December 08, 2009

Christmas Present

By Daryl L. Hunter
Growing up as a child in America, as all children, I loved the Christmas season, the Christmas tree, lights, lawn decorations, candy, mistletoe, cookies, Santa Claus, elves, reindeer and most of all presents, it was a magical time of year.

It sure was a surprise at age 12 when I found out that Christ was the root word in Christmas, my secular home had never pointed out the connection. Today I remain more secular than anything else and I question myself, why do I get so flipping angry when ACLU types are trying to remove all vestiges of Christmas from the public square when I am not religious.

The answer must be, the homogenization of Christmas is just another symptom of the dismemberment of traditional American Culture, another victim of the Culture War, call me old fashioned but I liked the America of Christmas past, the time of the singular Scrooge. Today Christmas to me is a lot less about presents and more about turkey, tom and jerrys with friends, family and tradition, but embarrassingly with only a perfunctory explanation and observation of the meaning of Christmas to the kids.

When Christmas retailers insult the patrons of their biggest season by removing the Christmas greeting it makes me want to not buy, when I was told that a member of the Start Bus Board forbade the drivers from displaying the Merry Christmas programmed into their electric signs I was outraged, When Christmas trees became holliday trees I was apoplectic.

I have a hunch that the ACLU and their minions are offending more than just their sworn enemies, the Christian right. If their goal is "not to offend" it is a fool's errand as it is an impossible task because to accommodate the 15% of Americans who are not Christian you have a remaining 85% at risk of being offended as an unintended consequence. If their goal is to offend, they have aspired to a goal they have a gift for achieving.

My hope is my 8 and 11 year olds find the magic in Christmas that I had the privilege to enjoy as a child; I hope it is still possible in this increasingly divisive and hostile social climate. As for me and many others I suppose, I have had a giant intangible stolen from me by the secular leftists of the ACLU and their Christophobe allies and my Christmas's will never be the same.

All the people of the western world are going to have a Christmas on 12-25 of every year, most will have a day off from work whether they celebrate Christmas or not. It stands to reason that a Muslim, Jew or atheist would celebrate an extra day off so merry Christmas to you all.


I originally wrote this in 2006 for a Jackson Hole newspaper "Planet Jackson Hole" but it is a Christmas tradition of mine to repost it every year here on my blog.
Maybe with some additions ~
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Jackson Lake sunset, the ice is nearly all gone hinting the promise of Spring. A promise of a sunset that fell short is symbolic of the many false promises of summer we get during our cold and wet Springs.  I filtered this photo to give it a softer, more pleasing feel.

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