Christmas is a time to joyfully celebrate the birthday of Christ. Yet, it is also a time for Christians of all stripes to get really cranky and nitpicky. And, of course, I have to read it all on my Facebook and Twitter feeds.
It seems as if some people (including many Christians) aren’t happy unless they find something to be outraged over every day.
Below are some reasons people get cranky about Christmas. I provide links to more scholarly things related to each topic, since this article is more tongue-in-cheek.
1. Jesus Wasn’t Born on Christmas
Well, he could have been born on Christmas. There is a 1/365 chance at least. While he may have been born on December 25th, no Catholic that I know of has ever insisted the Christmas holiday was about Jesus’ actual birth date. In fact, his actual birth date doesn’t matter.
So, yeah, Jehovah’s Witnesses may be right: Jesus could have been born in the spring. Either way, his birth is celebrated on December 25th. And, most Christians are content to relax and enjoy a day set aside to commemorate his birth, even if we can’t produce the birth certificate. Maybe Donald Trump can us help find it. But, until then, December 25th will have to do, and billions of Christians throughout history have reverently done so on this day.
2. Don’t Call Christmas “Xmas!”
I address this is another post, but people need to relax and not get bent out of shape over a little “X” in a word. How dare liberals try to “X” out our Lord and Savior by removing his name from the word “Christmas?” How do you know it’s true? Well, your great aunt shared a meme on Facebook, that’s why!
As I mention in the link above, Xmas is a perfectly Christian abbreviation, and is in no way an attempt to take Christ out of Christmas. Now, if someone calls Christmas “Christlessmas,” then you might want to get a little outraged.
3. Happy Holidays Subverts The Celebration Of Christmas
I can’t imagine how it must feel to get emotionally worked up over being told to have some happy holy days in your life, but some people see this as a chance to get angry and worked up. I can’t see Jesus getting too worked up over something like this, since he would have celebrated Hanukkah, so Happy Holidays seems appropriate.
I mention in this post that “Happy Holidays” is actually more reflective of the Catholic understanding of the Christmas and Advent seasons than is being told “Merry Christmas.” However, calmly realizing this fact is much less fun than getting worked up and sharing an outraged meme on Facebook about the subject.
4. Christmas And Its Customs Are Pagan.
Every so often I hear of people who refuse to celebrate Christmas because it is “pagan,” as if a day of the year can somehow be “pagan.” You better throw away your calendars, stop having bonfires, and take off your wedding rings if you are afraid of having “pagan influence” in your life.
It is funny how people who claim to want nothing to do with paganism are actually giving ancient pagan practices extreme power and authority. How? Well, let’s take the suggestion that a decorated evergreen tree can be pagan. By saying that, you are suggesting that once a pagan does something, nobody else can possibly do that thing ever again.
That’s like saying you can’t have a Caesar haircut because a pagan popularized it. Of course, now that I mention it here, some articles might soon be popping up about the “pagan origins of the Caesar cut.”
5. The Bible Doesn’t Mention Celebrating Christmas
The word “Christmas” doesn’t appear in the Bible, but the story of Jesus’ birth is definitely in there. And while, sure, the Bible doesn’t tell us to celebrate his birthday, it doesn’t tell us to celebrate a guy running an oblong leather ball into a big square on a painted field either, but I celebrate that every time the Cleveland Browns score a touchdown (which, of course, doesn’t happen often).
6. You Can’t Think About Christmas Until Advent Is Over
Starting in November, Christmas lights start going up and the local radio stations start playing Christmas music. Some Catholics get bent out of shape if you even mention the “C” word before December 25th, when Christmas technically begins.
While I think it is important to recognize Advent, in the United States especially, you can’t escape the reality that for most people, businesses, and homes, the celebration of secular Christmas is in full swing during Advent.
I tried locking myself in my home for nearly four weeks, or alternatively closing my eyes every time I drove by a house that had Christmas lights, but honestly, both ended badly (and painfully – at least for that mailbox).
7. Christmas Is Too Secular
Christmas is pretty secular. Most people celebrating it in America right now are likely do so in a way that focuses on presents, lights, and parties. However, in a society that is rapidly becoming non-Christian in its outlook, I can’t help but be grateful that at the very least people are celebrating Christmas, as opposed to just forgetting about it completely.
For at least one day a year, the majority of Americans and Europeans are celebrating something related to Christ. While this isn’t perfect, it is still something.
Besides, Catholics throughout history haven’t exactly kept every festival free of secular influences. There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying lights, giving and receiving presents, and going to parties. In fact, some of the best parties I have ever been to were thrown by Catholics.
So, the bottom line of this post is that I don’t like it when cranky Christians try to take the joy out of a joy-filled season.