Merry Christmas everyone.
Does it really matter if one says “merry Christmas” or another prefers the less sectarian “compliments of the season” or the even more generic “happy holidays”?
Some may well equate “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Birthday Jesus” but many others do not.
A Muslim neighbor wished me a merry Christmas this morning despite her sincere belief that all Christians are going to spend an eternity in hell and that there is a specially hot part of hell reserved just for atheists like me. My Muslim neighbor is, however, willing to grant even a pagan such as I a few days reprieve for Christmas.
I sometimes wonder if Fox’s Bill O’ Riley realizes just how ironic his choice of a Christmas tree as the symbol of his defense against the wholly imaginary war on Christmas really is. A man completely ignorant of how the tides work can hardly be expected to know that an evergreen tree or a branch of mistletoe were once icons of pagan mid-winter festivities long before anyone ever heard of a hotel room shortage in Bethlehem.
For many of us in the English speaking world, “Merry Christmas” has more to do with secular Santa than the Saintly Nicholas. More about presents than piety.
Bill O’ Riley and Fox should redirect their efforts. I have heard despicable and unfounded rumors that Santa may not be real. These Santa atheists must be sought out and shown the error of their ways. It’s really important that everyone gets right with Santa especially at this time of year. We are after all, one world under Santa. Perhaps Bill and Fox can help.
I love Christmas, I always have. I cherish the memories of creeping down the stairs with my sister at 3 O’ clock in the morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa delivering the presents. Sadly, we were never quite early enough. Somehow; the wily Santa always managed to deliver the goodies and get clean away leaving us to console ourselves by gorging on a seemingly infinite supply of chocolate.
I suppose it doesn’t much matter if you believe Santa is real or not, what really matters is the spirit of Christmas, that all too brief period when we can put aside our differences and revel in our common humanity.
Peace, shalom, salaam and a merry Christmas to all,
Joyeux Noël à tous.