Christmas has long been the center of a supposed “war”, but I don’t buy it. Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays, and there’s damn good reason for it. In some fictional world, we’ve created this division on the issue of Christmas, and somehow become massive Grinches along the way.
So I don’t really let Bill O’Reilly or Fox News or whoever the soupe du jour is bait me into this War on Christmas. You know why?
- Because it’s made up.
- Because it doesn’t matter.
On it being made up: I don’t know, neither have I ever met a single Grinch who is offended at hearing Merry Christmas, atheist, Christian, or otherwise.
I don’t know, neither have I ever met a single Grinch who is offended at hearing Happy Holidays, atheist, Christian, or otherwise.
On it not mattering: In my favorite Christmas song, White Wine In The Sun, Tim Minchin digs right into this idea, speaking to his infant daughter about what does matter:
And you won’t understand
But you will learn someday
That wherever you are and whatever you face
These are the people who’ll make you feel safe in this world
Tim’s onto something here. And here’s what no Grinch admits: Christmas doesn’t really have a lot to do with what you believe or don’t believe.
The baby Jesus isn’t really the reason for the season so much as Grandma’s apple pie is, or reliving that time that Uncle Terry danced in his underwear after losing a bet to your brother. Christmas is about fraternity, Christmas is about love, Christmas is about family.
If you’re a Christian family, that’s probably going to mean some focus on religion.
And if you’re non-religious, maybe it means the opposite.
And that’s okay, because it’s really about the people who make you feel safe in this world.
Which brings us to the last Grinch-y lesson, one that I emphasized in my last post:
Christmas is about more.
The Grinch’s final moment of character development is in the moment he finds out that Christmas can’t be bought, sold, or stolen. But what if the Grinch went a little further and realized that a season of fraternity and love couldn’t possibly belong to one people, religion, or belief?
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, he thought, means little bit more.
You are correct, Mr. Grinch, and it probably doesn’t come from a religion, either. Because maybe underneath the “Christ” of “Christmas”, what we’re really celebrating is each other, and how much love there can be, even if only for a day.
P.S. This’ll be my last post of 2015! I’ve immensely enjoyed this year with you guys, thank you for reading and commenting and everything…see you in the New Year!
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