Defining Christmas Without Words
It’s December and almost Christmas.
It’s also time (sigh) to hear about the “War on Christmas.”
You probably have heard about this so-called war. Certain writers, commentators, and politicians assert that corporate America and the government are waging a war to remove “Christ” from Christmas. The story goes that only they—those writers, commentators, and politicians—are paying attention or doing something about it.
This war plays out at retailers, where greeters share the sentiment, “Happy holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas.” It’s fought in corporate offices, where companies erect “holiday” trees. It’s waged at government centers, where officials position Jewish symbols next to Nativity scenes. It takes place in public schools, where “holiday” instead of “Christmas” breaks take place.
This controversy is a distraction. For some of us, it becomes a subject of confrontation. We utter “Merry Christmas” as if daring someone to challenge us on the
matter. When we enlist in this war, we, unintentionally, veer sharply from the true meaning of Christmas.
The battle over words obscures what marks a true Christian—Christian acts. Isn’t it more authentically Christian to visit a nursing home, serve in a homeless shelter, or help out a stranger than to say “Merry Christmas” through gritted teeth?
It’s fine to ask retailers and other institutions to use the word Christmas. But let’s not make such a quest our main focus.
As Catholics, it’s our Christian duty to explain and, more importantly, share our faith.
So let’s not rely on stores or public schools or governments to evangelize. That’s up to us.
We at Liguori Publications hope Liguorian and our books, pamphlets, website, and other materials are valuable to you in supporting your faith and your personal efforts to evangelize. We are grateful every day for you, our readers. We pray that you and your loved ones enjoy a blessed and peaceful Christmas.