What do you get when you combine borrowed customs, Pagan rituals, Christianity, and capitalism? The American Christmas! What’s worse then the CIA, FBI and DOHS? The PCPD! The PCPD being the “Politically Correct Police” Department. Actually, now that I think about it, the PCPD is probably a division of the Department of Homeland Security, and all those out there poo-pooing Christmas are probably agents! Christmas is the one time of the year people put aside their selfish ways, gathers together with family and friends, and helps their neighbor. The PCPD doesn’t want that. After all, the best way to control the population is to make us all the same, think the same and act the same. If they take away Christmas the common folk will have no reason to come together. That’s it! It’s all a conspiracy! The PCPD must be in charge of the covert operation “Code name: Kill Santa” to keep us from gathering in large groups!
Well I’ll have none of it! Force the Smart-card down my throat, kick me out of Canada because I’m from New York and don’t have a passport, send the DOHS to download the list of books I borrowed from the library and forgot to return; BUT I refuse to give up my artificial tree, my shopping at K-Mart at one in the morning, my Coca-Cola Santa, and my Christmas lights that send my electric bill through the roof! It’s my right as an American to send myself into bankruptcy every December and get sick from eating too many Christmas cookies! I shall not be denied!
Yes, it must be a conspiracy! The PCPD, their agents, and paid protesters are only stomping on Christmas to once again trounce on a large portion of our population’s religious beliefs, denying them their first amendment rights to celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas day. America has gone from the “Great Melting Pot” to the Great ‘Melding’ Pot. ‘Heaven’ forbid we be diverse and celebrate a holiday of our choice as we see fit, we might offend someone! So we are told anyway. Funny I don’t see the average folks making a big deal about it. It’s only those who are trying to ‘meld’ us all together so we are all exactly the same that have their skivvies in a pinch over it.
I’m telling you, it has to be all part of that secret covert operation; “Kill Santa”. The PCPD has sent their spies to infiltrate mainstream media to convince us that Christmas is ‘bad’. I could have swore I saw one of their cronies being interviewed on one of the Cable News channels wearing a pin that had Santa in a circle with a line through it! They have underground “Santa Cells” lurking in every community. They’re waiting, watching, for you to say Merry (dare I say it) C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S instead of Happy Holidays! If caught, they wait and catch you on your way to your car when your arms are full of presents so you can’t fight back, throw a body size Christmas stocking over you, and whisk you away, never to be seen from again. If you see presents scattered around the mall parking lot, that’s why!
Tongue-in-cheek humor aside, let’s get down to some historical facts. Since when is Christmas purely a Christian holiday? Not in America it isn’t, never has been. Christmas originally had no fixed date. The December 25th date for the birth of Christ was chosen by Pope Julius I in 350 AD, purposely to defuse the Pagan holiday celebrating the Winter Solstice which falls on December 21st or 22nd. It was his hope that the Christian rituals would replace the pagan ones. Regardless of his attempt, many of the pagan traditions carried over into traditional Christmas celebrations. Ask anyone who is Wicken, they’ll tell you.
Much like the PCPD, another group tried to eliminate Christmas festivities, their leader was Puritan Oliver Cromwell, one of the most notorious promoters of religious persecution in history, particularly against Catholics. Yes, Oliver Cromwell, the original ‘Grinch’ preached against Christmas celebrations from the pulpit forcing the holiday to be banned in England. The Puritans successfully transferred the ban to America. In fact in 1659 Massachusetts Bay Colony made it a law that you could not celebrate December 25th except for in a church. No tree in your home, no boughs of holly over your door; to decorate meant you were subject to a fine. It would take until 1843 when Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol to bring Christmas back into the home and remind us of the spirit of giving unselfishly.
Is it possible “The 12 step program to eliminate Christmas” that is used by today’s Politically Correct Police as a guide for their “Kill Santa” operation, the plot to destroy the celebration of Christmas was written by Cromwell? You know what they say, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” Speaking of the number twelve, lets look at the twelve days of Christmas.
The twelve days of Christmas has many meanings. Although Pope Julius declared Christmas as December 25th, many celebrated on January 6th when the three Kings arrived in Bethlehem. Hence, twelve days from Christmas to the eve of the Epiphany. It also has Pagan roots steeped in superstition, and traditions from Europe that carried over to America. Yule celebrates the Winter Solstice. The Yule log was put on the hearth to keep away evil spirits as they waited for the longest night of the year to turn to sunrise. Later the Yule log was cut on Christmas Eve morning and brought in at twilight. The heath was kept going through the twelve days of Christmas. This went out of popularity with the advent of stoves, but true to American style the Yule log was turned into something else. Although it looks similar you now find it in the frozen food section of your local Super Market chain as a Christmas dessert.
Aside from the burning of the Yule log, Christmas Eve is also celebrated by Christians at Midnight Mass. Retailer’s also celebrate it. Macy’s Department store started that American Christmas tradition on December 24,1867 by leaving his store open until midnight.
What about that famous fellow who comes to visit on Christmas Eve? You can call him St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Pere Noel, Chris Cringle, or Santa Claus. It doesn’t matter. He has been around since the beginning of time in every country in some form or another, religious and otherwise, from tall and thin to elf size. The “right jolly old elf” was immortalized in a poem written in 1822 by another Christmas rebel, Clement C. Moore. It was written for his children and titled A Visit From Saint Nicholas, later published as The Night Before Christmas. ‘Santa’ had as many different looks as he did names in his early years. The plump Santa in the red suit and hat we know and love today however is American made making his first appearance in 1930 in a Coca-Cola ad. By the following year the company decided they wanted Santa to be more warm & cuddly looking. Inspired by the afore mentioned poem, artist Haddon Sundblom came up with the standard modern Santa image we see everywhere today. He would paint him for the Coca-Cola Company for the next 35 years, turning him into the most famous American symbol of Christmas.
Let’s not forget Rudolph. Every year Montgomery Ward gave out Christmas coloring books to the children. To save money in 1939 they asked one of their employees, Robert L. May, to come up with an idea. His story was a success, and Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer was born. The first year they went through over two million copies. It was printed commercially in 1947 and turned into a nine-minute cartoon in 1948. The story was put to music by Johnny Marks, born in Mt. Vernon, NY, and recorded by Gene Autry in 1949 and is still an American Christmas classic. In 1964 the animated Christmas special, narrated by Burl Ives, was created and still airs every year on television. Rudolf, beloved by us, our children and now our grandchildren, remains an American Christmas Icon.
To the poo-pooers of Christmas I say, if you don’t like my holiday that’s fine, I will not be the least bit offended if you make up your own. That’s how Kwanzaa got its start. It was invented in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga to bring African-Americans together after the Watts riots in Los Angeles. It is a non-religious holiday that celebrates family and the community and is observed between December 26th and January 1st. If that isn’t to your liking you can come up with your own traditions around the term credited to the Virgin Mobile Phone Company, Christmahanukwanzakah. A cleaver marketing idea to include Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukah, and of course, to sell phones. They even have humorous songs that were developed for their commercials. You can find them at http://www.chrismahanukwanzakah.com/ .
To the Politically Correct Police and their ‘Cromwell Cronies’ I say, “The one thing I’m not buying this ‘holiday’ season is the line of malarkey that the word Christmas can’t be said without offending somebody.” If someone says to me, “Happy Holiday.” I will simply ask them, “Which one?” I will demand an answer! To the Christians of America I say, make a joyful noise unto the Lord and make it loud. Don’t ever stop. Celebrate the birth of a King; it is your right. It is your freedom to worship as you please because this is America. I will not be offended in any way and neither will most other folks who think all of the negative hoopla being pushed in the media over Christmas is a farce. I will celebrate Christmas with my husband and children, Linus, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Santa Claus, Rudolph, Bing and all my other friends. We will sit back and enjoy the twinkle of the lights on our Christmas tree as we eat our Christmas cookies and watch the same Christmas specials I’ve been watching for the last forty years. When we open our presents we will remember who’s party it really is, and be thankful. Try as the might to take away Christmas, it will never happen.
As Tiny Tim would say on Christmas morning, “God bless us, everyone.” No matter who your God may be. Merry Christmahanukwanzakah!
(Please remember that published works are held in copyright by me the author, and in this case, the newspaper they write for, the Akwesasne Phoenix Sundays.” Printed in the 12/18/2005 issue.
"Covert Operation” logo©2005)
For more links on the history of Christmas visit:
Holidays at the History Channel
All things Christmas
Huron Cristmas carol
Great American Christmas Quiz