It’s that special time of year, after Halloween and before the Christmas season, which traditionally starts on Black Friday, when peace on earth and good will toward men goes right out the window, and ends with bowl games and hangovers. There used to be another holiday called Thanksgiving, observed the day before Black Friday, but that fell by the wayside because it’s hard to sell things to the truly thankful.
Oh, but I said “Christmas.” That gives the politically correct a serious case of the vapors – as though I care. The politically correct phrase is “holidays,” but there’s been enough of a backlash that “Christmas” has edged back. “The holidays”, originally a generic term to encompass the time from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, had become a replacement for the word “Christmas.” This led to the spectacle of “holiday trees” and other nonsense, such as removing all mention of why the title Christ (the Messiah) is in Christmas.
Given all this, it’s not surprising that, when Starbucks opted for a plain red cup for Christmas, some thought “Here we go again.” Frankly, I thought they were just being cheap, since a solid red cup with a logo should cost less than one with a design. Then Starbucks came out with a fluffy “let customers write their own story,” which I suppose college kids have done with red plastic cups at Spring Break for decades. Some have said that most Christians aren’t upset about this, which is likely true, since most of us are aware of the marvelous inventions of coffeemakers and instant.
There are, of course, the cries of “War? What War?”, that have become something of a tradition in itself. Given the pressure to remove all mention of Jesus Christ from Christmas, it boggles the mind that anyone wouldn’t be aware of what’s going on. But then one commented cited Jingle Bells playing in stores as evidence there is no war on Christmas, and you realize they might not know what Christmas is all about.
The character Linus gives the answer in A Charlie Brown Christmas, the one Christmas special left on network television that even gives a nod to Jesus. It’s worth noting that the generation that gave us A Charlie Brown Christmas also gave us an excellent commercial about the meaning of Hanukkah that hasn’t been on TV in decades. So much for modern diversity.
It’s hardly a celebration of diversity to silence Christmas carols, or to purge nativity scenes and even Christmas trees because someone gets their knickers in a bunch. Anyone truly interested in diversity will at least tolerate the religious aspect of Christmas, just as they would tolerate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa – or should. That they can’t says much about what they really believe, just as the war on the Christian significance of December 25 says much about the disdain some have for Christianity itself.
So it goes. We’re a little less than two weeks from the “official” kick-off of the Christmas season with all that entails. I’ll dig up both my “Merry Christmas” and “Bah Humbug” pins to wear as I deem appropriate (yes, I’ve worn both at the same time), and try not to be too cynical. I confess, though, to thinking C.S. Lewis hit the nail on the head.