War on Christmas?

Ce qui suit est en English.

One thing I love about being francophone around Christmas time is that the french word for Christmas doesn’t have « Christ » or « Jesus » in it. Why is that such a great thing? I’m glad you asked.

Here’s the short answer. It’s annoying enough to have to hear the platitudes about the supposed war on Christmas and the outrage around keeping « Christ » in xmas in one language, it would simply be double the annoyance if the same play on words could be done in french. Noël is the way to go.

Platitude – a remark or statement, especially one with moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful. – a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound.

The only people waging war on Christmas are those who keep using that statement and making that accusation. For some it comes from a well intentioned place. Christmas in the Christian tradition is about celebrating the birth of Jesus but let’s not forget we hijacked someone else’s holiday and called it our own. Many great traditions around Christmas have come from that and it’s awesome. I do think that Christianity is in many ways responsable for what most would refer to as the « magic of Christmas ». When we say that, we’re not necessarily referring to Jesus. Rather, we’re referring to the spirit of the holiday season, the coming together, the lights in the dark, the food filled tables (for those of us who have that luxury), the gifts, etc.

However, this is not an excuse for annoying the crap out of everyone during the holidays. When Jesus is your Christmas, you’ll be happy to wish your neighbour a Happy Holiday. When Jesus is your Christmas, you won’t get bent out of shape if you see « X-Mas » on a billboard or commercial. When Jesus is your Christmas, you will love your neighbour rather than make a fuss about how your neighbour chooses to use, or not to use, the word Christmas. When Jesus is your Christmas, you’ll be more concerned about how baby Jesus compels you to love and less worried about whether there is a manger scene at the city hall.

True, for many Jesus is not part of the equation at Christmas just like he is not intentionally part of the equation any other day of the year. But that’s ok.

If Jesus is your Christmas, take a deep breath. Ask yourself if in your fit of rage about how someone else celebrates the holiday you maybe are less in the holiday spirit than they are. You see, it’s one thing to talk about or shout about where you think Jesus should be during the Holiday season. It’s quite another to bring peace.

If Jesus means anything to you at all, I invite you to stop worrying so much about whether or not he matters to the person next to you. Don’t divide, bring together. Just live and let your joy, your hope, your love flow. In the process you will find that same joy, that same hope and that same love permeating around, even in xmas and happy holidays.

In the words of Bryan Adams, « There’s something about Christmas time. »

To all of you I say … Joyeux Noël and a Happy New Year!

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