Story by ELLEN BECKER, Managing Editor—
A few days before Christmas, my parents would roll out a big batch of sugar cookie dough on the kitchen table.
My brother and I would cut it out using various Christmas-shaped cookie cutters, inevitably devouring half of the dough before the cookies made it to the oven.
I remember decorating the Christmas tree with Christmas music playing on the stereo in the background.
My dad would build a fire in the fireplace, and my brother and I would fight over who got to put the angel at the top of the tree.
On Christmas Eve, we’d always go to a candlelight service at church, where we’d sing Christmas carols and read the Christmas story from the Bible.
On Christmas morning, it was all we could do to stay in bed until 7 a.m., when our parents finally got up.
We were always in awe of brightly colored packages under the Christmas tree, and the candy peeking out of our Christmas stockings.
I’m not sure exactly when I started noticing that Christmas trees, wreaths and lights were slowly turning into “holiday” decorations instead of Christmas decorations.
Christmas parties and Christmas plays at school are now “holiday” parties and “holiday” plays, and all advertisements now say “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
According to Wikipedia, some people argue that “many of the symbols and behaviors that western societies have come to associate with Christmas were originally syncretized from pre-Christian pagan traditions and festivals that predate Jesus, and thus need not be directly associated with Christmas.”
Apparently, Christmas trees, mistletoe, holly wreaths and yule logs have pre-Christian origins.
But none of that changes the fact that I, as a Christian, believe that the origin of Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible.
Whether or not Jesus was born on exactly Dec. 25, I reserve this time of year to celebrate his birth, and all the blessings in my life that have come because of Him.
I can understand that corporations want to be politically correct by saying “Happy Holidays” because of people who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other winter holidays.
But somehow, the word Christmas itself, the very word that defines the holiday, has become taboo, yet the other holidays have not.
What happened to tolerance?
The definition of tolerance is “a fair, objective and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.”
Corporations work hard not to offend anyone with their seasonal advertising, yet they manage to leave Christians out of their range of consideration.
I don’t discriminate against those who celebrate other holidays, yet I have been discriminated against for celebrating Christmas as a Biblical holiday.
Some say that the word “Christmas” is offensive to those who don’t celebrate the holiday.
I find it hard to believe that anyone could be traumatized by hearing or reading the word “Christmas.”
But the media tends to protect this seemingly non-existent yet powerful group.
So am I allowed to be offended when people replace “Merry Christmas” with meaningless phrases like “Seasons Greetings?”
I could, yet I choose to move on, and celebrate the way I want to.
No matter what holiday we celebrate, let us try to remember the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
In a time when all things religious are being discouraged and swept away, I still hold strong to my convictions, and will forever keep Christ in Christmas.