Glynn MooreNews editor and local columnist for The Augusta Chronicle.

What's so special about Christmas anymore?

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Christmas had a good run, but I think it’s time we threw in the towel and admitted that it has lost its religious meaning and become a secular day entirely.

You know it’s true. What do we think of when we hear the word “Christmas”? Shopping and gifts and Black Friday – which, of course, comes after Thanksgiving but is about Christmas shopping.

Vacation from school. Parties. Eggnog. Sales. Wrapping paper. Long lines.

The tree. Maybe a wreath on the front bumper. Fruitcake.

Santa Claus, the official spokesman of Christmas 2012. Elves. Snow, if you’re a dreamer. Flashing lights on the house. Big inflatable snowmen in the yard. Tinsel. (What ever happened to tinsel?)

“Happy holidays!” which is all you’re likely to hear on television shows or commercials or from store clerks. Hardly a “Merry Christmas!” in the bunch.

Sending cards that often portray Santa or the rest without mention of the reason for the season.

Movies on television that have a Christmas theme – so long as that theme is the aforementioned Santa or shopping or “the true meaning of Christmas,” which turns out to be whatever the show is selling: love, children, toys, families or the undefinable “Christmas spirit.”

Families getting together and eating, fighting and exchanging gifts.

Novelty songs more than carols. Grandma getting run over by a reindeer, not holy nights and mangers. Dogs barking about bells. Chipmunks and divas and every other recording artist with a Christmas album to sell.

Yep, it’s a whole new ball game from when it all started a couple of millennia ago.

They say that early Christians chose Dec. 25 to celebrate because it was a pagan holiday already, so they figured it would be easier to sneak in on the festivities than to win people over to a new day entirely.

It’s also tied in with winter, which begins Dec. 21 this year. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s also the date the wackos have set aside for the end of the world. According to people who claim to be able to read the Mayan calendar, anyway.

You know, considering how commercial Christmas has become, Superstorm Maya might be a breath of fresh air.

MOORE WORDS: One word associated with the Christian takeover of winter festivities is “yule,” which was the name of a European feast that took place around the beginning of winter, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

The same root word for yule moved into France as jol, which meant “festive” and gave us “jolly,” a familiar word this time of year.

Moreover, “joy” sprang from the same origins.

From heathen feasts, then, we get a whole sackful of Christmasy words. Maybe change isn’t so bad, after all.

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elsmo66 12/10/12 - 10:44 am
Christmas is what we each make it.

You are so wrong in many ways. Christmas is what we each make it.

soapy_725 12/10/12 - 11:26 am
Hope this is satire.

Hope this is satire.

mlch 12/10/12 - 03:26 pm
"Christmas has lost Jesus" ?

Perhaps you should have selected another title. This kind of satire burns me up, particularly in a climate where some of us are making a special effort to keep the Christ in Christmas. I don't say Happy Holidays right now because there is really only one major holiday approaching. Sure, we celebrate with friends, just as Jesus did. There is nothing wrong with celebrating and gathering together to enjoy one another and give gifts. My Christmas card is about my family, not Santa. I know this is satire, but there were so many other routes to take with this. A waste of space.

Samh 12/10/12 - 05:09 pm
This is trash.

Christmas is not lost. You just think it is because of all the commercials. They are designed to make us think that what they have is the ultimate christmas present. They cant make money creating commercials about "the true meaning of christmas." I love christmas and im sure ill keep celebrating it.

shrimp for breakfast
shrimp for breakfast 12/12/12 - 03:26 am

You are right in so many ways. The problem is that Jesus doesn't sell merchandise and Santa does. The problem with Christmas these days is that it's all about money, just like everything else. Happy Hollidays, Merry Christmas. I don't give a rat's butt which one you use. Merry Christmas has nothing to do with religion or Jesus. I don't understand where people get that idea. Jesus was born in the summer anyway. Maybe we should be saying Merry fourth of July. People take Christmas too seriously. The people who complain about people who say Happy Hollidays are probably the same people who wait in line on the stores to open on Black Friday.
I thought this was a great column as usual Glynn. Keep it up!

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