Christmas has come a long way since the birth of Jesus over two thousand years ago.  The celebration has taken on various ways to revel in this birth.  Pagan rituals being performed prior to the birth of Jesus meshed with ancient Roman holidays and blended with the magic of the Immaculate Conception and birth of Jesus have become the Christmas we know today.  Unfortunately we are now forgetting the true meaning of Christmas, a celebration of the birth of Christ, and we are turning this into an empty, sterile and non-tolerant celebration with no religious significance.

While religions other than Christianity reference Jesus and in many cases contains the connection with his beloved mother Mary, it the stories from the Bible that gives us the background for the celebration of Christmas.  The Jewish books reference Jesus and especially his execution; however, his birth is not detailed  Even the Muslim Holy Book, the Quran, lists Jesus thirty-five times, many of the references with Mary, and identifies him as being sent to earth by God but there is no reference to his birth as identified in the Bible.

Today, the world is losing the significance of the holiday.  The fact that Christmas is a national holiday that was commissioned to celebrate the birth of Jesus is losing its’ meaning. Instead it is being viewed as a national holiday that must be religiously neutral and strips away the intent the Congress of the United States meant for it to be.

I was happy to see a couple of nativity scenes appear at Walmart but this is small compared to fifty years ago when every dime store, every retail store, every discount store had nativity scenes. Some were little plastic single pieces sold for a dime while others were large detailed multi-pieced scenes costing large sums of money.  The stores carried Christmas wrapping depicting the time of the season.  Dark paper showing a night scene illuminated by one large star in the sky disclosed three men on camels looking upon a dusty Mid-Eastern mud bricked town.   Other wrapping paper showed a Virgin Mary cuddling her new born child or scenes of the Nativity.  This has now become politically incorrect and thus the gift paper has disappeared or been vanquished to some obscure part of the store.  Fortunately for the residents of Union Parish, Louisiana we can still see the nativity scene on the city square.  Hats off to our leadership.

While the trappings of our holiday are disappearing and we are being bombarded with stories of the attack on Christmas, it is interesting to note that much of this attack is not coming from the religious establishment but is primarily coming from individuals that believe in no religion.  I have never heard of any Jew or Muslim filing suit against a school for including Linus’s Christmas Story in the school play.  Instead it is the lone atheist that is offended that is the biggest threat to the real meaning of Christmas.  But alas, I am happy to report that Christmas is alive and thriving; and it is not on the shelves of retail stores nor on the screen of our televisions nor on the monitors of our computers.

This week my granddaughter visited and yes she has me wrapped around her finger. She knows the story of Christmas and she also knows that Santa will be coming.  She is the blend of Christmas meaning and Christmas festival.  Her mere presence, full of joy and excitement reassured me that Christmas is not only alive today but the future will be in good hands.  As I looked into the beautiful blue eyes of my grandchild I saw the wonderment of Christmas and the beautiful innocence of a six year old child.

As harsh as I am on those that want to destroy the meaning of Christmas I am also satisfied that the future of the most significant holiday of the Christian Holiday is in good hands.  If you don’t believe me, look into the eyes of a child.

Wishing everyone everywhere a very Merry Christmas.

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