It's that time of year again, the time when much of the grown—up world conspires in a fun game of 'let's pretend,' a time when normally serious people think, act, and behave as if something fantastic, something wonderful, something make—believe is actually true. I'm not talking of the 'jolly old elf' you might be expecting. I am referring to that much more mythical of things, the 'Holiday Season,' as proclaimed in 'Happy Holidays' and 'Season's Greetings.'
To hear the plain truth these days is such a rare occurrence that it may cause shock to the central nervous system. It is outrageous. It is blasphemy. So steel yourself for what is to follow.
Here is the truth. We are not in the 'Holiday Season.' Believing Christians are currently observing (or rather should be observing) the season of Advent, a holy period of preparation for the Feast of the Incarnation and the following Twelve Days of Christmas. Now it is acknowledged that the vast majority of people of the United States are at least nominally Christians of one denomination or another. They by definition, therefore, believe, in varying degrees of intensity to be sure, that the Creator of the universe humbled Himself to become man, splitting asunder space and time, and was born in a lowly manger in Judea two thousand years ago. The celebration of this event, the Feast of the Incarnation, has been celebrated joyously by believers ever since.
By any rational measure this event remains the most momentous in the history of Western Civilization. Billions of words have been written, vast amounts of art created, awesome buildings and churches dedicated, nations' destinies decided, and finally, millions of individual lives transformed, because of this central fact. For those who believe, it provides joy, comfort, and repose.
Each December, America's Christians are persuaded, subtly, indirectly, and, more and more, directly, to deny and hide their belief. They must celebrate, not the joyous birth of a Redeemer, but rather the multicultural confusion of approved holidays representing different sentiments promoting a vague human kindliness. They are instructed and encouraged to pretend to believe in things an honest eight year—old would laugh at with derision.
Against the stupendous Incarnation and the accompanying two thousand years of tradition and devotion what do we have arrayed? One genuine and two ginned—up alternative holidays.
The original multi—cultural offering is a Jewish historical and religious commemoration of a miracle — Chanukah — which is not counted among the High Holy Days of Judaism, but which is a genuine and ancient commemoration of legitimate significance. Conveniently, Chanukah takes place around the same time as Advent, and has become invested with temporal equivalence as an opportunity for the gift—giving, greeting cards, songs, and other less spiritual accoutrements of a religious commemoration, as have also attached themselves to Christmas.
Chanukah begins tomorrow night, and I wish all of my Jewish readers a meaningful celebration and commemoration, one deeply connected with the survival of the Jews throughout millennia of persecution. As such, Chanukah merits its own commemoration, not immersion in a vague and deracinated "Holiday Season" or a "greeting" keyed to Winter, not to the inspiring story it symbolically re—enacts. Chanukah deserves to stand and be celebrated on its own, distinctively Jewish basis.
However the American scene is also now featuring a neo—pagan, fake—Druid solstice Saturnalia and a modern invention of politics and hodge—podge spiritual nonsense——Kwanzaa. But I have said here the one thing you are not supposed to say.
Have you noticed and experienced the inexpressible joy and ecstasy with which these latter two holidays are celebrated? No? Well, that's all right, you are not supposed to notice the ambivalence of their few celebrants. It doesn't matter anyway. These holidays are doing the job for which they are meant, to make credible the fiction of competing holidays. They have been artificially promoted and, in the case of Kwanzaa, invented, to lessen the impact of Christmas. Everybody knows this. Really.
The resulting 'Holiday Season' allows the vast economic exploitation of Christmas while serenely ignoring its core. It naturally and inevitably leads to one blatant insult to Christianity after another, from 'X'mas sales at the mall to Winter Festivals in the public schools.
Christians are certainly not blameless in this travesty. They complacently allow themselves to be denied the spiritual and psychological fruits of the central core of their faith. They are routinely cowed into accepting the preposterous nonsense that proclaiming and celebrating Christmas is a form of intolerance and hate. They go along with the silliness. For conciliation's sake, they agree to make sure to hide the Creche, or at least place it beside a Menorah, so as not to be labeled a bigot, or worse. And of course the educated elite would prefer a secular chorus of Jingle Bells or Frosty the Snowman to be sung at approved 'winter' gatherings so as not to be offended, so remove Adeste Fidelis from the program.
Recent international events have served to illuminate the lack of seriousness of most of the west. Across the globe we see people dying for their beliefs. We see righteous anger and irrational savagery. At home we fight among ourselves to come to grips with realities and consequences of the fight between good and evil.
To survive in this world the West must regain its seriousness. We must put aside childish things, return fantasy and make—believe to children, and call things what they truly are, restore honesty, and return to substantive truths. Let us begin by restoring Christmas, and let its light illuminate our darkened world. Let us restore the glorious traditions of centuries and scorn the attempts at usurpation by the invasions and inventions of those who hate Christ and detest the celebration of His birth.
Andrew Sumereau is a writer residing in East Stroudsburg, PA