Merry Christmas to all, not just Christians

by Kelsey Ward, Editor

Merry Christmas!

Are you offended? Of course not.

What is this “war” that we fight during this season every year? Can’t we agree that “Merry Christmas” is a neutral greeting?

According to a New York Times article, the “War on Christmas” started in 2005 because of a book written by John Gibson, called The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.

Gibson, a conservative, claims that liberals are trying to remove religion from Christmas. I believe in Santa Clause, but I don’t believe in this ridiculous conspiracy theory.

“I, for one, want the opposite — I want this season to be a time of peace between politicians, and all people.”

In a year where we are all so exhausted from political fighting, can’t Christmas be a time of truce? During World War I, in 1914, the fighting stopped between the German and British troops to celebrate Christmas together.

Shouldn’t we have a war on extreme liberals and conservatives who have nothing to do but accuse each other.

I, for one, want the opposite — I want this season to be a time of peace between politicians, and all people.

I want to see Congress Christmas caroling through the streets of D.C. together and maybe even sing some Hanukkah songs.

Shouldn’t we be focusing our time on other conflicts, like the possible nuclear war that could happen with North Korea, the suffering of the Syrian exiles, or the poverty and destruction in the wake of the hurricane in Puerto Rico.

In 2017, Christmas is  commercialized. It no longer has as much religious context to it as it used to. Most people view the holiday as a time for presents, trees and stockings.

As a devout Christian, I celebrate the religious side of Christmas, but this is not the case for most people, and I don’t blame them or feel personally attacked.

In a study from Pew Research Center, 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas. Of the people who celebrate Christmas, only 46% see the holiday as primarily religious. People who assert that we can only say “Merry Christmas” do more harm than good.

Some argue that a “Merry Christmas” sign posted outside of the Nallin Gate at Fort Detrick in Frederick, shouldn’t be posted because it goes against the separation of church and state.

I think the sign at the gate means “Peace” or “Have a Nice Holiday” or “Share Some Love.” These are all things that I think everyone could agree are important  during this season.

People who see Christmas as a religious holiday should be less concerned about words and more concerned about actions.

There are many people who can’t afford a holiday. Simply donating toys, making meals or giving blessing bags, can shine a light and help spread the joy during what could be a dark holiday for many — Christians, Jews, Muslims or agnostics.

We should join together to make this holiday a merry one for all — “Merry Christmas” belongs to all, not just Christians.