Yesterday we drove to Wal-Mart in the next town, 15 miles away, to do a bit of shopping. We’d prefer to do our shopping in town, but our town has just about died and we’re extremely limited in what we can find here.
While Wal-Mart had many customers while we were in there, it just didn’t seem like Christmas. Being busy, I didn’t think a lot about it, but there just seemed to be an overall depression among people, unlike any Christmas I can remember. For some reason it reminded me of being in a store one time when the power went out.
The girl who checked me out was someone I knew well, and as I approached the check-out stand after putting all my purchases up on the belt, she sighed loudly and said, “I am so tired.”
I said that yes, I had just been thinking how tired they all must be by now.
She said, “Yes, and they’ve already let all the Christmas help go. I feel so sorry for them because I’m sure they all needed the money.”
I asked why they had been let go and she said, “Low sales.”
Having seen the store full of people, I found that to be a strange answer. So I asked why the sales were low.
She said, “No Christmas spirit, no music, no Christmas trees up, nothing in here to even remind anyone it is Christmas.”
Of course there were Christmas trees for sale, but no others elsewhere in the store as there have always been before. Seems the manager had decided against Christmas decorations and music for fear of “offending someone” and perhaps getting the store sued.
I asked if all the Wal-Mart stores were doing the same and she said she wasn’t sure, that someone had said they had called the main office and they were leaving it to the discretion of each store manager.
All I know is, Christmas around here is different from any time I can remember in my life. And I don’t like the change.
Driving home, I saw nothing to remind me of Christmas till I reached our hometown. A couple in our church owns a tire shop and on a big sign out front they had put, “Happy Birthday, Jesus.” One of my friends said the city has put up the Christmas decorations on the light poles, but in my depressed state, I failed to see them.
Turning into our driveway, I didn’t see the big lighted cross in our 9-foot arched window, with the cross outlined in red and the arch outlined in gold lights. The reason I didn’t see it was because I’ve been too lazy this year to put it up.
I put up a minimum of decorations this year because I just didn’t want to have to turn around and put them all away afterwards. I tell myself that it’s been a hard year, that I haven’t felt all that well and have been concerned about my daughter, but what it all boils down to is that I’ve just become really lazy.
I never before thought that whether or not I did any decorating made any difference to anyone else. But after that experience yesterday, I know it does.
The thing that really bothers me is that it seems everyone around here has succumbed to the pressure put on us by the ones that might be offended.
Look guys. Christmas is a Christian holiday and as Americans we have a right to celebrate it as we always have. We don’t ask the Muslims or anyone of any other religion to neglect celebrating their holidays. The atheists don’t have their own holiday, except maybe the first of April, but that’s their choice. A business has a right to put up any decorations they please and play any music they please, within reason, without fear of harassment. Every time we give in to fear of a lawsuit or persecution because someone is “offended,” we’re giving away our freedom as Americans.
I was recently sent an email that contained a quote from Ben Stein, a Jew. It was so noteworthy that I thought I would pass it on for anyone who hasn’t seen it to share.
Please read (below) and enjoy it. As for me, I’m going to get up from here and dig out that big cross and put it in my front window. Then I plan to hunt up some more lights and decorations and put them out to tell the neighbors and the world that I’m exercising my rights as a free American to celebrate the most important holiday in the Christian faith.
I wish each and every one of you a very merry Christmas. And to Ben Stein, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and thank you very much!
(The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.)
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it.. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.