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Author: Subject: To truly honor Christmas, end its status as an official holiday

Universal Peach





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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 02:23 AM
Have to say this editoral from the Christian Science Monitor makes some very good points, about how modern day Christmas is celebrated(?), and how divorced it's become from what the day should really be about. Maybe, if it wasn't an offical holiday, Christmas could return to it's Christian roots.

To truly honor Christmas, end its status as an official holiday

Returning Dec. 25 to ordinary status would let Christmas be observed for the right reasons.

By Mary Jane Wilkie

Ending Christmas as a legal holiday would help eliminate the seasonal frenzy. Who hasn't crossed paths with parents crazed by desire to procure the right gift to win their child's affection? Who has not observed mothers anxious about re-creating Grandma's perfect Christmas dinner? Who isn't weary by the time the great day arrives?

I can hear the cries of merchants: "The economy would collapse!" "My company would go out of business!" But an economy built on stimulation of desire for the useless items I see for sale each year should review its underpinnings. We all have more desires than needs, and most Americans have more "stuff" than we could use in a lifetime.

As a former teacher, I can attest that schools would benefit enormously from making Dec. 25 just another day of the week. The long holiday interruption, coming on the heels of Thanksgiving, makes it hard to maintain continuity in classroom activities. The weeks between Thanksgiving and start of Christmas break are weighed down with so many holiday obligations that scant progress is made with the curriculum.

And the "December dilemma" looms large in schools. I refer to the mood affecting teachers, parents, and students as they wonder whether they can mention Jesus, Bethlehem, Wise Men, or shepherds without offending someone. Adults tend to deal with the issue by banishing materials that might be construed as religious. Children are thus rightly confused at the notion of celebrating a holiday - really, a holy day - whose origin cannot be mentioned. I remember having tense discussions about the content in what is now routinely called the "holiday music program." Fear of offending anyone usually produces programs that are saccharine, devoid of meaningful content.

Then there is the workplace. The demise of the office Christmas party would hurt no one. Often, a few eggnog-drunk employees engage in naughty activities, or make ill-considered remarks about or to the boss. Party defenders call it an event to thank workers, but there is nothing to prevent employers from granting year-end bonuses, or celebrating a firm's progress in ways less fraught with temptations.

Last , and most important to me personally, is that ending Christmas as a legal holiday would force those of us who are Christians to identify ourselves as such. All Christians - practicing or nominal - would be faced with the decision to take Dec. 24 and 25 as personal days. How many would honor their faith and respect their traditions by doing so?

Traditions are important, because they force old foes to shake hands, and they reinforce community. These important functions are not served by the mobs shopping for yet another useless object. Gifts should be the sign of special attentiveness toward another person, an observation of what that person needs in a deep emotional sense. This is a rare occurrence in most Christmas gift-giving.

Unburdened of the glitter and tinsel, the piped-in sugary music at the malls, the frenzied shopping, Christmas could breathe again, become what it was intended to be, and observed in a spirit of devotion by those of us who believe in Jesus, our Christ.

Mary Jane Wilkie directs the Sunday School at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Morristown, N.J.

 
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True Peach



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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 09:57 AM
I've been celebrating Christmas like that for years.

This year, my gift is volunteering at a local hospital for one month. (Dec.1-Jan.1)

I refuse to have anything to do with the way it's been turned into an event of consumerism and political correctness.

who was it that said, "If Jesus were here and could see what we've done to Christmas, he'd puke". C.S. Lewis? I'm not sure...

that article is dead on the money, pardon the pun.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 11:26 AM
I agree. Christmas has turned into something that has nothing to do with the birth of Christ, and we'd be better off without it. Another example of the shameless consumerism that is has replaced our nation's soul.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 02:47 PM
What about Santa?

Seriously, while we can all acknowledge that Christmas has changed from it's original intent, that doesn't mean it's all bad. My family is not religious in any sense, so the day has no connection to Jesus whatsoever for us, but it's not just about presents either. We have three small children and for them, it's a time of magic. The whole belief in Santa and his reindeer thing is truly beautifully innocent to behold. From getting and decorating the tree, to making their wish lists, to baking cookies for the elves, all that is so much fun them and for us. Maybe it doesn't hold with the devotional aspect of the holiday, but it does have meaning. Plus, it is another good time to get together with friends and family and celebrate, whatever you want to celebrate. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 03:14 PM
Aside from the fact that Miss Mary jane's whining reminds me of the play "Guys and Dolls,"


quote:
Nobody puts a gun to anyones head and forces them to act like idiots at Christmas time.


I agree. Yep, the blatant consumerism is out of hand, and has nothing to do with the reason for the season as far as I'm concerned. That is why the original Charlie Brown Christmas TV show is my favorite and right on the money. But humans have the freewill to deal with the day as they wish. What is wrong with giving to others??

quote:
Who has not observed mothers anxious about re-creating Grandma's perfect Christmas dinner?


What's wrong with that??

quote:
And the "December dilemma" looms large in schools. I refer to the mood affecting teachers, parents, and students as they wonder whether they can mention Jesus, Bethlehem, Wise Men, or shepherds without offending someone.


Yep, and we know who to blame for all of that. And that goes back to the Charlie Brown Christmas TV Show, as it is amazing these days that a show that purposefully speaks of Jesus as Savior and Lord is let on the air in a general way, although I'm sure some ACLU hack is out there squirming when he or she hears those words.

quote:
Then there is the workplace. The demise of the office Christmas party would hurt no one. Often, a few eggnog-drunk employees engage in naughty activities, or make ill-considered remarks about or to the boss.


Those were the days.....actually the office Christmas party met its demise years ago. Liabilities, poltical correctness, office parties aren't nearly what they used to be. The company I worked for for 17 years used to have some wild ones, crazy and fun, and I got the stories to go with it. But that ended quite a while back.

Am I wrong? Do companies still have official office parties like the old days still??

DH

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 03:24 PM
Brendon - I have to agree with you on the magic of Santa for children. The traditions that are borne in a family around the jolly guy when there are little one's around are very special and can provide a lifetime of memories for them. And I'm not talking about the mad dash to the tree on 12/25 so much as the things families do TOGETHER - like the cookies, getting and decorating the tree, making decorations and/or gifts. I've seen what these traditions mean when I see the young adults I knew as youngsters (my children and others) with their own children. One of my favorite things is stopping to watch the queue at the mall Santa - the looks on the little ones faces as they wait, then approach, then speak with the big guy is just precious! I also think this time of year provides a perfect opportunity for sharing your own blessings with others and showing your children the good that can come from giving where it's needed.

 

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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 03:29 PM
quote:
What about Santa?

Seriously, while we can all acknowledge that Christmas has changed from it's original intent, that doesn't mean it's all bad. My family is not religious in any sense, so the day has no connection to Jesus whatsoever for us, but it's not just about presents either. We have three small children and for them, it's a time of magic. The whole belief in Santa and his reindeer thing is truly beautifully innocent to behold. From getting and decorating the tree, to making their wish lists, to baking cookies for the elves, all that is so much fun them and for us. Maybe it doesn't hold with the devotional aspect of the holiday, but it does have meaning. Plus, it is another good time to get together with friends and family and celebrate, whatever you want to celebrate. Nothing wrong with that in my book.
I'm not religious either but I agree with you here... have your own meaning for the holiday if you want... I enjoy the time off to congregate with family we only see once or twice a year... sing songs... bake etc etc...

how often do we get to spend quality time with our families... not as much as we'd like around my house... during the week by the time we get home and get homework done it's bed time and at least half the weekend (if not more) is normally devoted to chores of some sort which leaves these special vacation times as some of the best quality time we can find... this may not be the christians reason for the holiday but it's something every family can use...

there are bad things, such as the consumerism, but I'll take it as long as I get the time spent with my family to go with it... just putting up lights and being festive in the dreary winter months can be a pickup for us.

there has never been a shortage of holidays we could get rid of or do with out... whatever the reason, most of us get to do things with family during these times that is irreplaceable.

[Edited on 12/1/2006 by rosshmusic]

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 04:04 PM
My feeling is that the 21st of December, which is the Winter Solstice, should be the official, non-religious holiday. The 25th of December, historically and traditionally is a Christian holiday. And unfortunately, many have tried and are trying to take that day and minimize the meaning of "Christmas". C'mom the first word in "Christmas" is Christ. If the atheist and the agnostics and the non-believers want to have a winter holiday that's fine, but let them have another day other than the 25th of December.
 
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True Peach



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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 04:28 PM
sure... be selfish and try to keep it to yourself why don't ya...

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 05:18 PM
quote:
Nobody puts a gun to anyones head and forces them to act like idiots at Christmas time. How many holidays are celebrated for what they are anymore? Most are just an excuse for a three day weekend and a party. Christmas is what you as an individual make of it. While I admit that I enjoy the gift giving part of the holiday, to me it is only a small part of the religious holiday and the Christian celebration that goes with it. My wife and I are both scheduled to work on Christmas this year. That won't detract from the quiet evening that we will spend together, reflecting on the holiday, what it means and what a good life God has given us.

I agree with Otie.....End Times?

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 06:05 PM
quote:
What about Santa?

Seriously, while we can all acknowledge that Christmas has changed from it's original intent, that doesn't mean it's all bad. My family is not religious in any sense, so the day has no connection to Jesus whatsoever for us, but it's not just about presents either. We have three small children and for them, it's a time of magic. The whole belief in Santa and his reindeer thing is truly beautifully innocent to behold. From getting and decorating the tree, to making their wish lists, to baking cookies for the elves, all that is so much fun them and for us. Maybe it doesn't hold with the devotional aspect of the holiday, but it does have meaning. Plus, it is another good time to get together with friends and family and celebrate, whatever you want to celebrate. Nothing wrong with that in my book.


How about that drink we're gonna have together?

Right on the money, watching the excitement and joy on the little ones faces kinda erases all the excess.
To me the gifts are secondary, it's about the love and togetherness this holiday brings out in people.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 12/1/2006 at 11:15 PM
We've gotten so politically correct that I envision a day in the not-too-distant future that we will not have an official "Christmas" holiday, sadly. The tyrany that we grant minorities dictate it.

I just read that in Austria they have banned St. Nicholas from school in the 'fear' that he may scare children. Nevermind that for centuries he's been around 'scaring' the kiddies, but authorities are really afraid of offending the recent Muslim immigrants. It won't be long before this happens in Dearborn & Detroit Michigan. Then the snowball will start to roll.

Merry Solstice Everyone & to All(ah) a Good Night!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/2/2006 at 03:08 PM
The Roman Catholics celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception (when Jesus was conceived) on December 8th (which is also Gregg Allman's birthday for you trivia fans). Now ask yourself this question, if he was conceived on December 8th in whatever year it happened, how could he have been born on December 25th the following year? That would mean it was a 12 month pregnancy. The answer is simple, he was not born on December 25th, he was born in September that next year and I will pull out all the scriptural evidence that PROVES it if OTF provokes me.

Ask yourself this too hypocrites of holiday hype, how does giving yourselves gifts glorify Jesus's birth anyway, what does it do for him, equate you with him? Mean that you are as worthy as he was of the gifts the wise men gave to him? That's right, they brought gifts to honor him, NOT each other.

If you want to be less heathen, less hypocritical, keep it humble.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/2/2006 at 03:21 PM
Even with provocation, you couldn't pull out a dictionary to convince us words exist.

You'd just find some bizarre website and link it for us.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/2/2006 at 05:08 PM
It amazes but doesn't shock me that the PC crowd would want to get rid of a holiday that brings families together. When we should celebrate the birth of someone that sybolizes peace, love & foregiveness.

But it's OK to have all these other holidays that are nothing more to most Americans than a day that there is no mail delivery and government offices are closed

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/2/2006 at 09:33 PM
quote:


But it's OK to have all these other holidays that are nothing more to most Americans than a day that there is no mail delivery and government offices are closed


Benjamin needs a day or two off every now and then.

Do you know how stressful it is to pull a four day work week?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/2/2006 at 09:46 PM
quote:
It amazes but doesn't shock me that the PC crowd would want to get rid of a holiday that brings families together. When we should celebrate the birth of someone that sybolizes peace, love & foregiveness.

But it's OK to have all these other holidays that are nothing more to most Americans than a day that there is no mail delivery and government offices are closed



But what about Peace, Love, and Hard Liquor?

 

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  posted on 12/3/2006 at 09:57 AM

But what about Peace, Love, and Hard Liquor?


LMAO

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/3/2006 at 02:34 PM
OTF, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated each year on December 8th. Aside from the fact proven in scripture that she did not return to Joseph till January. The Jews celebrate Roshashanna, which is their New Year around the time of his birth. December 25 is the day when John the Baptist was born. It is also the day that Baal of Babylon was born, and Isis of Egypt. With regards to staying in a stable, whether it was a cave or stable, one thing is known, "the shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks at night", the flocks were not outside (where they could wander away or be stolen) after October 15th, because that's when the rainy season starts over there and no one leaves their flocks out to get wet and get pneumonia. There is also the scriptural evidence in Ezra that states December to be when the heavy rains come, so nobody would be out watching their flocks at night in December because nobody would have them out then. How do you honor Jesus by giving yourselves gifts? It does not honor him in the least. If you want the holiday to be acceptable call it what it is, Giftsmas. It has nothing to do with HIS birthday. He also made remarks about the customs of decorating a tree etc. whch you have probably never read. I do not alienate anyone, it is you with your usual condescending, belittling remarks usually wanting to cut other people down. Thankfully my self esteem does not depend on approval or validation from you.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/3/2006 at 02:38 PM
No link to follow???

Slacker.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/3/2006 at 06:03 PM
quote:


Yeah right. You come around and piss on everybodies threads. You inject your skewed beliefs on everyone apropos to the thread or not. You are proven wrong time and time again, people are constantly telling you that you are wrong and that they consider you a crackpot. Keep up the good work.


I'm sure she will

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/4/2006 at 05:47 PM
Merry Christmas to you gina, and everyone esle here. And here's hoping for a Happy New Year!
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/5/2006 at 06:28 PM
quote:
Merry Christmas to you gina, and everyone esle here. And here's hoping for a Happy New Year!


And a cruise missle suppository for osama.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/5/2006 at 10:17 PM
quote:
The Roman Catholics celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception (when Jesus was conceived) on December 8th (which is also Gregg Allman's birthday for you trivia fans). Now ask yourself this question, if he was conceived on December 8th in whatever year it happened, how could he have been born on December 25th the following year? That would mean it was a 12 month pregnancy. The answer is simple, he was not born on December 25th, he was born in September that next year and I will pull out all the scriptural evidence that PROVES it if OTF provokes me.




Christmas celebration was moved to December to consolidate the pagan winter solstice celebrations thus incorporate those holiday celebrations into christianity. Yule logs, christmas trees all
were part of the pagan tradition. Also gives more space between christmas
and easter than to have christmas in late fall/early winter December 25 Has nothing to do with
the actual birthday of Jesus. This is a well know fact.

The bible tells us that Jesus was born in a stable because there was no room at the end because
of the Census.

The Roman and Judean rulers knew that taking a census in winter would have been impractical and unpopular. Generally a census would take place after the harvest season, around September or October, when it would not seriously affect the economy, the weather was good and the roads were still dry enough to allow easy travel. According to the normal dates for the census, this would probably be the season of Christ's birth.

So Jesus was probably born in Late September early October, after the fall equinox.

The actual birth date should not diminish the celebration of his birth on December 25.



[Edited on 12/6/2006 by johnwott]

 

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  posted on 12/5/2006 at 10:46 PM
The actual date doesn't matter, as long as people remember the reason of the celebration.
Gina, gifts are given as rememberence of the ones given Baby Jesus by the Majii.
One of the best gifts in the world is to hear the squeals and laughs of joy that only children can give. One day of hearing those full body, from the heart and soul of a child
type sounds of joy can make up for a whole year of putting up with daily crap.

Guys and gals, please remember the veterans this holiday season. If you have a VA Hospital close by, check what they need for the vets. Some of the older vets have outlived their families and will be alone on Christmas. A letter of thanks, and a small gift, can do wonders for a person that thinks those he gave so much for have forgotten him.

 

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