Oxymoron & the Holiday Concert

By definition an oxymoron is a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.

 

Secular: denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.

Christmas: the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on December 25. (italics mine)

 

Thus I give you: Secular Christmas

 

There is no such thing as a secular Christmas.  I should think one wouldn’t be wanted if what is being celebrated is the very foundation of the religion.  “Reason for the Season” and all that.

Santa Claus represents Christmas.  No matter how commercialized the figure has become, his entire basis of being is Christmas, the religious holiday.  Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick appears at no other time of the year other than Christmas Eve, which apparently starts the day after Thanksgiving these days.

A Santa hat represents Christmas, not winter.  Ask any kid.  And any adult who says otherwise is attempting to skirt the issue or possibly from The Netherlands.

Now, before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, let me say this; I was born into a family that celebrated Christmas, they still do.  My daughter Nenè celebrates Christmas.  There are many Christmas songs/hymns that I truly love.

I am not antiChristmas.  I repeat, I am not antiChristmas.

What I am is Jewish and a supporter of equal representation in public institutions that are supposed to be separated from religion in the first place, at least here in the States.

I will also add that Bashert and I love our son’s school.  It is a public school that prescribes to the International Baccalaureate system of world inclusion; global thinking.  It’s one of the few remaining public elementary schools in our area that has a fine arts program and full time foreign language program. The principal is a fantastic woman, educator and administrator who stands up fiercely for her teachers, students and school.  The teachers are wonderful and creative (many of them have won teacher of the year several times over).

So why bring this up, this secular Christmas?  I’ll tell you why since you asked.

This was the description given to Bashert by Yoda’s new music teacher in regards to this year’s school holiday concert.

Don’t worry about your Jewish child being excluded because we are only singing secular Christmas songs.  Not secularly themed songs about winter time, but secular Christmas songs.

And by the way, Yoda will need to bring a Santa hat for costuming.

Excuse me?

That’s pretty much tantamount to me telling your Christian child that he needs to bring a kippah to school so that he can participate in our High Holiday concert, but its okay because we are only going to be singing prayers that the Jewish religion is based on.

The crux of the matter lies in the blatant disregard for our son’s significance and the simple minded arrogance that assumes that it just okay to have everyone conform to the same belief system.  Really, what harm is wearing a Santa hat, while singing Christmas songs, right?

In real life I work for a multinational corporation and yet every Monday and Friday now until Christmas, I am being forced to listen to Christmas holiday music via the satellite feed.  Every year I have to write an official letter reminding the powers that be, that as a multinational corporation we need to be mindful that not all cultures celebrate or appreciate the holiday of Christmas (the same music plays when someone is placed on hold).  And every year I get the same response that it was agreed upon that the music would play during the prescribed times only.  Big whoop.  I’m just the Jew in the ointment spoiling everyone’s holiday cheer.

I guess what it all boils down to; arrogance, assumptions and significance.

Every kid matters.  Every kid deserves to be seen as significant.  Every kid deserves respect.

Perhaps if we started really practicing this at Yoda’s level, I wouldn’t have to write a letter every year.  But until that happens, Yoda won’t be wearing a Santa hat during any song at the holiday joy night concert and I will keep writing my letters each year.

Perhaps someday, in his lifetime Yoda will see the true spirit of this season.

And maybe all of us won’t have to suffer the effects of Christmas music burn out two days after Thanksgiving.

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6 comments

  1. You are so right. I was raised as a Christian and my best friend growing up was Jewish. The US was founded by many nationalities and all had different religions. We are still the melting pot of the world. I would love to see more diversity in holidays that are celebrated. I also am part of the world community through the internet and am aware of many other religious holidays.

  2. I’m trying to finally get around to everyone’s blog today, saw you stopped by mine, and thought I’d pop by to say hello.
    I found this topic very interesting. I see your point of view, but also think that tradition is mostly behind the celebration of this season, rather than bias. Our founding forefathers believed in Christ. It’s just been something that’s been passed down, and what most people expect at the holidays. I don’t really think it’s intended to exclude anyone. Let’s face it, the system gives the ‘majority’ what they want in order to keep the gears greased and moving.
    I guess it’s just the way an individual interprets it. My family consists of many faithful, practicing Christians. They celebrate it as another one of the ‘Lord’s’ days. I celebrate it as a familiar tradition and a day of fun and magic in an otherwise monotonous life.
    It’s actually considered to be of Pagan origin. It matters little to me which way it goes. I just love the magic of the lights, laughter, gifts, and how it brings family together.
    The sad fact is that we can’t change what the majority want, no matter how much we wish it to be so. There are many, MANY, things I would change if I could. Just hold on tight to your own beliefs, build a strong family foundation, make sure your son always knows who he is, and disregard the rest. The older I get the more I realize that the only thing I can truly change is me.

    1. 1796 Treaty of Tripoli (written under Geo. Washington & signed under John Adams – two of our famous founding fathers) – Article XI – “As the government of the United States of America is not any sense founded on the Christian religion…

      Sometimes others say it best:

      “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” Hellen Keller

      “When I was four years old they tried to test my IQ, they showed me this picture of three oranges and a pear. They asked me which one is different and does not belong, they taught me different was wrong.” ~Ani Difranco

      And one of my favorites!
      “…Just because something is tradition doesn’t make it right..~Dr. Suess 🙂

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