Can the generic holiday steal Christmas?

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.

Santa is practicing his generic language skills;  Courtesy edits by author

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?

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12 thoughts on “Can the generic holiday steal Christmas?

  1. I know I need to educate myself MUCH more on our faith! Then I can justify saying “Merry Christmas!” It’ll always be Christmas to me and my heart! ☺️

  2. Entertaining and inspiring story Molly! To be honest I’m not religious and anyone who researches the history of Christmas will find plenty of non-religious activities that have contributed to the crafting of this holiday tradition as we know it today. That said, I respect and honor those who are faithful and am delighted to wish people a “Merry Christmas” any time I have the opportunity, just as I have no problem with the term “Happy Holidays” as my way of recognizing that there are other celebrations going on this time of year as well. In fact I clearly recall when I first used that term because it came as a request from people I knew and worked with who celebrated Hanukkah instead of Christmas. Hum …

    Anyway, I do understand your point, I suppose the challenge is finding a way to celebrate the season in a way that balances faith in all it’s forms as well as the inherent commercialism that goes hand in hand with it. Yeah, good luck with that. 🙂 Personally, I choose to simply focus on the spirit of the season and extend kindness and respect to everyone regardless of their beliefs or how they choose to celebrate the holidays.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments Marquita. I want to send a message to those who do profess the Christian religion to focus on the big picture of their faith. Does saying Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays matter if children don’t know the stories and foundation of their faith? This is how it gets distorted into craziness when the story is lost and people only get fragments instead of a full, rich belief system. Happy Holidays to you!

  3. In doing a Google search, I am able to answer your question as to “who were His [Jesus] ancestors” and here’s a link to that information:
    Too many disappointing changes have happened with taking Jesus out of our everyday lives. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if BAH was successful at removing Jesus from Christmas eventually too. :-
    Now, on a happier note… Jesus is the reason for the season.
    Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!

    • I think knowing his ancestral history is important for all Christians and especially the youth. Thank you for the link, Trish. It’s an interesting line up, e.g. Rahab the prostitute, Ruth the Moabite, David the king who abused his power with Bathsheba. Lots of great sex scenes too for the high schoolers and college aged kids to get into. I hope BAH doesn’t succeed. This story must be true or the writers would have left out the scandals. Merry Christmas to you too!

  4. I wish everyone would be that beacon of hope. Christmas is so different today from the way I remember it as a kid. And this year I’ve noticed a lot of people do not have the spirit of Christmas because everyone is worried about war, the economy and the election. I’m praying for a better year in 2016.

    • I agree with you Marcia. I would like to see the world blinded with Beacons of Hope, wouldn’t you? I hope people can trust that there is hope in our broken world and cast their cares on God who can handle them. Merry Christmas to you and your Nutso Family!

  5. I think the spirit of the season will live on, although the more I am reading, I get that the meaning and facts ascribed to Christmas, might not be “the truth”. Spreading kindness and caring matters, and giving to others and “seeing” them for their humanity means the most. Your interview raised some interesting questions and although I don’t have the answers, I come from a Jewish mother who likes to celebrate everything, so I think as long as people celebrate from a place of love and compassion and acceptance, we all are shining our own Beacon of Hope out into the world. Enjoy your holiday celebrations, however, they unfold. 🙂

    • Yes, the true message of Christianity came later through the life of Christ who taught us to live. His stories are not being shared among Christian families today like they were in the past. And unfortunately there are too many Christians who don’t understand the whole story of our faith which includes the Torah. I love that your Jewish mother passed on celebrations to you. Happy Holidays to you Beverley! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • I hope so too Nora. It was a sobering interview to say the least. I’m glad you join in my the attempt to be a Beacon of Hope. I will need to explore your book but am thinking I’ll get it for my husband since I hope he has to survive my retirement first! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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