Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, too

Long before Fox News began its wildly popular "war on Christmas," Americans had willingly conceded victory to Santa Claus.

And why not. He's jolly, dresses well and is oh, so generous.

Granted, he's more generous to some than others, but that's because some people are more equal than others.

And, even Santa Claus is not immune from ridicule.

Who could forget the "Sanity Clause" from "A Night at the Opera."

The point is, people who send out Christmas cards that say "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" aren't trying to offend anyone.

They're just trying to spread some holiday cheer.

That's not a bad thing.

As we all know, the dating of the birth of Jesus on Dec. 25 emerged sometime in the 4th century from winter solstice commemorations where festivals of lights and gift-giving meant to celebrate that brighter, and certainly longer, days were ahead.

Of course, there were discrepancies as to the actual date depending if one used the Julian or the Gregorian calendar.

It gets complicated.

Also, the reverent use of Xmas dates back to the earliest days of Christianity.

That is why it's best to believe in the best intentions of well-wishers, even that guy with the zombie Nativity scene in Ohio. Okay, maybe that's a bad example. What's with this zombie craze anyway.

Perhaps Calvin Coolidge said it best:

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."

Who knew that a president known as "Silent Cal," and who helped lead us into the Great Depression, could be so pithy. Then again, he was a Congregationalist, but I'm not sure what that means.

Safe to say that Christmas means different things to different people.

 I'd like to think it's a time to set aside differences and get along, at least for one day. British and German Soldiers did that 100 years ago today in Belgium and France.

Even the stingy hearts of Scrooge and the Grinch gave way to generosity.

We can try to believe that the best things in life aren't things. Admittedly, I have so many things that I could build a giant thingamajig with them. And, just as useful.

I know, Yoda once said, "Do or do not. There is no try."

But, Yoda had a weird way of saying things.

One thing I know, Yoda is no "Sanity Clause."

Even Jesus Christ would agree with that.

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