ died for.” That man was rude, childish, condescending, unloving (toward you AND his wife and kids), and despotic; best thing for him is that he gets to feel GOOD about acting that way because he’s “standing up for righteousness”!!! He thus turns his petty tyrannies into acts of holiness; he can go home and gloat about how much better he is than you. Reminds me of the Pharisee in Jesus’ story: “Lord, I thank you that I am not like other men.”

          His disgusting display of temper is in his eyes justified. But when I see his behavior, all I think is “Woe to those who call good evil and evil good.”

        3. @ Pastor’s Wife: Tears welled in my eyes after reading your post. So many of us have been used/abused by the words, actions and attitudes of these supposedly Christian people. Thank you for being a voice of reason!! And thank you to the SFL community for letting me know that I am not alone!! (((hugs)))

        4. Standing up for righteousness?
          Mainly, he was just displaying his boorish, bullying personality.

        5. Can someone explain to me what a Baal Bush is? Is that real some kind of joke decoration? Is there a picture?

      1. I once researched an article–to the point of tracking down primary sources in languages I couldn’t speak and begging strangers on the Intarwebs to translate for me, strangers are so kind–that proved to my satisfaction that the indoor decorated Christmas tree was invented by Christians for Christian purposes.

        However, said Christians were a pack of mackerel-snapping Catholics, so obv. they were really worshipping Baal.

        Oh and also, I’m a Lutheran/Episcopalian and didn’t set out to write the article with the conclusion in mind. If it had been pagan, that would’ve been just fine. We’re supposed to seek the good and true in all parts of life after all.

        1. Somewhere along the way, I was told or read that Martin Luther first proposed using Christmas trees. That may have just been Lutheran spin, though.

        2. @Big Gary: Luther favored the use of the Christmas tree, but did not invent it. He may or may not have been the first person to think of lighting one.

          Here’s the gist of my article, as best I can remember it–I lost my original with the list of references and the hardcopy is filed at the church. Christmas trees began in the region just east of what is now Germany. Originally they were props for one of the sacred plays that the laity were allowed to perform. Nowadays we normally think of Easter plays such as the great Passion Play at Oberammergau, but many communities in late medieval Christendom had cycles of plays covering the whole church year and often performed in the church itself. The Christmas Eve play began with a scene in Eden, followed by Adam and Eve lamenting the Fall, leading into the reasons for the Incarnation. The prop for the Eden scene was a green tree. To have a green tree in that season in that climate, people had to use an evergreen. It was set up in the church and hung with apples that had been stored in somebody’s cellar.

          Then the regional church authorities rearranged the liturgical calendar and moved the play about the Fall to some other time of the year. However, the evergreen hung with fruit was such a beloved symbol of Christmas that people couldn’t let it go. That is how laypeople started cutting evergreens and decorating them at home.

          The custom took off rapidly and changed along the way; within a generation or so, there is mention of ribbons, paper flowers, etc., as decorations, and shortly after that at least one German city had to pass laws against cutting Christmas trees because the nearby countryside was being deforested and the trees were needed for other purposes.

          Also, while sacred trees featured in local pre-Christian ritual in many parts of Europe, they were living trees that stood outdoors and typically deciduous. Cutting a small evergreen and putting it indoors with a bucket to keep it alive for a while was the Christian innovation.

  3. Oh yes, I remember well the story in Matthew about the Wise men gathering around the holiday tree fully decorated primarily w/ Jesus ornaments, and elaborately displayed with a “He is the reason for the season” display banner behind. Back then Macy’s hadn’t gone liberal and all their cashier’s were forced to say Merry Christmas in Jerusalem regardless if they had accepted Jesus into their hearts or not. It was truly the way God designed Christmas to be celebrated.

    1. And of course with a Nativity scene, including the Wise Men. They were quick in those days…

      1. We used to have the Wise Men on the other side of the room at Christmas, and then at Epiphany they joined the rest of the Nativity scene. Nice way to tell the story, I think.

  4. And just to head off what I know is coming…

    I wish people a Merry Christmas as I go through the season. And if they wish upon me a Happy Hanukkah or Blessed Kwanzaa or a Mildly Pleasant Winter Solstice, then I’m tickled to death that they at least pretend to care and take no offense that their celebration differs from mine.

    But I think that saying “Seasons Greetings” is tantamount to wishing someone “Appropriate And Meaningless Salutation!” and warms the cockles of my heart just about as much.

        1. Privare I, I am not a big fan of the Seinfeld show, but the “Festivus” episode is one of the best, and certainly worth watching if you get a chance.

    1. For me it is a matter of habit and the fact that I celebrate Christmas. So for the most part I wish people merry Christmas. But I understand those people who don’t and just as I wish them to be mindful of my religion I should be mindful of theirs. So if work decides to have a “holiday” party instead of Christmas I don’t think twice. If someone says happy holidays instead of merry Christmas I’m great with it. And I’m sure the alternatives creep out of my mouth from time to time.

      This guys thinks that religious tolerance means that his must be recognized exclusively. That isn’t tolerance.

      1. I work in a store that sells greeting cards, so not only am I learning about all sorts of holidays that I never celebrated, but I am also supposed to be greeting people accordingly. So when it was Rosh Hashanah I was greeting people with “Have a sweet and blessed new year,” and yesterday I said, “Have a safe and happy Halloween.” By greeting people appropriately, I am acknowledging their beliefs and their celebrations, not necessarily endorsing them.

    2. In all fairness, “Happy Holidays”/”Season’s Greetings” works really well in retail, where you’re basically you’re saying, “Happy Shopping Season for Whatever Holiday You Celebrate!” especially since said Shopping Season lasts from Thanksgiving through New Year.

    3. @Darrell
      รขโ‚ฌล“Appropriate And Meaningless Salutation!รขโ‚ฌย

      Not to be the Grinch, but in my experience, almost 50% of standard American communication could be summed up with that phrase, especially around a holiday.

      Few people have a love of thinking any more, and even fewer a respect for other peopleรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs thoughts. A profound sense of self-centeredness combined with our cultural desire to not offend anyone has produced communication void of any worth because it is afraid to express anything that anyone might object to.

      I am all for not offending people, but I think that to a large degree, people have ceased to be themselves in the meaningless conversation of the day.

      And a Seasons Greetings to you. ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. Nothing can stir the fury of a fundy more than having a cashier wish them a “happy holiday”. They also make great sermon illustrations the following Sunday as to how the mog delivered a stirring rebuke to him/her right there in line. Followed loudly by an “I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST” quote.

  6. I made it 16 seconds. I take it as a good sign that my tolerance for this crap passing as “preaching” is significantly lowered.

  7. I thought the pan to the audience was funny because it looked like there was segregated seating and the women looked bored to tears; certainly none were as enthused as the amening-men you could hear in the background.

    1. I agree – I noticed that all the women in that shot looked uber-bored. I can’t believe they weren’t copiously taking notes on this riveting sermon.

      1. Perhaps their pens would have made too much noise, thus violating the decree for women to keep silent in the church. ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Fun fact:

    The thing that started the whole “Christmas commercialization” was Dicken’s Christmas Carol. Before that book was published, it was a somber holiday.

    There isn’t any Christianity in Dicken’s book.

    Not that historical facts will do any good with people who want to blame everything on “liberal compromisers”. ๐Ÿ˜•

    1. Lizzy: TRUE: There is no Christianity mentioned in Dickens’ book

      FALSE: Prior to A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Christmas was a somber holiday.

      Christmas has been a festive occasion since way, way before Dickens appeared on the scene.

      1. Agreed. Dickens was describing the Christmas customs of his times, not making them up. Of course, by doing so, he probably helped further popularize them.

        There are lots of older descriptions of merry Christmas celebrations in literature. For example, the story of the Green Knight in the Arthurian legends is set at two Christmas feasts.

      2. Depends where we’re talking about. In Puritan New England, during the Colonial era, it was supposed to be completely somber and children were not to play or anything during this time.

        1. Way before the time of Charles Dickens. Plymouth Plantation was founded around 1620, and Charles Dickens was born in 1812. That’s almost 200 years and is the same length of time as from the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the founding fathers to the end of WWII.

          Well before Dickens was born, Americans in New England had left behind Puritan somberness and were celebrating Christmas in the traditions of High Church Anglicans.

    2. I think that when the heart of a grouchy old man changes as much as Ebenezer’s did, it goes right to the heart of the Reason for the Season (sorry, couldn’t resist the motto).

    3. As others have noted, it’s just not that simple. Christmas celebrations in Europe go back to the adoption of the time of the Roman Saturnalia as an appropriate time to celebrate Christ’s birth, just as the summer solstice became the feast of John the Baptist’s birth. Debate on why and who in the Church decided or approved this is beyond my expertise, but none of the elementary sources cite a bishophric or papal decision. It’s known that Christmas celebrations surrounding Dec 25th (West) and Jan 6th (Eastern) were increasingly common throughout Christendom from ca. 500 AD onward. These celebrations differed greatly, from simple to elaborate, including the Satrunalian Feast of Fools. (cf. Carnival and Lenten traditions)
      By the time of the Reformation, many were questioning the value of Christmas celebrations, citing the lack of Scriptural basis for any such holiday at that time of year. Puritans in both England and Massachusetts Bay colony restricted and then banned Christmas altogether. FWIW, Parliament declared Christmas to be a day of penance rather than feasting in 1644, before banning it altogether in 1652. This is where the notion of Christmas as a somber holiday comes from. After the Restoration, Christmas celebrations revived somewhat, especially in the English countryside.
      Now Dickens. Although it gets ignored, Dickens writes favorably of Christmas celebrations in many of his works, especially The Pickwick Papers, not just his classic A Christmas Carol. It is true that he and other authors stimulated interest in celebrating Christmas, but the influence on non-English-speaking immigrants on American customs was also strong. In any event, by the mid-19th century people were ready for a nostalgic look back at Christmas as a holiday, and Dickens and others filled the need. Commercialization isn’t so much an effect of the Christmas revival as it was of Victorian prosperity; the vast marketing of Christmas symbols comes as disposable income and leisure have increased.

  9. Funny how great minds think alike, I also posted about this today, the sacred day immediately after Hallowe’en that also starts the Christmas season of forbidding holiday cheer: lest in some obscure, unseen way, we may happen to unintentionally pay homage to some demon who may have escaped being utterly conquered in the resurrection of Christ:

  10. The ending is golden. He says the governor wants to be inclusive of all religions and that is why he changed it from Christmas tree to Holiday tree. Normal people would take that and realize how true it is. Now it is the Holiday tree which to some will mean Christmas, to others Hannukkah and others Kwanzaa and so on and so forth. But he flips it to make it an exclusion to Christianity. Say what? You think he is excluding you by using Holiday, the more general term for the time of year, rather than Christmas, the actually exclusion of all other religions?

    Fundy logic at its finest. This whole thing about an attack on Christmas is overblown. Fact is not everyone is a a Christian. If a business decides to say holiday or use any other term to describe the season that is their prerogative, but it is not an attack on your religion.

    1. Also, Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, not a religious one, and can be celebrated right alongside Christmas.

  11. I thought IFBs were supposed to hate Christmas because it’s a Catholic holiday. Christmas = Christ-Mass

    Oh, and isn’t Jeremiah 10 the proof text against Christmas trees anyway? This guy would be considered a heretic to other groups of IFBs. ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. Yes, Christ Mass is distinctly Catholic in its origins. And the Catholic Church apparently instituted it in order to distract people from pagan mid-winter festivals.

      There is no evidence that people in the first couple of centuries after Christ celebrated Jesus’ birthday.

      1. I read a lot of history books and what I gather is that in the early centuries after Christ’s death, it was considered a sin to even debate when he was born or died, much less celebrate it.

    2. That’s JW’s and SDA’s

      Recently a few IFB’s went that way just to be extremists, but they are shunned by the majority as being waht they are-extremists.

      1. If by “recently” you mean 1985 ๐Ÿ˜€

        I knew of some anti-Christmas, anti-birthday, anti-everything fundies back when I was a little lad.

        1. Yeah it’s about that recent.

          Seems it started up in the late 70’s early 80’s. John R. Rice wrote against it as a “new” idea in fundamentalism around then.

          There may have been some before that, but it seems to have been almost if not altogether unheard of until then.
          In fact the very idea of being “anti” Christmas or associating it as a pagan holiday was laughed at by al the early IFB leaders (Going back to J. Frank Norris even) and Falwell, Hyles etc.throughout the early 70’s.

        2. Dear me no. The “war” against “Christmas” is old. Old, old, old. There’s always been a strain in American culture. Puritans refused. Presbies did in the antebellum times.

          There’s always been people who didn’t like Christmas — people who were otherwise “orthodox.”

        3. Camille

          True….but we were talking specifically about IFB’s not Christianity or the war as a whole.

        4. Yes we were–read the original post–it was about IFB’s and that’s what Darrell and I were discussing before you entered in.

        5. I actually went through an “all days alike” phase a couple years ago *after* I had left fundamentalism. That said, I was very quiet about my non-celebration and never “preached” against anyone who chose to celebrate. So yes, there are still people who don’t celebrate Christmas or any other days. Of course, now I’ve swung the opposite direction and am contemplating dragging my rear out of bed tomorrow morning to go to an All Soul’s Day service at the local Anglican church. ๐Ÿ˜€

      2. So some fundamentalists are separating from all those who celebrate Christmas; but are themselves being separated from by most fundamentalists (who are separating from all other Christians who donรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt separate enough) because they separate too much and are now extremists. Masterfully done.

  12. Christmas was anything but a “somber holiday” to many if you do a bit of research on the subject.

    There were usually many feasts and festivals during Christmas’ “early years”. Dickens helped further popularize that which was already a celebrated for centuries vefore. He helped “modernize” our current view of the gift-giving, “good-will to all men”, spirit.

  13. I know this isn’t exactly on topic, but I simply cannot stand the “preacher voice” that 99% of fundy preachers like this man take on. It’s like fingernails on a chalk board. You have to wonder if they have to take Preacher Voice 101 in seminary to learn how to talk like a managawd.

    1. I agree – I didn’t realize how much I didn’t miss that voice until I clicked on that link. He started preaching and I started twitching. Blech. I am SO glad the pastor at my current, non-fundy church knows how to speak like a human being.

    2. I don’t think it is necessarily taught, but i think the “preacher boys” try to emulate the MOG at their particular Fundy U. When I was attending HAC in the 80’s, many of the “preacher boys” would not only try to preach like Jack Hyles, but they would also imitate his cough/throat clearing (which was some type of medical condition he had). It was pretty funny.

      1. You should hear Alan Domele. He has taken the emulation of Jack Hyles’ preaching to a whole new level.

  14. Christmas is wonderful. Christmas is perhaps the holiday used to remember the birth of Christ that overshadows *all* the worst mankind has to offer. The time to watch *Christmas Vacation* until you’re sick of it, *Charlie Brown Christmas*, and to listen to the Snoopy and the Red Baron Christmas LP if you have it…even the Christmas scene in Godfather #1 when Michael and his girl are walking in front of the store is awesome, not to mention watching *White Christmas* with Bing Crosby and Danny Kay until your green in the face. “Merry Christmas” is great for me and “Happy Holidays” is just as cheerful…but all it seems to take is a cosmic killjoy preacher turning Santa into Satan and bringing up all the pagan crap…Fundy preachers are truly the most miserable people on this Earth. ๐Ÿ™

    1. “cosmic killjoy preacher”

      That my friend, is a classic.

      More SFL: Raining on everyone else’s parade.

    2. Don’t forget the Rankin and Bass production of “The Little Drummer Boy,” narrated by Greer Garson. Primitive production values, but with very little editing, you’d have a great audio book with Greer Garson as the reader. Beautifully done audio.

    3. Well if we’re talking Christmas time movies, let’s not forget Die Hard I & II. Nothing warms the cockles of my heart like terrorists, C4 and commando units. ๐Ÿ˜†

      “…Welcome to the party pal…”

      1. I always wondered how John McClain managed NOT to bleed out with all this cuts in his feet. In DH #1, the villian was the PERFECT villian!

      2. 2 of my faves, and I love to include them in the list of Christmas faves. The national lampoons are funny, but noone beats a John McLain Christmas Eve! Am also a huge fan of responding to Christmas warriors berating someone about not using “Merry Christmas” with a good solid “yippy kaye yay”. I think that captures the spirit of what I think of Christmas warriors, and sums up the way they’re honoring yuletide! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      3. +1 internets to you, dear sir. And for the record, a friend of mine will always say “Die Hard” when asked what his favorite Christmas movie is.

    4. All that being said, we are but Pilgrims on this earth so why fight and scratch for every perceived cultural icon? I know what it means to me and my family as well as you know what it means to you and yours so really, it’s inconsequential what Target or Walmart does with the phrase. Preachers, like talk radio hosts, get paid to keep the pot stirred…sad but true.

      It’s really unfortunate, but preaching against pop culture is the fruit of the red headed step-child called Dispensationalism: no icon left behind or unmolested. Lack of spiritual life? Preach against the Easter Bunny. No grasp of grace? Scream, spit and stomp against Santa Claus, Halloween and any holiday not celebrated by white people.

        1. Yikes, “they will know we are Christians by our….flag?” Thanks Don…AMAZING!

          This is where the difficulty is, Nationalism = Christian. Who needs the Holy Spirit when you can wave a flag? That’s akin to mistaking spirituality relative to the size of your KJV or how rabid you are fighting for the KJV.

    5. Let’s not forget Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and The Christmas Story along with my personal favorite: While You Were Sleeping.

  15. Oh, and how could I forget, Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” is staged to come to its great conclusion during Christmas festivities. Another great Christmas film.

  16. Christmas is not even Biblical…as in the Bible doesn’t tell us to celebrate Christ’s birth once a year around December.

    Having said that I do love Christmas and I don’t mind if people strip away Christmas.

    I grew up in Holland so we actually celebrate Sinterklaas on December 5th and Christmas on the 25th. Both are fun holidays. Both are not Biblical but it’s a good excuse to swap gifts, hang out with family and friends, break out the Christmas hymns and remember Christ’s birth.

  17. I’ve viewed the fundy’s attack on Christmas as being the position of a fundy’s fundy. Simular to the concept of a pharisee’s pharisee. Since the average fundy is anti-halloween, the fundy can proved he is vested in the cause by alienating everyone else by vilifying Christmas. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  18. I just love American society. The last Thursday of November, we get to celebrate the sin of gluttony, then, a month later, we do it all over again with presents.

    Having said that, you should know we’re coming up to my favorite time of the year. I LOVE Thanksgiving, simply because it is distinctly American and, at least, semi-religious. I use Thanksgiving as the time to put up Christmas. I have all the Christmas specials on DVD. I watch The Hallmark Channel so I can cry. Indeed, I do turn into my mother in December. I know the roots are pagan, but, I think the best thing the church ever did was plan church feast days around pagan festivals. For those of you who don’t like it, I hope the Grinch visits you this December.

    1. Last year my husband and I were touring Munich on Thanksgiving. Germans we met wished us a happy Thanksgiving, and we had not even mentioned the date. I thought that was the nicest thing ever!

      1. Those were pretty savvy Germans, since nobody in Germany celebrates Thanksgiving (at least, not as an official holiday).

        1. We traveled to China in December to adopt. The hotels and shops all have big Christmas trees even thought they don’t celebrate Christmas.Of course, they make a living off of our Holiday shopping. You can go to MANY stores there where they are making Santas and tinsel and lights all year long there.

      1. I’d heard of that one, but hadn’t seen it before. It’s nice to know that Christmas also exists in alternate universes.

  19. Americans somteimes seem obsessed with defense against imaginary threats.
    When I was in grade school, we were constantly warned about all the Communists hiding under our beds. Guess what? The Commies never invaded.

    Just last week, I was commenting on the popular belief that bad people use Halloween to poison or kidnap children, when, as someone else mentioned, in reality it is probably “the safest night of the year.”

    That brings us to the war against the non-existent War on Christmas. Nobody, but nobody, is trying to stop people who want to from observing Christmas. Yet plenty of loudmouths are out there defending something that was never under attack.

    1. Ah, but Gary, it wasn’t that the Commies didn’t WANT to invade. At least, that’s what my John Bircher parents used to say after the Berlin Wall fell. As if communism is more powerful than people want the right to self-determination. Mmm.

    2. Depends for whom you mean; generally, yeah, I guess they have more policemen out and whatnot… but I do know that careless accidents (jack-o-lanterns kicked over, pranks gone awry, etc.) sometimes claim lives–that, however, is not the work of satanists out to destroy innocent life, but rather people’s own stupid oversight. I also do know someone who once owned a kitten who was rescued from a satanic ritual sacrifice, but from what I gather his opinion is more that they were just using it as an excuse and they would have been cruel and weird anyway.

      1. It’s safe for children. I didn’t say cats. We kept our cats inside last night, just in case.

        1. See, however, this:

          Legends that people sacrifice cats at Halloween seem to be common, but the actual practice doesn’t appear to be. I’m not saying that some people aren’t horribly cruel to cats (year-round), but there’s no conclusive evidence that killing them at Halloween is a common practice.

  20. Happy All Saints Day, everyone.

    And that brings me to my pet peeve, winter-holiday-wise, which is people celebrating Christmas beginning in November, or October, or even September.
    The liturgical Christmas season (in the West) is December 25 to January 6 (known as the Twelve Days of Christmas). (On the Orthodox calendar, it all comes a few days later.)
    What most people observe as the Christmas season is properly Advent, which historically was a season of repentance and self-purification in preparation for Christ’s coming.

    Aside from all this, if you make half the year Christmas, there’s nothing special about December 25.

    I’ll never change this trend, but at least I can complain about it. ๐Ÿ˜•

    1. I don’t like how one local radio station starts playing Christmas music November 1st! Yikes!!!! But all Christmas music seems to stop by December 26, sometimes even by Christmas afternoon. If I ran the world, November would still be fall (not -re-Christmas) culminating in a wonderful celebration of harvest at Thanksgiving, and we’d begin Christmas preparations after Thanksgiving. Then Christmas itself would be celebrated if not until Jan. 6 at least until New Years. I can dream, can’t I?

      1. The rule in my house growing up was that Christmas music was only played after Thanksgiving.

        Now that I have my own house…I cheat. Sometimes I even break out Bing in the middle of August.

        What really gets to me, though, is that of all the wonderful music the season has, the malls and radio stations choose about 9 songs and play them to death. I worked with my wife in the mall on Christmas and the repeating inane sound track was about enough to make any person wish for death.

        1. Totally agree on the mall thing! There are AWESOME, incredible songs out there, and the stores/radio stations keep playing the same few ad nauseum. (In my comment above, I meant to call November “pre-Christmas”.)

          I’ve been known to listen to “Mary, Did You Know” or “Breath of Heaven” in the middle of summer, so you’re forgiven for giving in to the temptation of Bing. ๐Ÿ™‚

        2. I did listen to my Joan Osborne “Christmas Means Love” CD a couple of times this summer. Like all of Joan Osborne’s stuff, it’s fantastic.

          But I’m not putting up Christmas tree before December!!

        3. My local Mallwarts played the same 15 songs over and over and over and OVER, even in the stockroom, so there was no escape for the “associates.” Four of them were “White Christmas” and three were “Jingle Bells.” This was decreed by higher management; IIRC the artists had CDs on sale there and so on.

          Last year, the music system “broke.” This has mysteriously never been mentioned to higher management. So year round, store shoppers get to listen to blessed silence and the soft hum of fans.

        1. 12step
          Pastors wife is from michigan. I am too!

          Now Im dying to find out what church you went to.

      2. Grandma got run over by a reindeer!

        I’m gettin’ nuttin’ for Christmas.

        I saw Mommy kissing Santa Clause.

        1. Make sure to use Red and Green for the posters Di. I’ll bring… well since fundies don’t use hand bells we’ll have to use “Cowbells” That way we can rotate who is ranting and save our voices.

        2. Red and Green: but of course. And tinsel and glitter…
          And as for the instrument: “I have a fever! And the only prescription…..is more cowbell!!”

    2. The Hobby Lobby down here had its Christmas decorations out by the middle of August. I wish I was kidding.

  21. I remember the fear mongering. The declarations that in ten years we would all be arrested for standing firm for the faith. A couple of ten year cycles have come and gone since then and we are all still here.

  22. Claims of threats from other holidays are silly.

    Kwanzaa – Not observed by most African Americans. An artificial holiday celebrating not one particular African harvest festival. Can’t be taken seriously enough to be promoted out of a community center “expo” venue. Too often the punchline to jokes about political correctness and an (pseudo) Afro-centric angle of multiculturalism.

    Winter Solstice – Might be observed by some neo-pagans under a different name. Nationwide observers number in a six figure population. Sometimes the punchline of jokes about political correctness, and a New Age section of the bookstore influenced angle of multiculturalism.

    Hanukkah – Fundies could at least acknowledge a holiday of God’s Chosen People, or are they so aloof, that it’s all about eschatology with the Chosen People? – Who otherwise observe Christmas with Chinese Food.

    1. At a job I had over a decade ago I worked with some Jews. One Jewish lady went to a lot of time and expense every year to make handmade Christmas cards for every one. The were beautiful. I still have them.

      1. There’s a female Jewish rabbi in my city who volunteers her time (and encourages her congregation to do the same) at local soup kitchens on Chistmas day and Christmas Eve so the Christians can stay home and celebrate with their families. I think it’s beautiful. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. That’s both a much better, and a much more Christian observance than the Lexus December to Remember nonsense.

        2. Soooo that means I’m not getting a Lexus with a big red bow in my driveway this year ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

    2. I’ve noticed a curious trend: It seems like the percentage of African-Americans in an area who celebrate Kwanzaa is inversely proportional to the number of African-Americans who live there overall. So no, I don’t think it’s a threat; by the time it garners a large enough following to become one, people will lose interest.

  23. Kwanzaa was invented by one person in about the 1970s. But every holiday was made up by somebody at some point in history.
    Only a few of the African-Americans I know observe Kwanzaa at home, but many of them do take part in some Kwanzaa activity at school, church, or some other communal place. I think this is pretty much in line with the original intent, anyhow. It was proposed as a community observance, not a private one.

    Not many Americans observe the Winter Solstice under that name, but most do under a name like Christmas, Chanukah, or even Festivus.

  24. Every year, starting the day after Thanksgiving, I will post Something like this:

    “War on Christmas? Does it really matter if someone says Happy Holidays over Merry Christmas? Have we missed the point of what God commands that we think He cares about a holiday greeting? Is this a Biblical issue?

    How about we worry about what GOD calls us to worry about? Where is the love, peace, compassion, justice, and mercy for those around us? Why are we so caught up in words while children around the world- even our own back yards- starve and suffer easily curable/ preventable diseases?

    How about we stop the foolishness and focus on what REALLY matters, what God REALLY calls us to…..Here is a charity that does just that…

    You would not believe how many people I piss off with that- lost about 10 friends off my list last year. Evidently, God cares more about “Happy Holidays” than starving children. No, seriously, I was told this was a *HUGE* issue, along with the implication that I am not saved and an evil liberal for not getting my undies in a twist over it. ๐Ÿ™„

  25. My fingers moved too fast…I post this daily to my FB page..the little rant, then finish with a charity that does things like provide stock animals, clean water, education, food, medical care, etc for those in need.

    1. I guess it’s because doing any charitable work at all to many fundies is the “social gospel” which means you’re compromising the faith. You’re calling them to do something many of them have no desire to do. I know we’ve been slapped with that label, but I don’t buy that any longer. I want to hold to the truths of God’s Word AND demonstrate God’s love in my community. And I’m going to happily fill my Samaritan’s Purse shoe box this year without feeling guilty that they’re not “separated” enough for me to support.

  26. OK, I admit I didn’t watch the video. I hate cringing, so I tend to avoid the videos here. But as far as Christmas goes…
    I once had a coworker who is an absolute atheist. He once equated belief in God to belief in an invisible cheeseburger in the sky. He is one of the smartest people one could ever meet, incredibly sharp. And I heard him give a serious defense of the “Christmas Tree.” I couldn’t believe it. It was during a staff meeting. His argument: It’s a Christmas tree. It’s associated with Christmas. There’s no Hannukkah tree or Kwanzaa tree. Everyone knows it as a Christmas tree. Regardless of the origins however many years ago, this is what it is accepted as.
    As for the cashiers at the store… I don’t get bent out of shape if someone won’t say merry Christmas. Why should they if they don’t know Christ? I don’t care for a company telling their employees they can’t respond to a greeting of Merry Christmas in kind, but I don’t think it should be required either.
    In short, I suppose there is an extreme left leaning element that really is trying to re-package Christmas as something else, and in typical fundy fashion, the extreme right element has declared a holy war, using “Merry Christmas” as a sort of ID check.

    1. “… I donรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt care for a company telling their employees they canรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt respond to a greeting of Merry Christmas in kind …”

      I wouldn’t like that either, but what company ever did this (except in the fevered imgaination of the Christian Right)? I’ve been a lot of places, including some where Christians were a minority, and I’ve never heard of an actual occurrence of this.

      It might be reasonable for governments to do this, in the interest of separation of church and state, but in fact I don’t ever know of any national, state, or local government in North America ever making such a rule.

      1. http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/m/merrychristmas.htm

        As you’ll read, several large companies did, in fact, shy away from Christmas. But, they have either changed course or blamed it on an error. It seems not to have been terribly widespread, but with all small fires, fundies quickly arrived on scene to fan the flames into a massive conflagration, so they could be seen trying to put it out.

        1. Sometimes (Luke 16:8) “…the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.”

        2. That page only repeats some rumors about big companies like Wal-Mart and Target, with the companies’ categorical denials. I’m going to need stronger evidence than that before I believe big companies don’t want anybody to mention Christmas.

          Frankly, retailers like Wal-Mart and Target would be insane not to encourage Christmas celebrations, since they make huge profits from Christmas shopping.

  27. Slightly off topic, but I went to a synagogue with a Jewish woman I worked with for her 80th birthday celebration. LOVED it. There are 3 main branches of modern Judaism, Reformed, Conservative, and Orthodox; this was Conservative. They sang their hymns (without accompaniment) in Hebrew with English translations on the next page. They read a lot of Psalms out loud in English and I got to read with them. It was awesome.
    Said all that to say this: I can’t wait to go again during Hannukah (sp?).

  28. When I worked at Dillard’s they started playing Christmas music the day after Halloween. (That’s my pet peeve. No Christmas til after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time people.) But I always said Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas except for the week of Christmas. It covered Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Not to mention there’s a significant Jewish population in Greenville, and I’m all about respecting other people’s faiths. That’s the truly Christian thing to do IMO.

    1. Come down to North Miami and Miami Beach and start wishing people a “Merry Christmas.” You’ll get the strangest stares from people.

  29. Yes! “A Hippopotamus for Christmas” is my FAVORITE non-religious Christmas song! (At least, it’s not very religious.)

    1. I had to scroll back up to see who posted that this morning… RobM… I shoudda known! I have been singing “I wanna Hippopotamus for Christmas” A-L-L d-a-y L-o-n-g. Make it stop! ๐Ÿ˜€ I know I’ll sing another song: “Grandma got run over by a …..Hippopotamus for Christmas” ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

        1. No… I know where this goes guys. Even if I get you a Hippo, you’ll claim I didn’t get you one and and then say I was the one who put that song in your head…. been there done that! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    2. One of my favorite Christmas songs is “FairyTale of New York” by the Pogues and Kirsty McColl. A powerful, bitter-sweet song. Has an acerbic edge to it wish is a good antidote to the sugary-ness of most of the non-religious Christmas audio-wallpaper…

  30. A couple of comments.

    1. While there are certainly much more important things for christians to fight for, there is nothing wrong for insisting that Christmas be called what it is. Many retailers make a BUNDLE for CHRISTMAS. Let’s cater to the customers please. They want it to be called Christmas. It’s just good business folks. Seriously.

    2. I am totally with whomever said that Christmas is not November or even December. If we want to be “religious” about, then its December 25th-January 6th. And its church everyday. And its liturgical.

  31. When I was a kid I had no idea people celebrated anything but Christmas. I figured “happy holidays” meant you were including Thanksgiving and New Year. The only people who wouldn’t celebrate Christmas are Scrooge or the Grinch or a mean old hermit who lives in a cave. (that was from a Christmas special with yogi bear i think)

  32. I dont care what they call it, or what its celebrating for that matter, as long as I get a day off here and there.

  33. This whole Christmas War business hit where I was living a few years ago, and apparently retailers were avoiding the “Merry Christmas” greeting and instructing employees to not use it. I had a cashier at Walmart find a creative way to greet her customers. She said, “God bless you.” ๐Ÿ˜€

  34. What’s funny is that some of the most ardent fighters for the integrity of the Christmas holiday I know are Catholic. One of my high school English teachers was such a figure; of course I had to discuss it with him after school hours, but I think his faith was always more inline with what God had in mind than that of a lot of fundies.

    1. Oh, yes, I just learned that here at the base chapel. I never knew that the Catholics sing only advent carols up until Dec 25, then they sing the ‘Jesus is born’ themed carols. I think I rather like that! Doesn’t it teach so much more than the hodge podge we generally do?

      1. Methodists do that, too. At least, the more high-church ones do– they observe all the church seasons. So do Episcopalians. It’s Advent for four weeks until December 25, then it’s Christmas until January 6; then Epiphany, then Lent, then Eastertide, then Pentecost.

  35. Some Brits on our walking tour of Munich also wished us Happy Thanksgiving. They don’t celebrate it either.

  36. I like a little Weird Al at Christmas…

    Christmas at Ground Zero, The Night Santa Went Crazy…

    1. That was supposed to be a reply to a post further up…

      I wonder why the “Reply” button doesn’t “take” sometimes.

      I wonder if George has something to do with that, too, or if he just messes with spelling.

      1. I dunno, but the video for “The Night Santa Went Crazy” is solid gold. It’s on the list of songs and videos I swap onto my iPhone when I make the seasonal transition. ๐Ÿ˜€

    2. OMG, I so LOVE both those songs. And Bob River’s ‘The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen’ and Paul & Storm’s ‘The Way-Too-Early Christmas Song’.

    1. Obviously, it was successful, too, because, well, Christmas is still around. ๐Ÿ™„

      My campaign to avoid being eaten by zombies has been equally successful. But eternal vigilance is required, because they might try again to eat me next year. :mrgreen:

  37. I call it Christmas, but I don’t care what other people call it. Being easily offended is hardly a way to influence others. Stuff like this is what makes many Christians have a bad rap.

  38. He is like a super hero! he receives “many, many emails”! WOW! The Pastor is so very important, needed, and wanted!


  39. My church would never have gone for banning Christmas. Instead, that became one of the craziest offerings of the year. The pastor and his sidekick… I mean, associate pastor… would get in front of the church the Sunday after Christmas and open nameless “presents” in which church members had put their special Christmas offerings. These two would take turns opening presents and calling out the amounts. Of course, people would always whoop it up when someone called out a big number. It seemed like harmless fun at the time, but of course now I wonder where a lot of that money really went.

    In any event, there’s no way the boys back home would give up that little tradition!

    1. Oog. I’ll never regard publishing offering amounts, with or without names, as “harmless fun.” nd having the pastors open the “presents?” Creepy. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ That would have been MY last Sunday at that Church.

      1. It was how I grew up. I didn’t have any church experiences elsewhere to which I could compare it, so I couldn’t possibly have known it was wrong.

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