Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Incarnation By Any Other Name

Keep "Christ" in Christmas.

Or not. It doesn't really matter.

Every year, the campaign: the bumper stickers, the yard signs, the angry blog posts, the "OMG REPOST THIS OR YOU ARE EVIL" Facebook status updates. It has come to annoy me.

Keep "Christ" in Christmas.

Does it matter?

At bottom, this is an issue of semantics. Does anyone really believe that continuing to call Christmas "Christmas" and not "Xmas" or "Santamas" or "Buymas" will change anything?

I understand, some celebrate the holiday as a remembrance of Christ's incarnation. And bully for them. It was a n amazing event that deserves remembrance. More frequent remembrance, actually.

For others, the focus of Christmas is family. It's a time when squabbles are (superficially, at least) set aside, large gatherings are planned, and a big ol' fashioned fam'ly dinner is eaten.

A vocal minority of the incarnation-rememberers wish that everyone would stop talking about Santa and buying stuff and remember "the reason for the season". So they come up with a perfectly-tailored controversy to fit their agenda.

Keep "Christ" in Christmas.

But honestly, what will that do? Will a secular family start hanging stockings and suddenly say, "Oh hai, to heck with commercialism, let's celebrate Jesus' birth!"? If "Xmas" replaces "Christmas", will those incarnation-rememberers look around in confusion asking "What is this all about anyway?"

The answer is No. The Keep "Christ" in Christmas push is a sop. It's an opportunity for conservatives to win at something, to take the moral high ground and use it to their advantage. It's easy to get behind. It's uncomplicated. It's not an intellectual challenge.

What the holiday is called changes nothing about it. Some will remember Christ on December 25th. Others will enjoy family. A good many will obsess about how they'll pay for all these presents. No matter what it's called, those things will still happen. Squabbling over a name is a shameful waste of energy.

That's all.

Long live Fruitless Expenditures of Intellectual Energy.

No comments:

Post a Comment