In America, is there a war on Christmas?Is there really a war on Christmas??? Do you feel that you can't celebrate the Christmas festival openly? Where and what is this so-called 'war'? Do you have...

In America, is there a war on Christmas?

Is there really a war on Christmas??? Do you feel that you can't celebrate the Christmas festival openly? Where and what is this so-called 'war'? Do you have any specific examples of Christmas being oppressed?

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that there is not a war, but a definite difference than years past.

This questions caused me to take a pause and examine why I thought this was going on. For me, the fact that America is a place where multiple nationalities, ethnicities, and religious ideologies co-exist, it is understandable that some people would resist the American Christmas. Too many different people with too many different celebratory traditions in America to blanket the "season" with one dominate idea. If America is a country which supports (or tries to support) multiculturalism, than it is no surprise that some react with dislike (for lack of a softer word) towards the traditional American celebrations.

As a Christian, I have no problem celebrating the holiday. I wish to celebrate for myself and my family. It is against my heart to take away anyone else's ways of raising up what they believe in.

If we are to be a country which embraces all, we cannot look at the "attack" on Christmas as an attack. Instead, I think it is better to look at as a time where we come together as families in order to celebrate in our own ways.

The fact that the world has changed is the bigger problem for those who cannot accept it.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The "Happy Holidays" term appears to finally be exhausted, and good riddance. Those who would criticize anyone for wishing someone "Merry Christmas" under a "politically correct" agenda misses the point.  They claim the such a greeting is exclusive and offensive to non-Christians, thus we've heard the nondescript "HH" term for years.  However, that term does not promote inclusion of non-Christians; rather, blands down the "holidays" and excludes the Christians along with everyone else.

If those who promoted the "politically correct" agenda where truly interested in acting inclusively, they would support the inclusion of all expressions of that time of year ( a kind time, a gentle time....(but I digress)).

"Merry Christmas" covers most of those I run into, followed up by "Happy Hanukkah,"  and rarely "Happy Kwanzaa." "Merry Solstice" seems to be gaining ground :)  Never once, if I used the wrong greeting, has anyone gotten offended; on the contrary, they actually seemed pleased I made the effort to get it right.


larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although Christmas is a Christian holiday and as wannam pointed out, Jesus was not born on December 25, I do feel that as a holiday it has become somewhat ubiquitous. I spent a Christmas several years ago in Tokyo, Japan, a predominantly Buddhist nation; yet Christmas was celebrated there. (I must say that I did find it a bit incongruous to hear chimes playing "O Holy Night" in a tavern!) It has, perhaps been somewhat removed from its Christian roots; however I do not think there is a "war" on Christmas. This perception arises from several court decisions prohibiting the display of manger scenes, etc. on public property as violative of the First Amendment. I have no problem with this; but I do have problems with people who (pretentiously or otherwise) profess to be offended when one wishes them "Merry Christmas." The greeting is innocuous enough that no one should be offended, unless one carries political correctness to an extreme degree or one is simply looking for a convenient reason to be offended.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do think there is more of a social upheaval surrounding Christmas.  Some people are offended when someone wishes them a Happy Holiday instead of a Merry Christmas.  They feel this is taking Christ out of Christmas.  Others are offended by an offer of Merry Christmas because it makes the assumption they celebrate Christmas instead of a different holiday.  Personally, I think the whole thing is a bit silly.  In reality, Christmas didn't start out as a Christian celebration so it's rather difficult to take Christ out of Christmas.  Jesus wasn't born in December; we only celebrate His birth then because it made converting to Christianity easier.  There were many December celebrations and the church wanted to make it easier for people to convert by incorporating a bit of other holiday celebrations.  The argument that Christmas time can only be a celebration of the birth of Jesus is a little ridiculous considering Jesus wasn't born on December 25.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Somewhere along the line, governmental agencies and ultra-lib non-Christians have declared it politically incorrect to officially celebrate Christmas, Easter or other religious holidays. This is in response to a vocal minority who apparently accepts the commercial aspects of the "Holiday Season" but not the religious ones. I first saw this change when schools were forced to end "Christmas vacation" and rename it as "Holiday vacation" or "winter vacation." Easter vacation became "spring vacation"; Halloween can no longer be celebrated because of religious and evil implications. Thanksgiving will probably be targeted next because immigrants or Native Americans object.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have to be honest, and perhaps it is because I live in the south, but I really do not feel the "Happy Holidays" approach to Christmas as something that is taking over around here.  I really do feel like Christians have a pretty strong voice, both commercially as well as personally in my community (NC) and really, in this region.  I felt it just as strongly when I lived in Texas.  I think Christmas is one of the two times a year (the other is Easter) that it is socially appropriate to announce a religious affiliation.  (Happy Birthday, Jesus.)

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another high-profile source for this is the recent decision by various retail stores not to display Christmas themed decorations, and to go instead with a more generic holiday theme. In these cases, I'd say it's certainly not a "war" but rather a recognition on the part of corporate America that the United States is a more culturally diverse place than it was in years past.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Somehow people are apologizing for celebrating a holiday and (holy day for some) that is part of the culture of America, a nation originally formed by Christians. While there is allowance for other religions in the United States, one wonders which religion will eventually dominate a land that was founded by Christians who celebrate Christmas. 

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I wouldn't say there is a "war" of Christmas, but certainly there is more reaction than there once was against the easy assumption that all people celebrate (or should celebrate) Christmas. This is especially true, of course, in connection with public or civic celebrations of Christmas.

frizzyperm | Student

I celebrate Christmas. I do not think it is exclusive to Christians. It is a pan-European, family celebration. I send Christmas cards, say, "Merry Christmas." etc etc and so do all my non-Christian friends. Christmas has been something I have celebrated since before I can remember. It is part of my family tradition and I choose to maintain those thraditions and find them pleasant. I think it is rather naive to suggest that Christmas is a specifically Christian holiday. I think for most people Christmas is about making their family and friends feel special, rather than any religious observamces.