Monday, December 17, 2007
Hands Off My Holiday
There's a long tradition in many parts of the United States of celebrating Christmas. A Christian holiday celebrating the birth of God's son--manger, wise men, shepherds, star, Bethlehem, you've undoubtedly heard the whole story. Millions have glommed onto this holiday, decorating Christmas trees, giving gifts, singing carols, and so forth. Some of this celebration has turned commercial, some of this celebration has no deep spiritual meaning for people, and some folks just call Christmas "Santa" and that's it. However folks feel about it, they're welcome to come to the Christmas party and enjoy it as they wish.
In many towns and cities the folks celebrating Christmas like to hang up decorations commemorating the holiday--the holiday the majority of the people living in those towns and cities celebrate. I don't think this is too different than the majority of people in Wisconsin wearing Packer green and gold on game day--I shrug it off as their free expression of what they love. I feel no need to impose my own values atop of their greenness and goldness even though I'm not a huge Packers fan. I don't whine and piss and moan when taxpayer funded street signs are labeled "Lambeau Lane" and "Bart Starr Way." I think it's neat that the Packer fans have their fun. So WHY, I ask, do people who DON'T celebrate Christmas feel the need to toss their values on top of MINE? WHY can't we call the Christmas tree a Christmas tree? Why must we rename it a "holiday tree" to incorporate all the other religions and nonreligions who have celebrations that may or may not take place at this time of year? WHY does a Wiccan wreath or a Buddha statue have to be displayed next to a Christmas wreath in December? WHY does MY holiday have to suddenly include all of these others? How did Christmas become "Celebrate Diversity Holiday?"
It's a bummer if your holiday sucks and you need to borrow elements of Christmas to make it better. I'm sorry if your religion doesn't get the same attention as mine. But raining on my Christmas parade pisses me off. I don't go around crashing the Hmong New Year parties or propping crosses against Hanukah menorahs. You don't even have to like my celebration of Christmas, but it's my freedom to enjoy it without the Freedom From Religion Foundation being a killjoy. Christmas is a Christian holiday (with some heavy commercial overtones, I'll admit). If the non-Christmas bunch wants to band together and get their own holiday to celebrate their diversity, fine, but keep your grubby hands off of my holiday. I'll return the favor and keep mine off of yours.