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Section A: General News


Editorial: Not Christmas in October??? The controversy continues




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About politics and other things
November 13, 2013 | 1,556 views | Post a comment

The “War on Christmas” has been going on for a long time.

While most Americans like to think of Christmas as a beautiful holiday tradition, its history is muddled, as traditions evolve. Arguments continue about whether it was a pagan holiday “borrowed” by Christians, or it was a Christian holiday that is now becoming more secular.

Beginning with the Puritans in the 15th century, there was controversy about celebrating Christmas in America. The Puritans banned Christmas and, instead, fasting and prayers were encouraged. Come to think of it, we might all be better off that way, but I digress.

Either way, the Christmas traditions that most of us grew up celebrating were largely centered around Christian teachings.

Beginning mid-20th century (which many of us remember), commercialization began to take over the holiday to the extent that people began using the slogan “put Christ back in Christmas.”

For the most part, Christmas has remained a take-your-pick celebration. If you were Christian, you followed the beautiful church teachings and the celebrations that go along with them.

If you were not, you enjoyed the festivities and gift exchanges. I know many nonbelievers who enjoy the warm and giving spirit of Christmas. Then, of course, you have the “Bah, humbug!” Ebenezer Scrooge types, and the Grinches who are not happy with anything.

If they are not happy, they don’t want the rest of us to be happy celebrating.

But this conflicts with the booming business for everyone from Christmas tree growers to greeting card manufacturers and, of course toys, toys, and more toys. Parents loved indulging their children, but as cable television took over children’s viewing habits, children began to make their own demands. Everything got out of whack. Gone are the days when kids would pore through magic pages of the Sears “Christmas Book” and write their letters to Santa in hopes of getting a little toy and maybe a new pair of socks.

Now it has become a contest to see who can outdo the others with bigger and better gifts, and of course the kids want everything they see.

Particularly this year, the extreme commercialization is obvious. This is partially because Thanksgiving falls later, giving consumers less time to prepare for Christmas, but also because the secularization is being pushed in the courts.

Already in October, “it” began. First at Walmart several weeks ago and then at H-E-B and Bealls. It was almost 90 degrees outside, I’m shopping and focused on getting back to work. The music was too loud -- and it’s Christmas music.

I love Christmas, but I find this extreme commercialization offensive. In this day and age, however, I suppose there is no other way. If Christmas remained only for the faithful, it would certainly be outlawed. Perhaps allowing this plunge into secularism is the only way to hold on to our holiday, but even then, displays of the crèche and singing of Christmas carols are discouraged and in many cases, outlawed.

Among the Christmas “offenses” cited in legal cases are the public display of the crèche and often any reference to Santa Claus and gift-giving. These are not exactly Christian teachings, but rather have been adopted by Christians and incorporated into their celebrations.

The birth of Jesus, our Savior, is the real reason for the season, and it does not begin with Labor Day. In most religious practices, the season begins with Christmas Day and Jesus’ birth and continues until the day before the Epiphany on Jan. 6.

Not only do I find the blaring Christmas music distracting, but I also have a problem with taking down all signs of Christmas the day after Christmas.

Christmas should be the beginning. Not the end.
 

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