Every year a few weeks before Christmas I start getting those mass e-mails which I am supposed to then forward to every Christian I know, all regarding the great offense whereby the phrase “Merry Christmas” has been changed to “Happy Holidays.” I usually don’t participate.
I suspect that the “Christ” part of Christmas means little more to many people than the “Thor” part of Thursday does to us Christians. But regarding our Hindu and Jewish and Muslim and non Christian neighbor, well I understand the discomfort of the name of “Christ” being all over their celebration of a winter holiday. In a secular and diverse nation it is almost inevitable that this issue would erupt every year. I’m fine with "Happy Holidays" myself.
The change of names for the holiday season is of course deeply distressing to many believers in Jesus. The sands seem to have shifted and they are feeling more and more marginalized. Indeed, there has been a seismic cultural change and the influence of Christianity upon our culture and national psyche is in decline.
However, as much as this cultural shift may be upsetting to many Christians, I think Christians should be equally upset by the obscenity that our celebration of Christmas has become. I wish there were some way to separate Advent from Christmas so that our religious celebration of Advent would not be polluted by the grotesque commerciaiam of the Christmas season.
So, instead of trying to put Christ back into Christmas let’s do one better and take Christ out of Christmas altogether. Let’s give Christmas to the pagans and take our Advent elsewhere before we ourselves are crushed by the weight of the materialistic orgy it has become. Then we can celebrate the first Advent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in a way that pleases Him. We can keep many of the customs and songs, just pick a different time. Maybe July? Then our Southern Hemisphere neighbors can have their own snowy Advent for a while! We don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, so it really does not matter when we celebrate the day of his birth.
To my pagan neighbors who may wish to change the name of the official national holiday from "Christmas" to some other thing, like maybe "Winter Solstice Day," well, let’s make a deal. How about we take Christ out of Christmas and you can agree to take Thor out of Thursday and Woden out of Wednesday and Tyr out of Tuesday (and so forth), just to make it fair. OK?