Sunday, December 5, 2010

Season's Greetings

In 1960, this was my family's Christmas display:

It says "Season's Greetings" on the sign. There's a painted plywood nativity in the front yard and a plywood Santa Claus with his reindeer on the roof.

On Christmas Eve, our church had Santa Claus visit to give the kids Christmas canes and oranges (standard stocking fare in 1960). When I was 3 years old, my brother pointed out that Santa Claus was actually my dad, wearing a costume.

By the mid-1960s, we had a newer, more Biblical minister, and so the Christmas Eve service turned into a more religious affair and Santa Claus was banned, although the church was still decorated with a gigantic Christmas tree.

Season's Greetings was considered a wonderful greeting in 1960. Yet, now there are movements to "Keep Christ in Christmas"--e.g., this Facebook page Sorry, guys. In the good old USA, the issue of Christmas being all about Christ was decided decades ago. I made sure that my kids knew about the birth of Christ being celebrated on Christmas, but I also made sure that they knew that theologians generally believe that if Jesus existed, there's no reason to believe that he was born in December, and that the 25th has pagan origins. Somehow, by telling them the truth at all times, including that there was no Santa Claus, I managed to raise three rational atheists.

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