Friday, November 28, 2008


Every year about this time, when stores are gearing up for the mad holiday shopping season, there are those who say there is a war on Christmas. It is said even though stores are decked in holiday trimmings of green, red, gold, and other colors. It said even though most city streets are decorated with light of the season. People are upset because instead of saying Merry Christmas, a lot of stores have policies of clerks saying Happy Holidays.

I'm not offended when someone says Merry Christmas to me. By the same token, please don't be offended if I wish you a Happy Chanukah in return. The local radio stations usually start playing Christmas songs after Thanksgiving. The one I listen to also has songs of the holidays at their web-site. Since it was promoted as songs of the holidays, on the first day of Chanukah, I asked if they could add maybe one Chanukah song. Please don't take offense when this is done by me and others. I and many others take pride in our holidays and there are some very beautiful songs for Chanukah. It's not just about dreidels and latkes.

While the stores are covered in Christmas decorations and filled with the sounds of holiday music and the streets are covered in lights and holiday decorations, it seems a tad absurd to declare there's a war on Christmas.

One other thing, please don't become too upset when a rabbi or someone else requests a hanukkiah be added to public holiday decorations. I know the courts have ruled that Christmas trees are secular in nature, but really isn't aren't they a symbol of Christmas? If I remember correctly, to some Christians, the Christmas tree is a symbol of the eternity of G-d and some churches, Catholics in particular, save the Christmas trees to burn during Easter.

A hanukkiah is a symbol as well. It's lights remind us of the struggle for religious freedom. And their glow enhances the season for all.


小海 said...

hello dear friend . i unconsciously came into your world .that is to say it is suddenly because i live in china i rarely surf the foreign web . you know in USA people always use the MSN to contact each other .but in china people use QQ to chat each other .i hope you can become my foreign friend . this is my email or wellcom to CHINA!Excuse me if i want to chat with you a foreign friend what should i do ?

沿海 yanhai{CHINA}

小海 said...

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Anonymous said...

It seems sad to me that instead of allowing the richness of who we are (from what we believe) the reaction is mostly about sterilization rather than acceptance.

I am very wary of this 'war against Christmas' hype. I wrote long ago about it being heavily couched as a conspiracy theory. It's also a fund raising, money grabber by some of the fundamental Christian groups. You know, I'm sure, their original Christmas fund raising was on the 'Jews killed Jesus' theme.