Christmas is fast approaching—the most wonderful time of the year! It's the time when people give gifts, sing Christmas carols and visit loved ones they haven't seen in years. And the most wonderful part of the holiday, of course, is celebrating our Savior's birth. But not everybody feels this way.
Instead, we're seeing something strange happening in our nation, something many conservatives call "the war on Christmas." You see it in schools, stores and government offices. One middle school banned all songs mentioning Jesus from its holiday choir. And one principal in Nebraska went so far as to prohibit a whole list of Christmas symbols and activities. This ridiculous list included Christmas trees, carols, candy canes (because the J shape stands for for Jesus), reindeer, Santa Claus, and even red and green items!
But is this behavior justified? Is Christmas truly even a Christian holiday?
As many Christians know, Dec. 25 is most likely not the actual day Jesus was born. If you've researched the history of Christmas, you know that many years ago, pagans celebrated winter solstice with a festival. The early church tried to pull attention away from that pagan celebration, so they created a Mass in honor of Christ, which is where we get the word "Christmas."
So really, Christmas isn't a pagan holiday; it's a tradition the Roman Catholic Church has passed down over generations. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke both recount Jesus' birth, though from different perspectives. And while the Bible never commands us to celebrate Christ's birthday, I think it's wonderful to do so.
As the years have passed, more traditions have been added to the Christian holiday. For instance, one tradition that was added is giving gifts. Another example is Santa Claus, which many families now include in their Christmas festivities. The interesting thing is that Santa Claus is actually based on a real person, Saint Nicholas, who gave gifts to the poor. Then came the stories about Santa, like the famous poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."
No matter how many secular traditions have been added, though, Christmas remains one of the biggest holidays Christians celebrate. And yet some companies don't even let employees say the word "Christmas." Instead, they force them to use only phrases such as "Happy holidays" or "Season's greetings." Years ago, people would say "Happy holidays" as a short way of wishing others a happy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. Now, though, secular people use it as a way of shoving Christ out of the holiday picture.
The irony is that the word "holiday" comes from "holy day." Jews call their celebrations like Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles holy days, and Roman Catholic likewise used the phrase. So even though many people nowadays say "Happy holidays" to avoid using Christian terms, they are actually using an inherently religious phrase.
How did political correctness go to such an extreme in this country? It's gone so far that it's becoming an anti-God and certainly an anti-Christ agenda, and somebody has to stand up to it. Thankfully, pundits like Todd Starnes and Bill O'Reilly frequently speak up about the absurdity of some companies' efforts to snuff out Christmas spirit. And even Mat Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, has defended Christmas as a Christian holiday.
But don't just rely on others to fight this cultural battle. I encourage you to speak up if you see this anti-Christmas sentiment. For instance, if a store employee ever wishes me a "happy holiday," I turn around and wish them a hearty "Merry Christmas!" Very often, they will respond by saying, "Merry Christmas to you too." You can defend our culture's celebration of Christ in a way that's kind and polite but still communicates that you aren't giving way to this country's out-of-control political correctness.
If you believe America should keep Christ in Christmas, share this article with your friends and family! And be sure to listen to my podcast to learn more about how each of us can win this war on Christmas.
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