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Opinions

Volume 65 Number 3

Staff Editorial: Understanding how to celebrate the holidays politically correctly

by Mainsheet Staff - 2014-12-18


As we approach the holiday season, we are once again reminded of the political incorrectness of it. Everywhere we go, beautifully decorated Christmas trees provide the backdrop for free candy canes, visits with Santa, and tinsel. Everywhere. When the wintertime begins, so do the “Christmas shopping sales” and the endless Christmas decorations.

Consider this: Towns do not gather together to light a decorative menorah, yet lighting a Christmas tree, synonymous with one of the biggest holidays in Christianity, is incredibly common. No movie tells viewers that “Hanukkah needs to be saved,” but holiday movies gladly have a plot centered on saving Christmas. And why is that?

America celebrates the holidays in this way for two reasons. One of the main reasons is because for the entire existence of the United States, the majority religion has been Christianity, which explains why most decorations are centered on Christianity.

It does not justify the fact that only Christmas decorations seem to be out at this time, but it is an explanation as to why Christmas decorations are so common and prevalent during this time of the year, even in a public space such as a park or mall.

But another reason for that may be because this time of the year is a holiday time, not just religiously but culturally. Because Christmas celebrations are so common in society, celebrating Christmas has become so synonymous with American culture around the holidays that many who are not Christian celebrate Christmas as well.

They do not celebrate Christmas for the same reasons as Christians do, to celebrate the birth of the savior Jesus Christ, but as a time to enjoy beautifully smelling trees, gingerbread and giving thanks through giving gifts.

If society really were to celebrate Christmas with the same purpose as Christians, we would be seeing nativities (a manger scene depicting the birth of Jesus) everywhere instead of Christmas decorations. Really, a Christmas tree is more a sign of the secular holiday spirit than it is a celebration of the coming of Jesus, even though it is still called a Christmas tree.

Even at Chadwick, we wonder how to combat the seemingly political incorrectness of the holiday season.

When the school first decided to put up a Christmas tree in the Rotunda (yes, it is a Christmas tree), the Student Council decided to point out the political incorrectness of the tree by jokingly referring to it as the “non-denominational holiday conifer.”

It only seemed appropriate that a non-denominational school should not put up a symbol of a religious holiday, and so the name was started.

Well, the name has stuck, and students still refer to the Christmas tree as the “non-denominational holiday conifer.” The reality is that that name was created as, and still is, a joke.

Chadwick puts up a Christmas tree every year, and it gets decorated with various adornments, with gifts for the holiday gift exchange put underneath. Chadwick, we would say, celebrates the holidays, but it does not celebrate Christmas.

So we should ask ourselves: Is there anything wrong with celebrating the holidays by putting up our Christmas tree? Is it wrong to be wearing holiday sweaters and Santa hats to school? And are we really celebrating Christmas or just merely the holidays?

Just some things to consider as we move forward during this wonderful holiday season.


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holiday, christmas, decorations, tree, reason, celebrate, put


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