Returning Christmas to its roots

December 20, 2016 - 5:00am Updated: December 20, 2016 - 4:54pm

KAMLOOPS — For Christians, this week is one of the highlights of the calendar, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. For non-Christians, a time for a few days of relaxing and celebrating, for the most part, the good things in life.

It has been a tendency in recent years to do away with saying “Merry Christmas”, even though this is a Christian holiday, replaced by “Best of the Season”, “Happy Holidays”, etc. And while those statements are nice, I very seldom say them. As a Christian, it is “Merry Christmas.” It is not politically incorrect to say that, it is not a slight to non-Christians. I cannot help the fact that society as a whole, Christians and non-Christians alike, have turned this religious celebration into so much more than it is, or should be. Perhaps, since the majority of people are either non-Christians, or lapsed Christians, it is time to turn this time of year back to what it should be: a Christian experience without all the extra that has developed over centuries.

When my Jewish friends celebrate Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah, they celebrate within their faith. When my friends who are of the Islamic faith celebrate Ramadan or Eid al Fitr, they do it within their own faith. I have family members who are Baha’i. When they celebrate the ascension of Baha’u’llah, they do it as a community of faith. I have in the past joined in those celebrations. But I haven’t taken two weeks of holidays to do it.

Perhaps we should simply do away with the Christmas holidays for kids at school. The hockey leagues wouldn’t have a break, unions would have to renegotiate contracts regarding statutory holidays. It would mean a major change. And I’m only partly joking when I say that. Like so many other things that have changed in our society, perhaps it’s time we looked at doing away with the commercialism of Christmas, and put it back to what it should be, a celebration confined to Christianity. I enjoy the holiday season, the spirit of what the season conveys, or should convey to all of us. So this would be a big step, and not likely to happen in my lifetime. 

Would it mean the end to all our traditions of Christmas trees and turkey dinners? Not necessarily. We can do that any time we wish. Other faiths have their traditions leading up to their special days, so can Christians. And since we can’t seem to do anything anymore without worrying about the political correctness of it all, the time may have come when we should simply do away with all the frills and extras, and have one day a year where Christians celebrate a very special day. Same could be said of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. These days were major events when the bulk of the population  was of the Christian faith. That isn’t true any more. So should the holidays still be there even though the majority of us don’t celebrate them for anything more than just an extra day off? Perhaps it’s time we took a serious look at the idea. But not until after January 1.

In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas!! 

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