I just did a quick count of our Christmas cards. They are evenly split between the sacred (Merry Christmas) and the secular (Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays and the like). The Christian cards mostly have scenes of the holy family or of the nativity. The secular ones are just vaguely wintry with the occasional fat old man dressed in red. Its significant that my dentist and my mortgage broker both sent secular cards.
For the record, I prefer the sacred imagery. When I have influence over the card-buying decision (which is rarely these days) I follow the same rule of thumb as my mother-in-law. The card must have a picture of the baby Jesus. Extra points for cards with a particularly beatific virgin Mary.
That’s why I think this NY Times article protests too much about Sam Harris’s protesting about Mrs Harris’s Christmas tree as though it might be shocking or hypocritical for an atheist to have a tree or a nativity scene (we have both).
In the war against the war on Christmas, I am solidly on Bill O’Reilly’s side. I detest the secularisation of Christmas. I can’t stand the pap that spews out of the muzak systems in stores and I hate that they make my children sing those songs in school. In two generations, Frosty the Snowman has defeated the whole host of Herald Angels. Two thousand years of culture lost in a cacophony of sleigh bells.
There is a tipping point where multi-cultural topples into mono-cultural; and a mono-culture that is terrified of offending anyone is worse than no culture at all.
Merry Christmas everybody!