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You Can Have Your Holiday, I'll Keep My Christmas.
by Marvin Kusmierz
December 4, 2005

Christmas Facts
The story of Jesus Christ's birth is told in New Testament's gospel of Saint Luke and Saint Matthew.
Some Christians celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ on January 6, the Epiphany, the date they believe Jesus Christ was baptized.
According to Roman history, the birth of Jesus Christ was celebrated on December 25 for the first time during the 4th century.
The song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" refers to the 12 days between Christmas and the Epiphany.
The word Christmas comes from the Old English Cristes maesse, which means Christ's mass.
The word Xmas often used as the abbreviated form of Christmas. In Greek, "X" is the first letter of Christ's name.
The legend of St. Nicholas, a priest that loved children and devoted his life to helping them, was carried forward from the 4th century. In 1969, the Roman Catholic church dropped St. Nicholas' Feast Day from its calendar because his life is so unreliably documented.
The German word Christkindl, which means Christ child, eventually turned into Kriss Kringle.
Santa Claus generally was depicted as an elf until 1931, when Coca-Cola ads began portraying him the jolly fellow we know today.
Rudolph was a part of Christmas until 1939, he was created for an advertising program of Montgomery Ward department stores.

Someone, please pinch me! I’m having a horrible nightmare that Christmas is no longer a holy day, it’s a holiday!

Of course my nightmare is only a hoax to get your attention, but if the trend of our modern times keeps going as it has been, who knows, my factious nightmare may one day be reality.

Christmas has become the latest of a long list of subjects that some people want to change, or at least modify to be politically correct. A number of the big merchants have decided that “Merry Christmas” was offensive to their non-Christian customers, and instructed their employees to avoid that phrase in favor of “Happy Holidays.” Now, that didn’t seem like a big deal to the CEO’s of these companies since “Happy Holidays” has always been an acceptable greeting.

However, many of their Christian customers have rebelled at the idea with good cause. They have no problem with “Happy Holidays,” but do have a problem with the dumping of “Merry Christmas!” Merchants who were hoping to make their businesses more appealing to non-Christians to increase their bottom line may have done the opposite. A number of them have repented for their mistake after taking on pressure from their largest block of customers, who are Christians.

The whole issue about religion and government needs to be resolved once and for all. The debate on the subject seems to be muddied by the attempts of a few radicals hell bent on forcing the elimination of God from government. Two Christian holidays are sanctioned by the government, Christmas and Easter, and it seems clear that both are inconsistent with he constitution regarding the separation of church amd state.

Yet there has been no concerted or effective effort to date aimed at these soft targets. The reason may be that even the most radical opponents on this constitutional subject understand there is little hope of success in dropping these holidays from the national calendar. There are to many merchants and industries that depend heavily on the Christmas sales for their bottom line, and none are about support killing their golden goose of prosperity.

Santa, the top salesmen of Christmas commerce for merchants might be seen in a different light by Christian customers if Christmas was successfully removed as a national holiday. For Christians it might be the opportunity for reflection on what Christmas is really about, and they may come to understand that it has little to do with today’s Santa Claus, which was contrived by Coca-Cola in the 1930s to help sell soda pop, and has nothing to do with the legendary priet, St. Nicholas. Unfortunately, today's Santa has more to do with selling and giving.

I think most us will agree that Christmas is far to commercial, and you may have noticed how Santa now dominates center stage at the expense of the Christian Christmas message. I don't know why that is, other than featuring Santa sells more commercial goodies than a the message of Christ child whose message of giving to the needy might do just the opposite.

I decide many years to change the way I celebrate Christmas. I no longer spend lots of money and time buying lots of gifts. I came to the judgement that that practice had little to do with what Christmas, and more to do with me and the expectations I help create for the people on my gift list. Chistmas isn't about giving to family and friends, its about sharing the celebration of the Christ child's birth.

I now give one simple gift per person, and what I save on Christmas presents, I add to what I would have normally spent for the birthday of these individuals. This for me, it has helped to keep my focus on the true meaning of Christmas. The result is that I’m more at peace with myself and the crazy times I live in.

So I have would no problem if Christmas was no longer a national holiday. I'm all for keeping religion out of government. However, I draw the line on attempts to remove God's presence from government. There is a big difference between religious organizations created by humans and God who created humans. The founders of our country understood this difference and weren't about to deny the existence of God, rather they openly called upon him for guidance as they organized a new country.

I still feel a sense of glee when I see kids eyes light up and their faces turn awe struct at the sight of Santa. It gives me a good opportunity to share the story of St. Nicholas with them so they understand why there is a jolly old St. Nick. My Santa Clause has no problem with saying...

“Ho Ho Ho... Merry Christmas!”

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