Okay it’s time for those of us Jews who love Christmas to come out of our closets. It doesn’t make us “bad Jews” if we admit to celebrating Christmas. But this Jew doesn’t just want to just celebrate Christmas; I want to get drunk in the spirit of Christmas. Is that so wrong?
I take the long way home from work so that I can admire the boulevards of Beverly Hills, which have been turned into beautifully illuminated, fabulously fake, winter wonderlands. I love to stroll down Beverly Drive so I can hear Christmas music blaring from speakers on every corner during the entire month of December. The festive mood of decked-out Beverly Hills makes me joyous. Even the “Merry Christmas, Ma’am!” thrills me (minus the “Ma’am,” of course. When did I stop being called “Miss”?)
I absolutely love going to Lawry’s on Christmas Eve, even among all the annoying tourists, just so I can have carolers come to my table and sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” while gorging on prime rib, Yorkshire pudding and creamed corn.
Yes, the one thing that takes this Jew into sheer bliss is the holiday season. And by holiday season, I mean Christmas. Yeah, I said it!
And, I’m not alone. The most popular Christmas song, after all, is “White Christmas,” written by Jewish songwriter Irving Berlin. And, let’s face it; there would be no Christmas without the Jewish-born Jesus!
But now the secular progressives (aka atheists) have declared an all-out war on Christmas, proclaiming that it’s a religious holiday and, therefore, must be banned. They say Christmas is offensive to people who are not Christians. But is Christmas just a religious holiday?
Christmas, as renowned historian Jonathan Sarna notes in a foreword to the book, “A Kosher Christmas: Tis the Season to be Jewish,” has changed over the years from being a religious holiday that minorities are not a part of, to a national holiday that can encompass all Americans, Christian or not.
“If, as a famous advertisement once declared, ‘you don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s Real Jewish Rye’,” Sarna writes, “then by analogy you don’t have to be Christian to love Christmas.”
Sure there are nativity scenes and plays about the birth of Jesus, but most non-Christians can still enjoy Christmas in their own way. Besides, the message “peace on Earth and good will to man” isn’t exactly terrible, nor religious for that matter. You could search the King James Version of the Bible and you would be hard pressed to find the words, “Santa Claus,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” or even “Frosty the Snowman” anywhere between its covers.
Christmas as we know it today is a Victorian invention of the 1860s. Probably the most celebrated holiday in the world, our modern Christmas is a product of hundreds of years of both secular and religious traditions from around the world.
The name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). St. Nicholas made his first inroads into American popular culture towards the end of the 18th Century.
The Christmas tree was around long before the advent of Christianity. Plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows.
But sadly, political correctness is destroying the integrity of everything we hold dear in this country, including something as innocuous as Christmas.
We have Rhode Island Gov. Chafee declaring that the state’s official “Christmas” tree is now a “Holiday” tree. We have atheist Damon Vix campaigning against a decades-old local tradition of churches erecting nativity displays in Santa Monica, CA. We have the anti-faith sign and the mock nativity that the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) set up inside the Wisconsin state capitol building. We have atheist activists in Little Rock, Arkansas, pushing fervently (and succeeding) to prevent a local public school from seeing a church production featuring the popular children’s show, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” We have an elementary school in Mansfield, MA cancelling its annual holiday concert and replacing it with a program on anti-bullying – in January! The list goes on and on.
To put in motion a belief system that holds that “if there is a celebration that I don’t agree with, then, damn it, I’ll take action to shut the whole thing down,” is beyond intolerance.
Why should we have to uphold the “rights” of atheists while destroying the rights of Christians? Why should any other religion feel oppressed or offended by another’s religious practices?
The reality is that Christians are not asking others to participate in their beliefs, they are merely asking for their “Freedom of Religion.” Enrollment in such activity is voluntary, and people can choose to participate or not.
But what the secular progressives are really after is not the opportunity to express their own views but rather to ban those they disagree with from expressing their views. The lack of tolerance is glaring, and it does nothing but devalue the “good will for all” philosophy that the whole season aims to bring. They are the real scrooges!
The secular progressives must not succeed in their quest to eliminate Christmas, a holiday that is near and dear to most Americans, including us non-Christians.
And with that, this Jew says, “don’t tread on my Christmas tree!”