Well, before I start I must say that I'm Christian, at least in belief. But this little nugget of annoyance has been played in my head for nearly a lifetime. Being always brought up in a Christian community where everyone knows most of The Bible by heart, it only takes a while for these sorts of questions to come up. That being said, the rest of this little Christmas speil will at least be justified by my faith. (Actually, it's a clever cover-up designed for abusing mass beliefs with the added bonus of getting little flaming 'anti-humanitarian' treatment. I'm trying to become a lawyer.)
"Why didn't I see Jesus on the 24-hour Christmas Special?"
It's a fairly simple question, isn't it? And a purely logical one, too. If an entire day of Christmas-related cartoons, after-school-specials and high-end comedies, all in their wonderous Christmassy glow, full to the brim of the spirit of Christmas... Where was Jesus? I didn't seem him once, not even a mention of his name.
But... Christmas is celebrating Jesus' Birthday, right? Right... Or at least that's what Christmas used to be about.
It's no big shock to know that all the time politics get in the way of any possibly offensive content from appearing in the public lime-light. But boy, have they really gone overboard this time! They've taken the Christ out of Christmas! And why? So they can have a holiday that REALLY brings in the money without exposing the masses to the actual meaning behind it. This conveniently allows them to put in place of this their own fun little made-up excuses for the holiday. Note the little changes they've made; The Cross has now somehow turned into a Christmas tree. At one time, people would see the Cross and remember what Jesus did for us, now we look at a Christmas tree and remember that presents are stored underneath. Christmas carols now are sung about how much fun the Season is. While this is true, singing about walking in the snow and popcorn beside a fire don't exactly point out that it's christmas, and even the carols that are sung in parks and shown on TV are ones that don't mention Jesus' name anywhere. And the most shocking of all, they've managed to completely eject the Birthday-Boy from his own holiday. How? They replaced him with a much more crowd-pulling, parent-pleasing character... Santa. That jolly old elf that slips into your bedroom at night and puts toys in stockings and under trees, then vanishes up your chimney and rides away into the night on his magical sled, pulled by his numerous flying reindeer. Yes, Santa Claus.
So, where did this Santa guy come from? Well, apparently he derived from the story of a man from (I forget) who handed presents out to children to celebrate the birth of Christ, as well he should, being the generous and joyful person he probably was. Nicknamed 'Saint Nicholas' for reasons I'm not too clear on, he became a rather famous figure, always being seen as the kindly man who gave presents on Christmas Day. How closely he resembled our Santa physically is not really known to me, but nevertheless, countries all over the world, predominantly Christian and English cultures snapped this idea up. Over the years, Jolly old Saint Nick has become the dominant image of the Christmas season. Jesus himself has been almost removed completely from public view, being mentioned only in the occasional carol, or by a news anchor who wants to quit his job soon. It's like celebrating your best friends' birthday but not inviting him to his own party, the cakes and food and streamers are all there, but it's no real party unless you understand who it's for. And in all honesty, Santa has nothing to do with it. He's merely the pedistaled embodiment of a joyful celebrator.
It's not called "The Greatest Story Ever Told" for nothing, you know. The birth of Jesus, at least in my Christian believe, is the most incredibly powerful story that could ever be told. The Son of God, born as a humble man, grew and taught and healed, and was finally sacrificed to take all the Sin away from the world and to give the gift of eternal life to all who believed in him. This is what Christmas is truly about! It's celebrating the birth of the man who, quite literally, saved the entire human race from eternal damnation. Is it really so hard to say on a Christmas morning, "Jesus, you died for us, and for that we thank and celebrate you"? But no, the ever-present government has to keep a tight reign on their athiest public or else something BAD might happen to them! Oh no!
¬_¬ Anyway, now I'm just getting sarcastic, so I'll stop ranting and raving about a holiday that I actually like. Yes, I love Christmas, it's the one time of the year when everyone gets together and eats food and gives gifts. But I love it because it's celebrating my saviour Jesus Christ. The only thing the public seems to have got right about Christmas is that it should be spend with friends and family. Having said that...