I don’t expect most people to understand this, but Christmas just isn’t the same for me anymore. In part, that’s because of what my ex-wife did to me on Christmas morning, but there’s more to it than that. Of course, I miss my children more this time of year than any other, and maybe if they were with me, I’d feel differently, but I just feel like the spirit of the season has become distorted and perverted into something profane. While I don’t consider myself a Christian, I always loved the idea of peace on earth and goodwill to all.
But that’s not the reality of Christmas in this country today. Now, it’s about celebrating how much money you can spend and how many good deals you can find. Peace on earth has been replaced by competitive shopping, and goodwill has been replaced by tension over long lines and parking spaces. The whole charade played out in the name of holiness sickens me. The yearly garbage from Fox News about the war on Christmas would be laughable if it weren’t so misplaced.
The real war on Christmas is waged when families compete over how much lighting they can install, which by the way is a holdover of a pagan tradition to ward away evil spirits during the winter solstice. The real war on Christmas is waged when TV commercials mock Santa Claus to demonstrate how good their deals are. Those are the things that undermine the spirit of giving and distort it into a materialistic competition that has no connection to the story of Christ, whose message was to give to the needy, shepherd the lost, heal the sick, and turn the other cheek. The real war on Christmas is waged every time someone values the material object over the spirit of charity.
If you want to know where we’ve lost our way in this nation, look no further than that. The message of Christ, one of love and compassion, has been distorted into hate and competition for political and economic advantage. I know I’m not the first to point out this perversion, and I know I won’t be the last, but if I can send one message to my country this Christmas it would be to look closely at the teachings of Jesus Christ, not as told by the modern church, but as told by His disciples. The road to happiness is through love and charity, not through 50% sales, cascade lighting, and an empty ceremonial exchanging of nonessential gifts. Peace will come with tranquility and splendor.