Let me preface this by saying that I am not anti Catholic. And by "Catholic" I am referring to anyone who celebrates Christmas. I am in fact married to a Catholic and I participate in celebrating his holidays.
HOWEVER: To quote my 5 year old, "I don't get it".
I totally understand that the birth of Jesus is a big deal. I'm not denying that it should be celebrated. (I'm a bit skeptical about his mother's story...but that's an entirely other topic which I am not about to debate here). I just don't understand why his birthday has to be a considered a SEASON and why it has to last a friggin month long!
Moses was the leader of the Jewish people. Stop any Jew on the street and he or she most likely won't be able to tell you his birthday (which is the 7th of Adar by the way - THANKS GOOGLE). Notice the Jewish people don't start around December (which is approximately equivalent to two months before Adar starts - Jewish calendar is lunar so hard to pinpoint a true date) advertising toys, housewares, decorations and whatnot's to assist in the celebrating of Moses' birthday? They don't stock up in sand to decorate their homes with in order to symbolize leading the Jews through the desert for 40 years. I mean..that event was HUGE in the history of Jewish people. Radio stations don't constantly play Hebrew songs for an entire month to signify his birth either. Basically, Jewish people observe, reflect and move on. So why does Jesus get this special treatment? Why does his birthday get to last an entire month with reminders several months in advance?
Following is a list of my issues with Christmas?
1. Why the stories? So if the Catholics are throwing this big birthday party for Jesus..why make up the Santa thing to bring gifts? (By the way, I happen to LOVE this tradition even though it bothers me too. I love that children use their imagination and I love using Santa and "being good" as a parental bribe). But back to the point: Why can't Catholics just say "We are celebrating Jesus birthday, but he is dead so I'll give you a present instead".
2. Do we have to listen to the songs on the radio an entire month, or even more in advance? Sure I can change the station, but then I run the risk of hearing another Christmas song. If I asked people to start singing Happy Birthday to me, every day, a month before my actual birthday, I would get punched in the face. By the time my birthday rolled around nobody would want anything to do with me and I doubt I would even get a gift, or for that matter a phone call.
3. If Channukah is the Festival of Lights, why do the Catholics hang colored lights from their homes? This one ALWAYS stumped me. It's kind of like the Catholics raining on the Jews' parade. I can imagine some bitter, jealous Catholic saying."OH, Sure, YOU'RE THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS...WELL I'LL SHOW YOU A LIGHT SHOW". But then again, I don't know too many Jewish guys (or gals) who are willing to put in some manual labor time to hang lights on a house.
4. Are there really 12 days of Christmas? I know there's a 12 Days of Christmas song, but is it just a song, a folk tale like Santa? Or are there really 12 days? I mean, if Christmas is truly celebrating the birth of Jesus, then how could it be 12 days? Did Mary's water break and then she was in labor for 12 days? OR, did that same bitter / jealous Catholic from my #3 just want to keep up with the Jones (or Schwartz's). Maybe he wanted to one up the 8 days of Channukah?
Last, but not least: #5. Why do people say "Oh, be nice" OR "Oh, be charitable, it's the holidays"? Really?? Can't people be nice and charitable all year round? Why does it take a holiday to remind them? Sure, be kind, it's Christmas, but try to cross the parking lot when a shopper is looking for a parking spot and you will get ran over and cursed at too.
- Just Thinking Out Loud