There will be none of the "Happy Holidays" PC here. The holidays are Christmas and Hanukkah. (I don't want to hear anything about "Kwanzaa").
Yes, yes, I know; Christians supposedly appropriated the already-existing celebration of the equinox. Fine. I suppose we can stipulate to that. After all, scholars have debated for decades the accuracy of the date. I'm certainly not qualified to offer an opinion either way. The point is, SO WHAT?
We aren't celebrating the equinox (when was the last time anyone sent you a "Happy Equinox" card?). We are celebrating one of two religious traditions. The most widespread in the U.S. is, of course, Christmas. Whether you observe the holiday for it's religious significance, or not, the "reason for the season" is the birth of Jesus Christ.
The tradition of giving gifts is a direct reflection of the story of the three kings (the three wise men) who traveled to see the Christ-child bearing valuable gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When we exchange gifts, whether we know it or not, it's in remembrance of gifts of the magi.
I've never understood the hostility of the atheistic, secular left to the traditional celebration of Christmas. What harm is it to them if there's a Menorah, or a Nativity Scene, or a Christmas tree in the town square? What do these groups gain out of lodging lawsuits against towns for their Christmas displays? What harm is done them if there is a production of a Christmas play at the local school or (heaven forbid) church? If an individual parent has objections to the content of the Christmas play, they are free to keep their child at home.
If they don't agree with the religious significance of the holiday, fine. They are under no obligation to say "Merry Christmas" to anyone. It would be nice, though, if they could somehow muster up the common courtesy to reply to someone else's Christmas wishes with a simple "Thank you". What they do not have the right to do is to force others in their town or city to not celebrate the holiday as they wish, because they feel somehow "offended" at being "left out".
They will trot out the canard that the setting up of a Christmas display on "public property" somehow violates "The Separation of Church and State". Problem is, it doesn't. There is no such clause in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States of America. The First Amendment reads, in part: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...". [Emphasis added] In short, there is no basis in law for allowing one group of people to prohibit others from celebrating Christmas (or any other religious holiday) in any way, even on town, city, municipal, or even state and federal property!
The colonists separated from the rule of England partly because of the demand of the King that they all celebrate the State's religion ONLY, and only in the manner prescribed. They wished to be allowed the freedom to worship God as they saw Him and in the manner they deemed appropriate. With that history behind them, they went out of their way to provide for that freedom when they set up the governing documents of the new country. What they did not intend, was that some future religious observance could be derailed and prohibited over the manufactured outrage and complaints of a handful of malcontents, or in some cases, only one.
There is a very large gap between the town allowing a Christmas display with the baby Jesus and the wise men, or a cross or menorah or any religious symbol relating to the holiday, and the State's Establishment of an Official Religion and imposing it on the people. No one is going to descend on an atheist or agnostic household and frog march them into the church of their choice to observe Christmas services.
Americans have the Constitutional right to our celebration of Christmas. Progressives, atheists, and others who demand that such displays be removed and prohibited from the public spaces have absolutely no right to demand that we conduct our lives to accomodate their personal prejudices.
I would like to take this moment to wish all of my rational readers and their families the merriest of Christmas's, a Happy Hanukkah, and the most joyous and prosperous New Year!
To the secularists and progressives who seem to be determined to ruin our traditional holiday celebrations and erase any mention of religion (except, perhaps, Islam. Can't forget them, can we?) from the public lives of Americans I can only say.............................................................................