To take a stroll at night right now through these smaller Midwest towns, it's not hard to feel the spirit of Christmas. Local shops have decorated their windows and storefronts, streetlights gleam with vibrant, holiday colors and decorations, and people are heard throughout town wishing each other a "Merry Christmas." It is hard, then, to reconcile this warm, Christmas feeling with that of a more national narrative of "Christmas is under attack!" Even our president is telling Americans that "We're going to be saying Merry Christmas again."
Perhaps we've missed something, but when did we stop?
It's understood that President Donald Trump may have been referring to past presidents whom he thinks avoided the phrase to be politically correct, but there are countless video clips that are very searchable to prove presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and every other president before them publicly wished crowds of people "Merry Christmas" over and over again. Yes, some people are more conscious about also saying "happy holidays" to encompass those of other faiths and the idea of New Year's celebrations as well, but it's a stretch the size of Christmas to think the Christian holiday is in jeopardy of being forgotten.
Oh, sure, one can probably generate a little list of different examples where big corporations or organizations have chosen to become more vague in their holiday marketing style, but since when do we consider big corporate decisions to be a reflection of our own lives? Any Christmas spirit we've got is going to come from within to be shown in the way we celebrate this time of year.
We don't need a picture of baby Jesus on our coffee cups in order to feel our own faith because many of us here are still going to Christmas programs at church, where we'll see a little kid we know play a part in the story of him. We don't need to let loud, angry voices tell us that a holiday near and dear to our hearts is under attack, when we can look around and see with our own eyes that Christmas has not gone anywhere.
Maybe not everyone in this country will celebrate Christmas the way many of us do, but their right to abstain does not threaten our right to partake. It never has. It's hard to tell us with a straight face that Christmas is being stolen from us when we are busy eating a Christmas meal with friends and family around us, partaking in our own little Christmas traditions and looking out at a town that is essentially shut down in observance of the holiday. It's really hard to "bring Christmas back" to a place that it never left.