Merry Christmas

Fox News is again awash with outrage over the “War on Christmas.”  The latest installment has Megyn Kelly proclaiming that Santa Claus and Jesus are indisputably white.  While I am hard pressed to have sympathy for anything broadcast on Fox, I must admit to a sadness that “Merry Christmas” has morphed into “Happy Holidays.”

I’m Jewish and as a kid I loved Christmas.  I believed in Santa with all my might and when told he was fictional, my little heart broke.   I was in a choir and year after year I experienced great joy in singing those lovely carols about the silent night and three kings of orient.  Christmas was a time of joy all around me.  There was honest good will and magic was in the air.  It wasn’t a solstice celebration or the big holiday at the end of the year (that coincided with Hannukah).  It was Christmas.   Christmas is  the holiday of Ebeneezer Scrooge’s  character transformation and the vindication of the goodness of James Stewart’s George Bailey.  Of all the holidays in the calendar, Christmas  is the only one that celebrates man’s essential kindness, charity and warmth.  It is the holiday which honors the birth of the Prince of Peace, and, indeed,  peace permeates our homes and spirits.  So I am inclined to say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays.”  ( And while we are at it, how about Bill O’Reilly and his comrades shower those of us who secularize the holiday with a little “peace and good will toward men.”)