[The “War on Christmas”] is the battle by Christmas against any other religion’s tradition. I defy Bill O’Reilly and his compadres to locate the smallest corner of our nation immune from the months-long drumbeat of Christmas stuff. For us, the holiday seems closer to Star Trek’s Borg Collective (“Resistance is futile!”) than anything I can find in the Christian scriptures.
…so much of Christmas in America has nothing to do with Christ or Jesus. If there was a war, it was waged long ago amongst Christians. And the majority of them decided they also wanted a cultural holiday that distilled an essence from Christmas and left most of the God stuff behind. In my mind, I think of that holiday as “Xmas.”
Look at our cultural holiday touchstones, all the way back to Dickens’s Christmas Carol. What are the books, movies and TV specials that come back again and again and again? It’s a Wonderful Life. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Nutcracker. Frosty the Snowman. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. A Visit from St. Nicholas. The Nightmare Before Christmas. And on and on.
There’s only one example I can think of in the entire popular pantheon that includes enough actual theology for a short sermonette: Linus giving his unapologetic recitation from the Book of Luke in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Let’s not blame this on the ACLU or the Supreme Court or Barack Obama. The decisions about which of the many, many holiday-timed specials became perennials were made by the marketplace and over decades. Most attempts by Christian religionists to create entertainment that was explicitly Christian and transcendentally popular have had little success beyond preaching to their own choir.