Once again, this is a bit off topic, but I had kind of an annoying experience today. My "Tip Hero" newsletter, which is a weekly compendium of frugal tidbits, included an article called "Christmas Spirit and Frugality." It talks about classic holiday movies and how they show the true spirit of Christmas, which is "A time of joy, celebration, peace and love - all things that you can't buy." It was kinda sappy, I'll admit, but its heart was in the right place. However, it was not well received by readers. The first response it got was:
"One BIG problem: Christmas is about the CHRIST! The word Cgristmas [sic] reflects it! The scriptures proclaim it! It is not about you and me and family and feelings, it is about HIM! God who condescended to robe Himself in flesh and give us what we need most: salvation! Pick another time to feel warm and fuzzy or look at cartoons or other of your "meaningful" stories. This story has been written already and it's not up for grabs so you can have joy, celebration, peace and love without HIM! There is no Christmas without Christ - PERIOD!"
Now, I have no problem with anyone celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday, and I can even sympathize with those who feel that the holiday has moved too far from its religious origins and plead to "keep Christ in Christmas." What I do have a serious problem with is folks who get up on their high horses and declare that everyone else is celebrating Christmas wrong. Hey, you, cut out all that celebrating and bonding with family! Knock it off with the "warm and fuzzy" stuff! It's about Jesus or nothing!
Do these people actually think this is a "Christian" attitude to take? Honestly, do they think their faith requires them to condemn other people's feelings of "joy, celebration, peace and love"? (It reminds me of this 10-year-old story from The Onion: "Religious Cousin Ruins Family's Christmas.")
So, in what I hope is a more appropriate Christmas spirit, I'd like to offer this little playlist of Christmas tunes that show the holiday in all its aspects—sacred and secular, positive and not so positive. (By the way, I tried to publish this as an iMix, but iTunes wasn't being cooperative, so I'm just listing the titles and artists instead.)
Shepherds Arise (Finest Kind)
Twelve Days After Christmas (Caltech Chamber Singers)
Wachet auf (Canadian Brass)
Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow (Jethro Tull)
River (Joni Mitchell)
Gaudete (Steeleye Span)
Chiron Beta Prime (Jonathan Coulton)
Straw Against the Chill (Bob Franke)
A Christmas Carol (Tom Lehrer)
O Holy Night (Studio 60 Soundtrack)
Homeless Wassail (Broadside Electric)
Christmas Trilogy (Finest Kind)
Oh Come Emmanuel (Aliqua)
Fairytale of New York (The Pogues)
Christmas / Sarajevo 12/24 (Trans-Siberian Orchestra)
Home By Another Way (Grant Baynham)
Christmas Letter Song (Lou & Peter Berryman)
This Mountain (Hugh Blumenfeld)
And as Tiny Tim says: God bless us, every one.