I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.
—Irving Berlin

The ones I used to know included baby Jesus.  Back in the day, people who didn’t like Christmas did not throw a fit about it. Ebenezer Scrooge was held in no esteem. Besides, call us old-fashioned, but we had a thing for rational thinking.

In these days of keeping Christianity at bay, the Christmas haters bare their egocentricity.  It’s really all about them, because, after all, tell me how anyone is actually harmed by baby Jesus? The anti-Christmas people are saying:  Get your joy out of my face or at least make it just about materialism and parties. Their point: I hate hearing about Jesus and my feelings are more important than your stupid religious holiday.

Our world has lost enough sanity that the egocentric among us no longer feel pressured to hide their self-centeredness.  However, there is still enough sanity left in the world that the thought police at University of Tennessee were not able to get away with one of the most outrageous anti-Christmas moves this side of post-Nazi Germany.

Their tax-supported Office for Diversity and Inclusion misjudged the culture and revealed a bit too much lunacy.  They published the directive: “Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise.” To assist people, they came up with a suggestion list called:  “Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations in the Workplace.”  

If you have not already seen the list, it will make you want to laugh; after you first feel like throwing up.  Blogs and Fox News were all over it to the point that the University quickly withdrew the list and replaced it with a gentle reminder to be respectful of everyone’s perspective during the holidays. Because, yeah, we might forget to do that, so thanks Office of Diversity of Inclusion for including imbeciles too.

For a good laugh—or cry—look at a few of the suggestions that thankfully, have disappeared from the Internet.

  • Holiday cards should be non-denominational. And decorations should not be specific to any religion or culture. [Note to the History Department:  Can someone please tell them that the entire holiday has religious and cultural roots?]
  • “Holiday parties and celebrations should not play games with religious and cultural themes–for example, ‘Dreidel’ or ‘Secret Santa.’ [Or play in any reindeer games?]
  • If you want to exchange gifts, then refer to it in a general way, such as a practical joke gift exchange or secret gift exchange.” [Are they confusing this with April Fool’s Day?]
  • "Refreshment selection should be general, not specific to any religion or culture.”  [Sorry kids, no candy canes or figgy pudding.]

 

Meanwhile, in Wadena, Minnesota, it was the same old: Get that nativity out of my face! The Wadena city council voted to remove a much-loved nativity scene from a city park after one single person complained.

The town (minus the town crank suffering post-nativity-stress syndrome) has taken back Christmas, however. After the initial disappointment, citizen Dani Sworski, decided to make lemonade out of lemons, or rather fruitcake out of sour grapes.  

He challenged all 4,133 townsfolk to take back Christmas and saturate the place with nativity sets. Main Street, store windows and yards are all filled with manger scenes now.  Baby Jesus is everywhere!  Wadena has never been filled with so much Christmas spirit. There is even a Wadena Nativity Display Facebook page

Stores are selling out of nativity sets and ordering truckloads more. “The Minneapolis Star Tribune  reported that the original Nativity in Burlington Northern Park has been replaced with a large inflatable set, accompanied by an inflatable Santa Claus, displayed in the park's bandstand.The display was the brainchild of Brady Folkestad, who no longer lives in Wadena but studied his hometown's bylaws and realized that groups could rent the bandstand for the day. So several dozen residents reserved the bandstand through the holiday. Every morning, someone sets the crèche up. Every evening, someone takes it down, in compliance with park rules.”

The donor, consulted with the American Center for Law and Justice in Washington, D.C., to ensure the display wouldn't land the town in more legal trouble.

“Wadena's Christmas displays have brought offers from as far away as the Twin Cities from people eager to donate a Nativity set to anyone who wants one.,” according to the Tribune. “Mayor Deiss, who has "eight or nine" of them on display at his own home now, estimates at least a thousand sets have sprung up.”

And so, friends, this is Christmas.  No one can take it away from us. Jesus our Savior has been born. Once, King Herod feared the baby Jesus and wanted to get rid of him. Mary and Joseph had to take him into hiding, but he lived. The King Herods of today want to force baby Jesus into hiding again, but he will continue to live in our hearts and souls no matter what they do.

May the blessings of the Christ Child fill you with love and peace this Christmas season, and let us all pray for those whose hearts are too small to receive that gift quite yet.