First off, no, this post is not Christmas bashing or a part of Fox News’ “War on Christmas.” Simply put, I think Christmas needs a massive overhaul in light of the dominant U.S. culture, the many different religions in the U.S., and the Christian emphasis on this holiday. My thoughts are an attempt for a real improvement, for all of us, on how we relate to this holiday. What’s the bottom-line here? Christmas needs to become a religious holiday, ONLY, and for the secular nature of it to be moved to Thanksgiving. Before you venture off somewhere in internet-land, hear me out.
As we all know, Christ-mas is a Christ-based religious holiday. If we’re honest with ourselves, this holiday is not around the time of Jesus’ actual birthday and it was chosen to overshadow pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. Even though the accuracy is off the mark, I don’t think that it’s realistic that the date will move, so I’m going to assume it will stay (which is probably the preference of most). Nonetheless, this holiday is a religious holiday at its core, but it has also served as a secular holiday…which confuses things like crazy. So, my vote is that the Christ-based religions need to reclaim it! Yes! Take it back and make it about Jesus and not about secular-consumerism! Well, wait a minute. Doesn’t this pose a huge problem to those people who celebrate Christmas for secular reasons? Yes, but there’s another option that’s so much better!
The secular aspect of Christmas generally involves family gatherings, food traditions, and giving gifts to one another. Now, there is Santa Claus too, but he might have to be a necessary sacrifice in all of this. Plus, he’s been at it for way too long, the guy needs to retire! Either that or he needs to move to another day, we can make the call on this one. So, what do we do with all of these traditions? We move it to Thanksgiving, which makes a bit more sense. Thanksgiving is a secular holiday and we can consumerize the hell out of it even more. Wouldn’t it make more sense to give gifts of thanks and appreciation on Thanks-Giving than to take a huge consumerist crap on a religions central holiday? I think so.
Christmas and Christ-based believers need their day respected and I support it. As someone who does not and will not ever celebrate Christmas (I’m a Buddhist and my fiancee is Jewish), I would really appreciate people keeping their religious holiday to themselves. Imagine someone from another religion sending you a card hoping that you have a wonderful ramadan even though you’re Christian. Would it make any sense? No. That’s how much sense a Christmas card or saying “Merry Christmas” to those who don’t celebrate it, makes to us. I don’t have anything against people who want to celebrate it, but I ask that you don’t put it on me because it’s not my religion. When people do these things or say these things, it’s just awkward. And I can’t help but to think, “they know I’m not Christian and don’t celebrate it, why are they doing this?”
So not only does Thanks-Giving make more sense for the secular customs and consumerism, but it also benefits Christ-based believers and non-Christ-based believers. I’m not so sure that people will make this change, habit is too addictive and we’re often blind to it (not to mention emotionally charged when it comes to change), but I think this is a better option for this country. It allows all of us to be true to our individual lives. So I’m rooting for Christ-based believers, take your holiday back!