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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

The War On Christmas

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      Stormtroopers have yet to lay a single finger on my Christmas tree.


        Jackbooted thugs didn't have roadblocks up around Marquette High School the night my son and his classmates did their annual Christmas concert.


         And, I'm guessing midnight mass will happen as scheduled Christmas Eve at houses of worship around Southeast Wisconsin and the nation..


         The "War On Christmas" makes for a very good talking point, but doesn't add up when one pulls one's head out of the sand and puts said melon on a swivel.


          No one is keeping anyone from celebrating the birth of the Lord.      Way too many--believers or not--are eager to be offended and play the victim card.


          After all, it's really easy to have one's existence validated by the white hot glare of the media during a traditionally slow time in the ol' news cycle by picking up the phone and claiming a manger at city hall is keeping you awake at night.      And, it's very tempting to conjure up an artificial conflict that supposedly targets the Yuletide when you have four hours of radio or 60 minutes of cable TV to fill.    


           Yes, political correctness is going viral in some circles where "holiday" is being used instead of "Christmas" in ads, invitations, and descriptions of seasonal decorations.         Shouldn't common sense rule as well, though, when it comes to hanging religious artifacts on public buildings?      Church/state separation doesn't take Advent off.       There are times and places for all of our beliefs.      


           The only "War" I see on Christmas is the age-old one--a battle that predates Fox News: its the internal clash of various pressures that keep us from remembering what the season is truly about.        It's allowing Christmas to becoming an orgy of greed and excess, minus any remembrance of what the"Christ" part of it is all about.       There are too many of us who let the holiday get away from ourselves.        Let's not look for new battlefields until we've secured the one between our ears


            No one is taking Christmas from us.     We mostly do it to ourselves, without a single shot being fired.     We wave the white flag when we fail to contemplate and appreciate what this part of the year is about.     Our faith.     Our family.    Our Friends.    It's on us to instill in our children what's important: it's not about the pile under the tree or the size of the spread on the table.      Santa has his place--not what comes out of his bag but what his spirit should do in our hearts.     Giving.     Caring.    Sharing.     There's no army blocking your path to the Salvation Army kettle, the Blood Center, or any other organization that needs your help this winter.     The only thing keeping you from making contribution is an army of one.      The person in the mirror.     


             With that said, I'm taking a few days off.    I'll try to follow my own advice, and be a better person this Christmas.     Will I succeed?     Let's just say I'm a work in progress, still trying to secure my internal battlefield for all that should be right and good this time of year.


          Peace on earth, goodwill toward men (ah, better make that "people").

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