Merry Christmas. The statement, in itself, seems innocent enough – filled with the spirit of good cheer.
“We usually say Merry Christmas because we’re used to it. Everybody says it,” sophomores Sara Kay and Lena Roha said.
However, beyond its joyous roots lies another crucial spirit – one of disapproval, ostracization, and criticism. Though the “holidays” encompass a variety of different celebrations, religious and secular in basis, instead of relishing the joys of coming together, being with family, and giving selflessly, some people seem to focus on “Keeping the Christ in Christmas”. This relatively controversial objective, streamlined by the Knights of Columbus in 2005, arguably intends on maintaining the religious “origins” of the Christmas holiday, but is faulty and rejects a substantial portion of the population.
First off, the notion mistakenly assumes that “Jesus is the reason for the season” because December 25th was Christ’s birthday. Wouldn’t you know, that’s actually most likely false. Though the exact date of his birth is unknown, most biblical historians believe – based on census findings and scriptural analyzations – that Christ’s birthday could not have fallen in the winter months. It is much more likely he was born sometime between Spring and October. How then, you ask, did December 25th become the fateful day? In typical dogmatic fashion, Christians adopted the already celebrated birthday of the pagan sun god, Saturnalia, as their own. In order to spread the growth of the Christian holiday, they clung to the solstice season, which had thus far been full of the northern and eastern “barbaric” peoples’ feasts and revelry. Their established holidays predated Roman times, and there’s no record of the date mentioned as Christ’s birthday until the 12th century. So there’s that mystery debunked.
Secondly, the celebration intends to spread felicity and cheer to those who find themselves without it for much of the rest of the year. Putting limits on who should have the right to participate seems to defeat the purpose of the jubilation. Not to mention, the bible preaches acceptance – “love thy neighbor” and what not – so to disallow yourself from wishing others well in whatever holiday endeavors they choose to enjoy seems relatively unChristianlike. Granted, the arrogance works both ways. Non-Christians can be equally as sequestered to their own views, neglecting the religious aspects many find in the holidays. The best way to pay tribute to the spirit of the season is to find a middle ground.
“Happy Holidays is the more politically correct version, but basically nobody says that but like, teachers,” Sara Kay (10) said.
It’s the time to “be of good cheer”, for “season’s greetings”, and “peace on Earth”, so in honor of whatever god or gods you do or don’t pray to, add to your greetings a thoughtful and non-preferenced “Happy Holidays”.