I hear a lot about the
War on Christmas. For those of you that haven’t, it’s a Fox News/Christian Broadcasting assertion that the liberal secular humanist agenda is trying to take away the
reason for the season and making you all into little politically correct, Christianity hating drones.
There’s even been a book written about it, The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought by John Gibson, a Fox News anchor.
There are essays and blog posts written every year by people who are devastated by the fact their holiday has been tarnished by consumerism, trees and Santa.
At my mundane work space, we were told that we weren’t having a holiday party, we were having a Christmas party. Despite the fact that there are several different kinds of non-Christians at the company, including a surprising number of pagan people, we were told that this company celebrated Christmas, not the other holidays.
And there are many other midwinter holidays. Just a few that come to mind, Bodhi, Dongzhi Festival, Pancha Ganapati, Winter Solstice, Yule, Hanukkah, Yalda, Saturnalia, Kwanzaa, Flying Spaghetti Monster Holiday and Festivus.
It is my experience that AYPs (Angry Young Pagans) bristle at the assumption/consumption of our sacred days and traditions such as the tree, the gifts, the food, the lights, Santa (no matter what they tell you about
St. Nicholas), to celebrate the birth of a demi-god that wasn’t even probably born on December 25th. I understand. Even after 20+ years of practice, I find the wrangling and whining annoying.
But no matter what your religious persuasion, your kind of pagan, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, or other faith I may be leaving out; the reason for the season is hope.
Hope that as the sun rises after the longest night of the year, this day, this week, this month, this year, will be happier, healthier, more prosperous, more joyous, more spiritual, more breathtaking.
Hope is what sustains us when things seem darkest. Hope is what challenges us to have new experiences, make new friends, make different choices.