The other day someone told me to “Have a Merry Christmas”. But that’s not what they really said. What they really said was “Have a good Holi….Have a Merry Christmas”. That’s a direct quote – and a good sign.
Last night I turned on the news to watch the Trump Rally in Wisconsin – in order to see what new announcements and appointments were forthcoming (think on that statement for a moment). To my pleasant surprise I saw a podium flanked by Christmas Trees with the words “Merry Christmas” emblazoned across its top. President-Elect Trump came onto the stage amidst chants of “USA, USA”, and he spoke these words;
“When I started eighteen months ago, I told my first crowd in Wisconsin that we’re gonna come back here some day and we are going to say Merry Christmas again. So Merry Christmas everyone. Happy New Year – but Merry Christmas.“
And I applauded.
I applauded because Trump’s actions and words meant the Leftist move to accomplish the abolishment of Christmas had just been halted in its Globalist tracks.
I have always fought the quiet, subtle movement against saying “Merry Christmas”. There is a nostalgic significance – both personal and national – attached to the phrase. I said it growing up, I said it at work and I still say it now. But every now and then I would catch myself unconsciously adding the phrase “Happy Holidays” into my greeting. That’s coming to an end.
While it may not seem like a big deal, think back a couple decades – or ask your parents if you’re too young. Everyone said “Merry Christmas” with no thought otherwise. It was the standard holiday greeting. Christmas displays – real Christmas displays celebrating the word Christmas – were in every store and publicly displayed. But, somewhere along the way, it became culturally impolite, incorrect – insensitive – to say “Merry Christmas” to your fellow Americans.
Most schools now effectively prohibit the word Christmas to appear. It started subtly enough – Winter Break taking the place of Christmas Break – but it moved forward from there. Christmas displays were sanitized, nativity scenes prohibited and traditional Christmas plays removed.
Stores and malls responded to the trend. Gone were the words “Merry Christmas” and in their place with quiet subtlety was the phrase “Happy Holidays”. Santa was still acceptable in some places but nativity scenes were simply nostalgic memories.
How did this happen? How did it become unacceptable to publicly say a simple phrase – a form of seasonal greeting – in honor of a holiday that 90% of Americans celebrate?
It’s not true that Obama has never said the words “Merry Christmas” – he has on several public occasions – nor has he banned the military from using the phrase. But it’s not something he says often. Nor does he use the phrase in his “Holiday” cards.
As far as I can tell, the “Happy Holidays” movement started during Bill Clinton’s Presidency. President Clinton was the first president in modern history to never once use the phrase “Merry Christmas” in any of his presidential “Holiday” cards. This trend continued with his successor, President Bush (the younger). President Bush did, however, specifically choose bible verses to include in each of his “Holiday” cards.
The political move against saying the words “Merry Christmas” stemmed from Political Correctness – a synonym for the Left – and Secularism. And, ultimately, Globalism. We were somehow culturally inconsiderate by saying “Merry Christmas”. “Happy Holidays” was a broad, welcoming – politically correct – phrase that encompassed all beliefs. At first it was still acceptable to say Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa – just not Christmas. But gradually “Happy Holidays” won out. Indoctrination reached the point of social discomfort. When saying “Merry Christmas” one could feel the unspoken rebuke – or at least the subtle scorn. The phrase became “offensive” and “insensitive” – two other linguistic tools of the Politically Correct set.
And, yes – it is a subtle but direct attack on religion. It’s also an illustration – of the Left’s embrace of secularism as their “religion” – and through that platform – an embrace of Globalism.
Which is why I am so very grateful for the resurgence of Populism. The word “Populism” sounds scary. It conjures up visions of fascist-like political movements and is often portrayed as such. And yet, populism is nothing of the kind. There is no populism ideology to speak of. Populism is, quite simply, the response of citizens to the failure of their leaders. Populism is the rejection of the ideology of Globalism.
Globalism is not Globalization. Globalization (the free movement of goods and services) can be readily accomplished while retaining national identities. Globalism is the movement to replace national identities with a global authority. Globalism is an environment where the collective is prized over the individual. And Globalism should frighten all Americans. For Globalism, by definition, is the rejection of America, and a rejection of our Constitution along with its basic premise of individual rights.
In 1870, President Grant named Christmas as a national holiday. He did so as a means to find a common symbolism for a riven nation – a source of newfound unity. And so it was that Christmas became the national holiday that rose from the destruction of the Civil War to symbolically unite our country.
President-Elect Trump realizes that “Merry Christmas” is not just a simple term – easily abandoned. Christmas is a part of our national heritage, our youth, our memories – and our national culture and identity. He sees its import and meaning which is why he wished the nation a “Merry Christmas” yesterday.
As I now wish to you – Merry Christmas to you and yours!
I leave you with these words from President Ronald Reagan – spoken from the White House in 1985.
“We give thanks for an America abundantly blessed, for a nation united, free, and at peace. May we carry forward the happiness of the Christmas spirit as the guiding star of our endeavors 365 days a year. And as we light this magnificent tree, may all the youthful hope and joy of America light up the heavens and make the angels sing. Merry Christmas.”
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