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J.F. Kelly, Jr. - Contributor

J.F. Kelly, Jr. is a retired Navy Captain and bank executive who writes on current events and military subjects. He is a resident of Coronado, California. [go to Kelly index]

A Politically Correct Holiday Season
Celebrating Christmas the Holdiays…

[J. F. Kelly, Jr.] 12/17/04

I had hardly consumed my last morsel of Thanksgiving turkey when the pre-Christmas stress began to manifest itself. Indigestion, for me, is a direct consequence of stress so I required an entire roll of antacid mints in order to cope with the barrage of advertising for Christmas sales that start before the Thanksgiving feast is properly digested.

Normally, Christmas shopping is a non-event for me because my idea of Christmas has little to do with shopping binges, running up credit card balances and exchanging gifts that don’t fit or have no practical use. I had little choice this year, however, because we were spending the Thanksgiving weekend with our daughter in Arizona and I was included in the day- after- Thanksgiving shopping expedition, primarily to carry packages, since I am a hopelessly inept shopper. I lack the shopping gene, I guess.

As I trailed behind the female members of my family, looking in vain for a place to sit, I reflected once more on how the observance of the Christmas season in this country has degenerated from a Christian celebration to a month-long orgy of shopping, overindulgence and debt incurrence. It occurred to me also that it’s okay for corporations and other business enterprises to exploit Christmas for commercial purposes but it is increasingly not okay to acknowledge in public that Christmas is about the birth of Christ.

“Happy holidays” or “season’s greetings has replaced the traditional “Merry Christmas as the politically correct greeting. Manger scenes in public view have been replaced with snowmen-er, snowpersons-, Santa Clauses and that well-known jolliest reindeer of all. This year, a Chicago school banned any mention of Christmas, either in printed material or songs, and the playing of Christmas carols, even in instrumental form. A New Jersey school district prohibited the exchange of Christmas cards on school grounds. The words “Merry Christmas” were not allowed in a sign on public property in a Colorado community.

Such misguided, politically correct actions are supposedly designed to protect non-Christians and atheists from discomfort or embarrassment or to avoid any appearance of government sponsorship of a particular religion or, for that matter, religion at all, notwithstanding the fact that our Constitution prohibits any action that interferes with the free practice of religion and says nothing about public displays of religious symbols.

In our increasing efforts to be politically correct and all things to everybody we are ignoring common sense and trashing cherished tradition. By our exaggerated efforts at displaying sensitivity, we are increasingly offending Christians who comprise about 85% of our population and who, incidentally, founded this nation under God. Like the Grinch, we have stolen Christmas from them and they want it back.

Efforts to disassociate Christmas from the Christian celebration of Christ’s birthday are as illogical as they are anti-Christian. He is the original reason for the holiday. Other religious holidays that occur at nearly the same time of year are, and should be, publicly acknowledged. Why such a growing effort to purge Christ from Christmas and from schools?

If it has become inappropriate to refer to Christmas in religious terms or even to mention Christmas in public statements, then the next logical step is to abolish Christmas as a national holiday. Let us Christians keep Christmas in our own way in the privacy of our homes and churches. No more Christmas vacations from school or work. No more Christmas sales or bonuses. No Christmas gift exchanges. A non-religious winter celebration, with Frostie, Rudolph and the entire gang, could be held in, say, February, a dreary month that could use an infusion of holiday cheer.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah (in the traditional sense) and a prosperous New Year (in the commercial sense). tOR

copyright 2004 J. F. Kelly, Jr.



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