Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas, America's Holiday

Every year as December 25th approaches, some people get into an uproar over how it's unfair to celebrate and recognize Christmas in the workplace, schools, and other "public" settings because of the fact that it is a day of significance to a specific religion (Christianity). Unfortunately, these people are short on facts and fail to recognize that Christmas is not simply a religious day, but that there's a secular aspect to Christmas which includes the recognition of Christmas as an official United States Federal Holiday. In 2006, author John Gibson's book The War on Christmas was published. The book argues that secular liberals took aim at Christmas.

Christmas from a religious perspective essentially is a commemoration of the birth of savior Jesus Christ. Whether you or your religion believe in Jesus Christ and wish to recognize his birth is up to you. That is your right pursuant to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Christmas from a government perspective has been a Federal Holiday for over 100 years. The Act of Congress making Christmas a Federal Holiday was introduced into the House of Representatives by Representative Burton Chauncey Cook (R-IL). The Senate passed the bill on June 24, 1870, and four days later on June 28, 1870 President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill.  From a secular perspective for America, Christmas is a Federal Holiday that brings Americans together and has a significant economic impact, which is especially important in times when the country can benefit from increased spending related to the holiday. Some of the secular aspects of Christmas include:

  • Sending Christmas Cards to others, which helps the producers and sellers of Christmas cards, as well as the postal service and other couriers;
  • Giving to charity, which helps the charities and those that receive aid from the charities in addition to helping reduce tax burden on donators who can often claim deductions;
  • Buying gifts, which leads to billions of dollars being spent at retailers nationwide and leads to increased hiring in the retail sector to deal with the increased customer demand;
  • Getting together with family, which leads to increased money spent on travel;
  • The Christmas tree, which helps tree farms and retailers nationwide and even abroad (as some trees come from Canada); 
  • Parades, which bring people out into a City where they'll inevitably spend money, even if it's just the cost to travel there;
  • Eating, Drinking, and being Merry, which helps food and beverage producers big and small.
An example of numbers: if the average American spent $100 on gifts at Christmas, that puts over $30B into the economy. 

Those who oppose the concept of Christmas as a secular and Federal Holiday are opposing the benefit of the American people and the American economy. Most Americans want to see an improved economy and reduced unemployment. That can't happen if Christmas goes away. 

No comments:

Post a Comment