Friday, December 2, 2005

Christmas Be Thy Name

Due to some sort of evil joke our home email is the recipient of the American Family Association’s daily email newsletters. (Digression: NO, I will not link their site. YES, I have tried to unsubscribe; when attempted it says that email address does not exist in their files therefore they cannot unsubscribe it. YES, I am looking forward to who may ‘Google search’ their way here thanks to me stating their name in the post. - End of Digression)
Their emails come in about who they are boycotting now and I can never even make it past the first sentence before I am disgusted, sad, and near puking from their mega-judgments and lack of compassion, inclusiveness and those two crazy notions of grace and love.

So when they sent out an email about boycotting various national chains of stores because they refused to use the word ‘Christmas’ in their advertising, I immediately sought out the opposing point of view.

Here is what I came up with:
1) In God’s sense of time – meaning eternal – this is not a big deal. The Eternal Kingdom is the goal, not winning earthly arguments over advertising language.

2) I think God would like us to put our energies into searching for means of peace, sheltering the homeless and reaching out to those in need. I think God might be thinking, “Um, thanks for caring about the name of Christmas, but if y’all could send some aid and figure out the whole Darfur mess you have largely been ignoring – that would be great.”

3) Isn’t this a good thing? As Christians we are not supposed to be ‘wrapped up’ in the retail part of the holiday anyway. As the tracts that my in-laws insist on giving me in their Christmas card every year tells me, "Jesus is the reason for the season" - not tinsel and lights and the latest Hallmark ornament. Is this not what every pastor preaches about at least once per Advent?

These are all great (she humbly typed) but here is where I am now.


Please hear me out:
I understand that when putting up a retail display that encapsulates the entire November 1st through January 1st frenzy that you might want to say, “Holiday Sale”. This way you are including: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Junior’s December birthday, New Year’s and any other reason to celebrate people might come up with (I believe Richard Branson is now calling it 'Chrismahanukwanzakah. He is actually marketing ornaments with this saying on it - but that is a rant for another day).

However, when you market Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees THAT IS JUST STUPID!!!

It is what it is and that is a Christmas Tree.

Don’t believe me? Ask a child brought up by folks who do not believe in the religion behind Christmas who was born that day and they might not know. Ask them what that thing in the window is with the green needles and covered in lights and ornaments and I am pretty sure they are going to say: CHRISTMAS TREE!!!

I am not a huge fan of Halloween, but if they started calling it Black and Orange candy instead of Halloween candy I would find that stupid too.

It may be deserved backlash against the current political culture that is masquerading as Christianity (not my Christianity, thank you very much). However, it is STILL stupid. And thank you VERY much for giving me reason to line up in agreement with the likes of Falwell and Robertson - although I am SURE they will take it too far and then once again I can step out of line (actually this has already happened. I have waited far too long for the new Target that is opening soon right near me to go and boycott it now. And I gotta tell you, we are diligent about giving to charities throughout the year and exist on a very strict budget so I don't mind missing the guiltfest that is passing a Salvation Army bell ringer without putting any money in the pot).

The sad part is that it is not just stupid. It is also discrimination. Do not take my word for it though. Check out this editorial found in the Boston Globe written by their columnist, Jeff Jacoby, a practicing Jew. If nothing else check out his last paragraph.

There, I've said it. I am looking forward to your comments whether they agree or disagree. In the meantime, please enjoy this Holiday Time and for God's sake:


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