Making Christmas great again
By Todd Lancaster
Our illustrious orange-hued leader recently proclaimed to all of the world (and his 30 percent fan base) “America will be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”
Essentially, the Donald announced in a cabinet meeting that he is going to “Make Christmas Great Again.”
Now, with everything going on in the world, what the message on the holiday cup at Starbucks says is certainly worth engaging the full force of the executive branch of this great nation, because after all, being told what to say or how to worship is certainly a founding principal of this nation.
Now, thanks to the moral compass of Bill O’Reilly as well, the “War on Christmas” has opened a new front (I was glad to see Bill taking time out of his busy schedule with intern orientation to help us all focus on the true meaning of the season). And our President is helping in the trenches and swinging a mighty candy cane.
Actually there is a “War on Christmas” and it has nothing to do with the Godless left, liberal media, hacky sack playing hippies, members of Al-Anything or NFL players who don’t even realize they aren’t protesting what they think they are protesting.
It’s you and me — we are the ones killing Christmas.
Christmas is a time when about one-sixth of the world celebrates the birth of the Christ child. It is a time of quiet reflection and reverence. For many, it is a chance to examine their faith and find a way to share it. It is also a social time when families can gather together, enjoy a meal, share good times and memories during the holiday season.
It shouldn’t take long to realize there will never be a Dickensian Celebration in downtown Tampa/St. Petersburg. Santa doesn’t wear shorts or sunglasses and I believe late December is still muzzleloader season for reindeer in Central Florida. So let’s just put a pin in the “traditional” Christmas for now and work on the actual Christmas we will be celebrating.
Throw in the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus and every other holiday that takes up residence just before the wonder of the winter white sales begin, and there should be a whole lot of folks able to find an excuse to get together and act nicely toward each other. In other words, it IS the holiday season for someone, somewhere, so let’s not get too hung up on whom owns the holiday real estate.
If someone would also like to see a menorah, I’m cool with that. After all, it is actually the only religious symbol Mary and Joseph might recognize.
So how are we killing it? Commercialization, consumerism, substituting unrealistic exceptions for realistic encounters, and comparing the ideal with the real, that’s how.
The Santa story, a parable about patience, sharing and self-sacrifice, is great for kids. It is not about parents having to take out a second mortgage so every fourth grader has an iPhone 8 and virtual reality goggles (for the record, Verizon would have had terrible cell service in that cave in Bethlehem).
The holiday season does not start the week before Halloween and peak at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, because that is when the curved TV sales begin. Uncle Jim is not going to suddenly get sober, because the whole family wants to take a picture. Yes, your niece is wearing an inappropriate elf outfit, but it doesn’t seem to bother her unemployed boyfriend. Basically, whatever problems you had on Dec. 23, you will still have on Dec. 26th.
I love Christmas lights in the park. I think neon dancing penguins, snowmen and candy canes make for a festive atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. I’m OK with a manger scene too. If someone would also like to see a menorah, I’m cool with that. After all, it is actually the only religious symbol Mary and Joseph might recognize.
I don’t know if there is such a thing as Kwanza cookies, but I doubt I would be offended by them. In fact, I don’t think I have ever been offended by a cookie of any type.
I just know there is way too much stress about a time of year that is supposed to be about joy, family, togetherness, faith and kindness and I am going to make things simple.
All I want for Christmas is a box of Kwanza cookies and a copy of Bill O’Reilly’s new book — “Killing My Career.”
Follow Todd Lancaster on Twitter @blasterdog