There is a lot of emphasis today about ensuring that the Holiday-That-Happens-on-December-25th is generic. I was curious about this, and contacted the Boss of All Holidays, also known as BAH.
I scooped an exclusive interview for Shallow Reflections™, and I think you’ll find his or her observations all-encompassing.
Me: Why is it so important to avoid saying the word, ‘Christmas’ when celebrating Christmas?
BAH: We don’t want any possible religious connotation to the Holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus. The only thing stopping us from dropping the reference altogether is a single syllable.
Me: A syllable?
BAH: Yes, Holiday has three syllables, and Christmas has two. That makes it awkward when you try to convert beloved poems and songs into Holiday versions. Even mild-mannered children threw tantrums when we tried to shove “Twas the Night Before Holiday” down the chimney.
Me: Does it also present a rhyming challenge?
BAH: Not really. There are lots of words that rhyme with Holiday, like sleigh, play, and buffet. Unfortunately, it also rhymes with pray, but Christians don’t do much of that, so we are not too worried.
Me: Aren’t Christians offended by whitewashing of one of the most significant events in the church calendar?
BAH: You would think so, but few of them actually go to church, except on Christmas Eve. By then the Holiday Season is nearly over, and we have their money secured in our Holiday Sales Bank. The kids toss aside the religious significance of the celebration, like a pair of socks they’ve unwrapped from Aunt Clara.
Me: Surely there are some Christians who do voice objections?
BAH: Yes, that does happen. This year an evangelist expressed rage over Starbucks’ plain red coffee cups. Starbucks tried to dodge the controversy by saying they wanted a cup with a ‘clean slate,’ but it was a practical design. With Valentine’s Day approaching, they plan to re-purpose these red cups for the Holiday-That-Represents-Love.
Me: What about Christians who get upset about Holiday trees instead of Christmas trees?
BAH: Nothing delights us more than when we hear Christians squawkin’ around the Holiday tree.
Me: *puzzled* Tell me more.
BAH: Candles, mistletoe, wreaths, and trees pre-date Christmas, and pagans used them to celebrate winter solstice. We think it is entertaining when Christians get defensive about these idolatrous symbols, showing ignorance of their own story.
Me: I notice that Hanukkah has three syllables. Any plans to assimilate this religious event into the generic Holiday?
BAH: We’ve tried to do this, but the teachings are consistently passed to each generation, giving it a solid identity as a Holy Festival.
Me: What about Advent? Isn’t this a time when Christian families pass down the meaning of Christmas to the next generation?
BAH: Humbug! The last time I surveyed Christian children about the meaning of advent, they said it was a calendar marking off the days until Santa’s big sleigh ride.
Me: Surely you can’t deny that traditional carols teach the story of Christmas through song.
BAH: *spitting out eggnog* Are you kidding? Christmas carols are our best friend. Who could possibly believe that a human baby, even with divine qualities, could sleep in a feeding trough with cattle lowing and a Little Drummer Boy pa-rum-pum-pum-pumming? The Holiday songs people connect with today are realistic, like “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”
Me: I think I’m beginning to see the problem. Do you think if Christians knew their story, this controversy would be snuffed out like a pagan Holiday Candle?
BAH: *shudders* If they knew the whole story instead of fragments, there is a chance they would start living their faith, and become a Beacon of Hope in a broken and hurting world. Then our campaign to make Christmas generic would be as barren as the Dead Sea.
As I sit in front of my dazzling tree, sipping coffee from a generic mug, I realize this interview yielded more questions than answers.
- Jesus was an adorable baby, but who were his ancestors?
- What was he like when he grew up, and who did he hang out with?
- I’m not always nice; sometimes I’m naughty. Would he hang out me?
- Could he use even me as a Beacon of Hope?
- Does he give a stable’s ass what I call my tree?
How do you think BAH’s campaign is going to work out? Do you see hope for survival of the Christian story, or do you think we are biding our time until the Easter Bunny shows up?