Image via Nick Mustoe
Here we go again. The Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings neutering of Christmas has begun and while I don’t like the generic naming of the season in the name of political correctness, I have no problem with taking Christ out of Christmas.
I’d actually encourage it to happen MORE.
I flipped through my radio dial this week and stumbled into one of the many stations that will be changing to all Christmas music for the next 6 weeks. Taylor Swift was singing Silent Night.I changed the station as quickly as I could. It was a religious hymn on a non-religious radio station. The entire christian songbook as interpreted by modern musicians will be trotted out until the end of the year, and I’m not a fan. Silent Night, Away In A Manger, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, The First Noel etc etc etc.
They’re songs of worship. Songs of a religion that a shrinking percentage of the population follow. They’re songs that belong in a church, not on my radio. (Unless of course you are a specifically Christian radio station). It’s even more awkward when the religious theme clashes with the consumerism as the holy hymns blare through malls and grocery stores this time of year.
This is what people rail against in the censoring of Merry Christmas. In Canada we celebrate the Christmas season, but we all don’t necessarily celebrate the religious part of it. When the religion gets highlighted, the problems arise.
The spirit of Christmas is giving. It’s spending time with family. It’s charity. It’s feasting and parties. For some, it involves religious practice, but the Canadian tradition, while rooted in religion has evolved beyond it.
Many Canadians, while having beliefs outside Christianity choose to celebrate the season. And so they should. The Christmas tradition of families reuniting and children being captivated by the magic of giving is a special time.
I have argued with the post When In Rome, that we should embrace and celebrate all cultures and religions and their feasts. A greater understanding of each other is what brings us together.
In that tone, I would expect the mainstream stations to play songs of celebration for Eid, Diwali and Hannukah. Why do the Christian hymns get a free ride in mainstream media?
Bring on the chestnuts roasting over open fires, let it snow because baby it’s cold outside. But, frankly, I’d prefer a silent night without the herald angels singing.
For those who will be offended by me being offended, I point to this great argument in Deadspin against Tim Tebow‘s religious grandstanding:
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. -[Matthew 6:5-6]