Christmas has been with our nation for many years.  The mere mention of Christmas stirs varied memories for citizens of America and the majority of the countries around the world.  Feelings of warmth flow over the population spurred by various good thoughts of the holiday period.  Many of these good feelings are based on a time of giving or a party atmosphere while other thoughts are of a more religious nature.  One thing is universally accepted; Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25th.  The History Channel has defined Christmas as, “A Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas evolved over two millennia into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian, pagan traditions into the festivities along the way. Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and exchange gifts.”

This definition is probably one of the better definitions of the holiday.  It is a Christian holiday adopted by the United States as an official national holiday.  It is not a National Holiday that slowly migrated to a religiously significant celebration.  So the question begs to be asked, “If the holiday began as a religious day of worship, and was identified as a formal national holiday, why is it being attacked for being religious with demands to change it?”.  Just as important we must question why governments and corporations are cowering to a small minority to neutralize Christmas and relegate it to simply a festival while eliminating the real reason for its’ being.

Today we are saddened  as we watch a relentless attack on the holiest holiday in the Christian religion, it may be somewhat surprising to read that much of the traditions we adopted for the Christmas season had pagan roots that were in place before there was a Christmas.  Much of our celebrations were born in Northern Europe amongst large framed, hard living peoples that worshiped multiple gods and were closely attuned to nature.  Many of these traditions remained with the culture of these hardy people after they converted to Christianity. There has been a major influence from the German people about how we celebrate Christmas in America and around the world.

The important aspect of the holiday that must be understood is that it is religious in nature and is based on Christian stories and beliefs.  The name itself is based on an English name, “Christ Mas” which stood for Christ’s Mas and which first appeared in 1038.  Other words associated to the holiday also have religious significance.  We use the term Yule to mean Christmas time.  This was from Ole England and was used to note the December to January period.  This was later adopted by the Christians to represent the Christmas season.  The words Nativity and Noel both come from Latin root words which means “birth”.

There have been times in the celebration of Christmas that the holiday has been in conflict with the true meaning of the holiday.  In the mid-1600s, the Puritans in England acquired a majority in the British Parliament and banned Christmas as it was viewed as a popish festival with many pagan rites still in place.  This ban was overturned eleven years later.  The Puritans in America also banned the celebration of Christmas for its’ members.  Since the government in America allowed freedom of religion, there was no governmental ban in the country.  Today groups such as the ACLU brings law suits that prohibit displaying Christian images in public places to include schools.  The suits reference the First Amendment which states there will be no government funded religion; however in 1984 the Supreme Court stated that the display of a nativity scene did not violate the Constitution.  Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice declared the actions to eliminate the religion from Christmas to be a “war on Christmas”.

America was founded on religious tolerance.  This was to insure that the majority did not discriminate against the minority when it came to religion.  It also guarantees that minorities could practice their form of religion without retribution.  Unfortunately the minorities have determined that the United States must remain neutral when it comes to religion and the majority must adhere to the requests of the minority.  Thus if a few do not believe in Christianity, then no one should display or cater to Christians which equates to Christmas.  This is political correctness gone amuck.

It is time that our main retailers quit cowering before those that attack the meaning of Christmas.  Let’s see some Nativity scenes for yard decorations available on the shelves next to Frosty and Santa.  Let’s see some traditional gift wraps showing Mary cuddling Jesus displayed next to the gift wrap depicting brightly colored foil Christmas trees.  And let’s hear a Merry Christmas from the clerks instead of Happy Holidays.

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