Sunday, December 25, 2011

It is December 25th! Which is it? Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Wonderful Winter Solstice?

With December 25th now upon us many reflect upon the exact meaning of the date. When considering the meaning one might want to consider your personal meaning vs. third party meanings. Stated alternatively, the individual meaning, your meaning, is much more important than your-third-party-betters inflicting their particular brand of meaning upon you.

When one reflects upon one’s personal and individual meaning of December 25th, regardless of your particular preference, one should note the attempted influence of your-third-party-betters inflicting their particular brand of meaning upon you. One should take fastidious note of those third-party-betters that want to define the moment, tell you their definition should be your definition, that their particular view is supposedly more enlightened and much more intellectual.

One needs to be sure to understand that December 25th is merely one of three hundred and sixty five days in which your-third-party-betters inflict their particular brand of meaning upon you.

With the above in mind, here are some interesting observations from Jonah Goldberg and Daniel Henninger:

“And those are just the highlights. Incapable of getting around the inconvenient first six letters of the word “Christmas,” more and more people have decided to duck the issue entirely. Increasing numbers of public schools insist on celebrating “winter solstice.” Congress cannot send out “Christmas” cards. The governor of Rhode Island declared that the traditional Christmas tree would henceforth be christened — whoops! I mean called — a “holiday tree.”

I have no grand solutions. I don’t know how you could pass a law to fix any of this. Nor am I sure we would want to. This is a cultural problem, and the only way to fix it is to work it out in the culture. To that end, I have some small observations to mull alongside the eggnog.

While it’s absolutely true that there are sincere and committed Christophobes and joyless atheistic boobs out there, one of the major culprits is capitalism itself. I like capitalism — a lot. Heck, the best Christmas present I could get would be a Scrooge-like conversion on the part of the president after a visit from the Ghost of Socialism Past. But the downside of capitalism is that it will, eventually, encourage the commercialization of everything sacred. For instance, there’s an online “dating” company dedicated entirely to facilitating adultery. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a holiday symbolized by a man who gives presents would be exploited. That doesn’t mean we have to surrender to the trend, but we should recognize all of the trend’s sources, not just the convenient ones.

On a different note, the supposed champions of making Christmas more “inclusive” should at least ponder the irony that they are being intolerant. If you take offense when someone says “Merry Christmas,” you, quite simply, are the jerk.

And for the atheists who see “winter solstice” as some kind of victory, you might consider the fact that what you’re doing is clearing the field not for glorious logic (which ain’t so glorious Christmas morning — socks are a logical gift), but a rank, petty, and vastly more commercialized paganism that lacks anything like the intellectual and moral rigor of Christianity”. - Jonah Goldberg (1)

‘Christmas is out of sync with the times. Christmas cards, shopping for loved ones, wrapping presents, dressing up the kids to see Santa, going to Christmas Eve church services—one by one, the time to do them has gone to wherever the time for everything else has gone. The Higgs boson may solve the mysteries of the universe, but it won’t give us one more minute daily to accomplish Christmas.

People talk all the time now about time compression. Yesterday it was Dec. 1; the next day it’s Dec. 15. These days time doesn’t fly. It barely exists. In such a world, Christmas gets squished. We may be a few years away from when people just skip Christmas. Or phone the whole thing in.

A few years ago, online shopping and e-cards were merely a supplement to the ancient traditions of selecting and buying a gift across a counter from a real person, or signing and addressing each Christmas card. Truth is that in a solid Sunday afternoon spent pounding the keys, you can do Christmas for anyone able to receive a $10 gift delivered overnight for $16. A wry events website called “The Rundown” tagged the new spirit in a post this week: “E-gifts that at least look like you thought about it.” ‘

“Christmas has become just one more item on the never-ending to-do list”. – Daniel Henninger (2)


(1)    Santa's not pagan, Jonah Goldberg. American Enterprise Institute, 12/23/2011

(2)    No Time for Christmas, Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, 12/22/2011

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