I have this love/hate relationship with school Christmas programs.
I love watching my kids play a role in the programs.
I love how cute the kids are in their performances.
I love how teachers manage to herd a hundreds of kids around and pull off a performance that at times brings laughter to all.
But I hate what school Christmas programs have become.
Please let me explain.
Last night, my youngest daughter's program was held at the Bellville, TX auditorium. We heard a story about Santa losing his mojo and Christmas spirit. There was all types of commentary about how we've lost the sense of what Christmas was all about. It's not about presents and Santa (no wonder Santa's lost his mojo!), but it should be about peace on earth and goodwill toward all people.
That's all well and good. I agree with the premise. Christmas should not be focused on presents and Santa and Christmas trees and frenzied cooking and baking and trying to make everyone happy by refraining from saying "Merry Christmas" lest someone gets offended and all the other trappings which turn this season into one of the most depressing and stressful times of the year. No argument from me on that one, but why? Why say this is a time for peace on earth and goodwill toward men? Shouldn't that be the focus 365 days a year? What makes this time special for saying such a thing?
Give me a good secular reason for saying we should focus on peace on earth during the last month of the year.
Give me a good reason for saying we should treat each other better at this time of year instead of any other time of the year.
Give me a good reason why people should go out of their way to help others enjoy Christmas and get stuff that is based in reason, science, evolution and secular humanism.
I find it simply ludicrous that schools and other places are forced to remove the very basis from whence we get the commentary, "Peace on earth and goodwill toward men." I find it simply ludicrous that schools have to have a program about losing the spirit of Christmas, and it is restored by people making jingling noises with keys, little bells and any other sort of thing which makes that kind of noise. Talk about majorly superficial!
Santa, based upon St. Nicholas got his mojo because of his relationship with Jesus Christ.
Peace on earth and goodwill toward men comes straight from the birth of Jesus narrative--you know, when the angel proclaimed in Luke 2: 14, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Without the religious undertones, the holiday becomes the flashes of what we see on the news: people lining up to buy cheap crap; people pushing and shoving to get what they want; people hurrying, rushing, stressing out and becoming depressed.
No wonder we've lost the meaning of Christmas. And lawyers and others have insured we'll keep removing it from the public sphere more and more. Absurd.
Did I say I had a love/hate relationship with my kids' Christmas programs?