Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is "Christmas" Dying Out?

Is Christmas becoming less important to Americans? A very surprising new CNN poll found that 67 percent of Americans plan to spend less on Christmas or Hanukkah gifts this year.

With the extraordinary number of job losses, home foreclosures and credit card defaults that we have been seeing, is it much of a surprise that Americans do not have much money for Christmas this year?

But even Americans who DO have money are putting less emphasis on Christmas.

For example, the new president of the United States, Barack Obama, does not give Christmas presents to his children.

With record numbers of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Jews living in the United States now, a smaller percentage of Americans are celebrating Christmas than ever before. Alternative celebrations such as Kwanzaa are becoming increasingly popular.

Those who are not religious at all are either attacking the holiday or are trying to incorporate a "non-religious" version of Christmas into their lives. One enterprising greeting card company has actually unveiled "atheist Christmas cards" for the 2008 holiday season.

Others are not afraid to make a full frontal assault on Christmas. Controversial new ads that state, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake" will be appearing on Washington D.C. buses through the end of December. These provocative advertisements are being paid for by the American Humanist Association, and they are spending forty thousand dollars to get their point across.

Some religious groups seemed determined to do their very best to keep fighting for Christmas. Several Christian groups have launched a campaign to boycott retailers who ban "Christmas" references from their holiday advertising.

However, other Christian groups are actually rejecting Christmas for spiritual reasons. The word "Christmas" is actually not found in the Bible, they point out, and Jesus was not born on December 25th.

These Christian groups argue that December 25th was celebrated as a pagan religious holiday long before Jesus ever came to earth, and therefore the celebration of December 25th along with all of the pagan traditions and rituals that have come down to the present day need to be rejected as well:

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