Santa is very strong again this year. The retail industry loves him. He is still using his team of reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixon, Comet, Cupid, Richard and Nixon and of course the inimitable Rudolph. Bing Crosby passed on that song and Gene Autry said, "Come here my little bright red nosed buddy, let's go to number one and they did." Dr. Seuss introduced the green Grinch who stole Christmas and now he is about as popular as Frosty. Frosty has had more holiday specials than the Norman Tabernacle Choir. If I watch one more tear jerking story on Hallmark about a single mother or father with a child who saved Christmas, I will dissolve into a syrupy slushy puddle of goo. It is never about religion.
Where are the Wise Men? There are usually three depicted but we don't really know how many there were. Where are Joseph and Mary? Do you remember in your callow youth when Jesus was center stage during this holiday season? There I did it.
I said Holiday Season! Most of my life this time was properly called the Christmas Season. Schools observed Christmas Activities and had Christmas vacation. Churches conducted Christmas Cantatas or Christmas programs. The retail segment had Christmas sales. Radio and Television aired Christmas programs with Christmas Carols. We sent Christmas cards and exchanged Christmas gifts. Houses were decorated for Christmas. We ate Christmas meals and had relatives and friends in our homes for Christmas. Service men came home for Christmas. We sang, "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and the list goes on about what we used to do. Now it is more often termed the Holidays or the Holiday Season. Interesting; Holiday is a shortened version of Holy Day.
We live in a time that demographers have termed Post Modern. It means self-centered only trusting in oneself for what is right or wrong and there are no absolutes such as the Bible. People are more sensitive than a broken tooth to cold water. We walk about on egg shells being careful not to offend anyone, any tenet, any dogma, any position any viewpoint and it is exhausting. Dave Barry wrote years ago, "To avoid offending anybody, the schools dropped religion altogether and started singing about the weather. At my son's school they now hold the winter program in February and sing increasingly non-memorable songs such as 'Winter Wonderland,' 'Frosty the Snowman' and -- this is a real song -- 'Suzy Snowflake.' A visitor from another planet would assume that the children belonged to the Church of Meteorology.
Muslims celebrate "Ramadan," Mexicans celebrate "Day of the Dead" and "Cinco De Mayo," Irish "St. Patrick's Day," African Americans "Kwanzaa," and Jews celebrate "Hanukah." Why must Christians rebrand Christmas as "Winter Fest" or some other term that has been scrubbed with secular SOS pads and Ajax Cleanser and stripped of any historic connection to Jesus Christ? It is now a secular holiday.
[I borrowed some thoughts by Rubel Shelly in this column.]
Larry Vandeventer grew up North of Calvertville and Graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State. Contact him at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.