Yes, it’s time once again for those of us Jews who love Christmas to come out of our closets. No, it doesn’t make us “bad Jews” if we admit to celebrating Christmas. But this Jew doesn’t just want to just celebrate Christmas; this Jew wants 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 a 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”?) And because Hanukkah came extra early this year, I need this all the more.
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 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.
Some examples include: Homeowners in an Orange County, Calif. neighborhood were ordered to remove their outdoor Christmas lights because the decorations were considered “an obstruction” and “violated county code ordinances”. The City of Reno is now dubbing its downtown tree a “holiday tree” instead of a “Christmas tree.” When boys and girls returned from Thanksgiving break at Brooklet Elementary School in Georgia, they discovered that their teachers’ Christmas cards had been removed – under orders from the school’s administration. A South Carolina charter school has canceled its annual Christmas toy drive after a group of self-described humanists complained that the project violated the U.S. Constitution and accused them of bribing children to convert to Christianity. An atheist group erected a giant “A” and posted an anti-Christmas banner in Chicago’s Daley Plaza in protest of a life-size nativity display that is placed outside of the Richard J. Daley Center each year.
The list goes on and on.
But 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.
There is an almost visceral form of fascism that runs through most progressives. It’s not enough for progressives to be against guns; guns must be banned. It’s not enough for progressives to make sure speakers on campuses are left-wing; conservative speakers must be shouted down or blocked from speaking. And it’s not enough for progressives to despise Christmas; Christmas must be banned.
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 intolerant, and it does nothing but devalue the “good will for all” philosophy that the whole season aims to bring. Looks like progressives are the real scrooges.
And with that, this Jew declares, “don’t tread on my Christmas tree!”