Dobbs: A tree grows in Seattle - CNN.com
Lou Dobbs has a point when he says; "Merry Christmas! That's right, Merry Christmas. Whether you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, agnostic, pagan, barbarian or whatever, Merry Christmas! ...It's what most of us say in this country come this time of year. It's about who we are, where we are and where we've been."
Now, before anyone starts screaming HYPOCRATE at me, let me explain why I agree with Mr. Dobbs--at least in theory. The fact is that Christmas, while technically a Christian holiday, is no longer. It has become completely secularized, or if you prefer, corporatized or mediatized. What I mean is that Christmas has truly gone back to its Pagan origins and come to stand as the herald of winter. Most people nowadays don't see a baby Jesus in their minds when they hear sleigh bells, or watch A Christmas Story. The religion has taken the back seat of what has become a megacorporate celebration.
This morning I was flipping through my TV while waiting for my english muffin to pop, and stumbled on a segment of Good Morning America entitled Operation Christmas. It is their way of bringing, and i quote, "the holiday spirit" to the troops. Not the Christmas spirit, or the "principles of Christianity" to the troops, but the holiday spirit. To me this is just another example of how Christmas, despite its fundamental purpose, has been overshadowed by secular intent. All those who claim a war on Christmas is being perpetrated by atheists, secularists and anyone else who doesn't where a red velvet hat during this time of year, don't seem to realize that it is the media and the corporations who have turned their sacred holiday into a mass marketing frenzy. What the hell do lights, giant blowup snow globes, and movies about kids getting their eye's shot out have to do with the birth of Jesus? (which, by the way, is just estimated and guessed to be December 25th) Nothing, that's what!
And it is more than just an appeasement of sensibilities; the crumbling of Christmas is not a result of non-Christian people wishing for their own holidays and traditions to be equally recognized. It is a direct decision by corporate America to market a winter holiday to everyone.
"Hey, if I buy holiday lights and blowup snowmen, that's just about winter right? It's not Christmas stuff!"
So I do get Mr. Dobbs's point that Christmas is now basically a symbol for winter. However, i do think it is a fundamental problem in this country that we still pretend Christmas actually means anything other than high credit card bills and dealing with alcoholic relatives. True, those people who put light-up mangers in front of their house at least have some assemblage of what their holiday represents, but to pretend that Christmas the Christian holiday still exists en masse is just plain ignorant.
I have no problem with wreaths and trees, since they are pagan symbols anyway; standing for the true spirit of winter. Hell, even santa is a pagan tradition, along with egg nog, giving gifts, and having a feast. So don't try and convince me that the "birth of Jesus" has anything to do with Christmas now, or essentially, ever. I mean, where there fir trees in the desert when Christ was born? I think not. I still take some minor offense in the sense that someone who is wishing me a Merry Christmas probably assumes I'm Christian, but in reality they're just wishing me a good winter. I'll take it as that!