This weekend, my sister and her family (and likely my parents too) are out on the hunt for their Christmas tree.
They do it the way you see in old movies: out to tree farms in their boots in and coats and hats, all bundled up. The kids run ahead as they wander the rows and rows of evergreens until they find the perfect tree. Then Dad rolls in the snow under the tree (or maybe now it is the guy who works there, in his snowsuit) and they tree comes down. Some contraption — maybe a sled with runners — is used to drag the tree back to the car.
Christmas in London is noisy and less colorful, but it is still throbbing and joyful. Eyes still shine — adults and children alike. Trees unnaturally spring up in tiny forests on tree corners and in front of pubs (like in front of the Old Cock in Kilburn). Dads and sons, like this one here, come and choose the perfect tree and carry it home.
I agree with dry old Ben Stein who, as a lifelong Jew, has never been bothered by a Christmas tree or a “Merry Christmas” greeting. Any holiday that makes people happy to greet each other, to decorate their homes and gather with family and friends is a good one.
So if you ask me how I greet people at this time of year, yes, Ms. Liberal from Iowa will always say Merry Christmas! Because to me, the holiday isn’t defined by a word made flesh ie,”Christ” a concept that has been hijacked by fundamental Christians in the same way the wonderful American flag has been kidnapped by “patriots.”
Merry Christmas is a way of saying YES! to the actions of the season: yes, I will participate in peace, love and hope for the future.
So sorry folks… for me, Season’s Greetings just does NOT cut it.
P.S. Click here to read about the false Ben Stein email that has been circulating.