Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reason for the Season?

A season is a division of the year, marked by changes in weather, ecology, and hours of daylight.

The winter season is upon us and we are getting geared up for several holidays.
Most holidays have their roots in religions from around the world. This year does not have as many as some as some holiday dates change from year to year. This years holidays from the 21 to the 28th are:
Dec 21First Day of Chanukah
Dec 22December Solstice
Dec 23Presidents' Day (IN)
Dec 24Christmas Eve
Dec 25Christmas Day
Dec 26Kwanzaa (until Jan 1)
Dec 26'Christmas Day' observed
Dec 28Last day of Chanukah

As you can see there is a holiday for each day with the oldest celebration on the Winter Solstice. This dates back to The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC.

The second oldest celebrations began around 1312 BC with the Jewish Exodus from Egypt.

Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the mid-1st century. The prominence of Christmas Day increased gradually after Charlemagne was crowned Emperor on Christmas Day in 800. King Edmund the Martyr was anointed on Christmas in 855 and King William I of England was crowned on Christmas Day 1066.

The secular holidays are far younger than the religious ones. Yes Kwanzaa is secular.

Kwanzaa is a week long celebration held in the United States honoring universal African-American heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. It features activities such as lighting a candle holder with seven candles[1] and culminates in a feast and gift giving. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–1967.

The reason for this history lesson is 2 fold. First, a dear christian friend was telling me about making a sign for her lawn that reads. "Jesus is the Reason for the Season". Second because of an email I received. It contained a poem I found offensive;

Twas the month before Christmas

When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a ' Holiday'.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
not Happy Holiday!
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet
Christ is The Reason' for the Christ-mas Season!

While my friend now understands why many will find her sign offensive the other dear friend falls into the category of those who do not want to understand or show respect to other faiths. "Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty" do intimidate them.

Those of us who are inclusive do not use the term to intimidate. It is the insecurities and lack understanding about the diversity of our world and country that make them feel intimidated.

My friend will be making a sign the says "Merry Christmas" in celebration of her faith while I will be making a sign that will say" Happy Solstice" to celebrate mine.

The winter season offers a chance to share and learn about different people and cultures all wrapped up in the spirit of giving.

That is the reason for the season.

Happy Holidays to One and ALL

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