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J.F. Kelly, Jr. - Contributor
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]
Politically Correct Holiday Season
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
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,
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
2004 J. F. Kelly, Jr.