Christmas Tradition

Christopher Findley, Opinions Editor

This month, Fox News Live had a small discussion on an article written by a black writer, Aisha Harris, on why changing Christmas tradition is impossible. Harris suggested changing the media portrayal of Santa Claus to be more inclusive to all children, changing Santa away from being a white man to being a penguin. One reporter, Megyn Kelly, at Fox News, claimed “Santa is what he is, which is white.” Her basis for this was that Santa is based on a real-life historical figure, Saint Nicholas, who was also white, and that changing history to fit your narrative of “hypersensitivity” is ridiculous. The problem with this statement, and her resistance towards changing something because of her value for tradition over practicality, is that Saint Nicholas was a Persian man who lived in modern-day Greece, and was not, in fact, remotely Caucasian. He was changed in depictions to fit European narratives, and in the late nineteenth century the Coca Cola Company adapted the legends surrounding him to become the popular figure of Santa Clause. Of course, Megyn Kelly also said, “Jesus was a white man,” (absolutely ridiculous, as Jesus was an Aramaic speaking Hebrew man who lived in the Middle East, descended from Middle Eastern Kings and never travelled to Europe), so her statements can’t be taken very seriously anyway.

The discussion that I would like to have around this focuses mainly on the resistance from traditionalist every holiday season who complain about the commercialization and the change surrounding what they perceive to be the meaning of Christmas. Usually, those who complain are religious people who believe that Christmas is celebrating the literal day of Jesus of Nazareth’s birth, and that the current state of the holiday, complete with major shopping days and specials that don’t go near any sort of religious overtones, is a tragedy and a desecration of the spirit behind the holiday. The first point is that expecting the entirety of American society to conform to the beliefs of a religious group that does not possess the power to exert its will is absurd, and the second point is that their argument – preserving the traditional integrity of the holiday – is faulty to begin with because all of the things that they hold dear as important traditions to the holiday are changes that have nothing to do with religion anyway!

First off, celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25th isn’t much of necessity, considering that the prevailing opinion is that Jesus was born in the summer time sometime between 4-8 B.C. If you’re going to get upset when someone insists that you wish someone “Happy Holidays”, you may want to remember that you have no valid reason for doing so, because if you really wanted the holiday to be completely about the birth of your Lord and Savior, you would be celebrating during the summer. In addition, Christmas trees have nothing to do with the religious significance behind the holiday either, as the actual trees were only brought into the home to ward off evil spirits from killing children, which is a Pagan tradition. Interestingly, the entire celebration of giving gifts to loved ones is a Pagan holiday, changed to correspond to Christian tradition in an effort to convert the so-called barbarians,

In addition, and especially relevant to the religious society in America, is that Christmas is a Catholic holiday with no basis in scripture, literally meaning “Christ’s Mass”. The Protestant movement was based off practicing religion based on scripture, and moving away from the papacy in Rome, which deemed the rules established by the church as just as important. To be a Protestant and celebrate Christmas is a tad hypocritical to that belief in general.

Now am I advocating not celebrating Christmas, or completely removing the religious aspect behind it? Of course not. People can do whatever they want, and if I were to attempt to instruct readers on how they could better celebrate a holiday I would be no different than Megyn Kelly of Fox News. The point that I am trying to bring across is that when you criticize other people for not celebrating the holiday how you believe it should be celebrating, due to your perception of the significance behind it, you’re ignoring the fact that not everyone views the holiday in the same way and that a lot of the reasons or traditions you may enjoy about Christmas aren’t essential to the spirit of the celebration.