Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas symbols -- NOT!

At this time of year, it is important to remember why we celebrate Christmas. If you look around at the images of Christmas, you would be hard put to find anything about the birth of Christ. Even slogans in advertising avoid using Merry Christmas, preferring the secular Happy Holidays instead. Try finding Christmas cards with images of the nativity. Very difficult indeed. Christ has been left out of Christmas and supplanted with more popular images of Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen, decorated pine trees, candy canes, and of course, presents.

One of the worst places to search for Christmas is the radio. Every famous vocalist, whether Christian or not (even Jews, ie. Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond) want to cash in on the huge Christmas music market, but few songs are about Christ's birth. Doing a simple Google of search of top Christmas songs proves my point. #1 White Christmas, #2 The Chipmunk Song, #3 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, #4 I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, #5 Jingle Bell Rock, #6 The Christmas Song, #7 Snoopy's Christmas, #8 Here Comes Santa Claus, and finally the first real Christmas Song, #9 Little Drummer Boy. The next one (Do You Hear What I Hear) doesn't appear until #30, and Silent Night at #75.

Finally, I'm peeved that Christmas has cooped everything that has to do with winter. Some of my favorite songs are only played at Christmas, but they have nothing to do with Christmas or Santa Claus. What does Winter Wonderland or Marshmallow World have to do with Christmas, and why do people give me a funny look when I sing them in January? Why can't Frosty the Snowman be sung while making a snowman in February?

It's ironic that American society refuses to celebrate Christmas with the essential elements of the holiday and then sticks in elements that have nothing to do with the holiday. I have taken my personal stand by sending Christmas cards with pictures of the nativity only. I put snowmen on my porch in January. I hate to give up on some of the songs of the season, but I prefer to listen to Mormon Tabernacle choir and Amy Grant Christmas songs. I tell people Happy Christmas and hope they aren't offended. I don't live in a community with Jews, but I dated one in high school and was never offended when one would wish me a Happy Hanuka. They are sending out good wishes. Who could be offended by that?

Christ gave mankind the greatest gift we could ever hope to have -- eternal salvation. Let's give him the honor He deserves at this time of celebration.

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