Rev. James L. Snyder, D.Litt
I will confess right up front to a certain degree of confusion. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage will corroborate this confession. So many things confuse me; I am not sure where to begin, and once I begin, where in the world will it stop?
I have been married for more than 41 years but I must confess, not to the same woman. Oh yes, it is the same woman with the same name but it is not the same woman I married 41 years ago. Where is that young woman I married?
When first married, I thought I knew everything there was to know about women and wives in particular. I do not know if it is the ensuing years, but I am rather confused about this whole matter of being married. I suppose that is the mystery of romance. If you ever figure it out it loses its charm. Romance without charm is just an old man and an old woman who have lived together for 41 years.
That is just one area of confusion. I harbor no aspiration of unconfusing my level of confusion in that area. There are other areas I could work on that might be a little more productive in this regard. An area particularly that has me greatly confused is the Christmas season with all the Christmas decorations including the ominous Christmas tree. Oh, how I love that old Christmas tree and decorating it and celebrating the whole Christmas spirit.
What has been confusing me for the last several years is this uncertainty about the season. Some people do not want to call it the Christmas season; rather they refer to it as the holiday season. What I want to know is, what holiday are we celebrating in December?
I know the holiday we celebrate in November, and the other holidays sprinkled throughout the year. In July, for example, nobody calls it a “holiday parade.” It is the Fourth of July parade, for Pete’s sake! In February, nobody calls it a “holiday banquet.” It is a Valentine’s banquet. Just so everybody knows, nobody will catch me singing a “holiday carol.”
I suppose with all the holidays in this country throughout the year it would be simpler just to call everything a “holiday.” That would simplify things and help those who cannot keep up with the calendar. I am all for that.
It seems the only squabbling that goes on is during the month of December. Actually, the squabbling begins before our turkey dinner has finished digesting. Maybe some people get too much turkey in their system and it clouds their thinking. All they have to do is squabble about something and so the only thing in front of them is the Christmas season. I get that. What I do not get is the level of anger directed in this direction. It would seem that the Christmas season offers a huge threat to our society. We cannot call our Christmas tree a Christmas tree; it has to be called a holiday tree. Everybody knows, the word “Christmas tree” is some kind of code inviting disaster on our society. I have never heard anybody define or describe what that disaster would look like. What amazes me is simply that this is a huge issue in some people’s minds. Nothing is more dangerous to society than this.
The word “Christmas” carries with it more danger to our society than the ominous financial cliff we are facing, the threat of terrorism in our own country and Lindsay Lohan at 4 a.m. What is more confusing to me is that these people who are trying to protect our society from anything religious wants to substitute the word “Christmas” for the word “holiday.” It just shows the level of education in our country has not kept up with the times.
I know it has been a long time since I have been in school, but I do know that certain words have certain definitions. Do the people who object to anything religious understand that the word holiday comes from the phrase “holy day?” I am not a Ph.D., but I do know that the phrase “holy day” has religious roots.
So, I am really confused along this line. On the one hand, we are not to use the word “Christmas” because of its religious connotations. At the same time, we are supposed to use the word “holiday” which in every dictionary in the land means “holy day.” I could be corrected along this line, but in my thinking the phrase, “holy day” has some very distinct religious roots. When I hear somebody complaining along this line, and they do it so vehemently, I have a question as to their sanity. It does not make sense to me. Christmas is a holy day but we are not allowed to think of it as a holy day just use the term “holiday.” Now I am really confused. Is it a holiday or a holy day? Is it sacred or is it secular? What holiday does a holiday tree really celebrate?
I like what the apostle Paul wrote, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days” (Colossians 2:16 KJV).
I will not allow any man’s objections affect my celebration of the Christmas season. To quote from a great secular classic, “God bless us, everyone.”
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com.