I noticed that they lit the Menorah in Portland this week.  Fantastic.  I wish those of the Jewish faith a wonderful Hanukkah this year, and thank you for all the reciprocal wishes of good tidings.  I also noticed that Santa will now be allowed to visit school children in Saugus Massachusetts after the school superintendent rescinded his ban on the local firefighters who annually visit the elementary schools dressed as Santa, bringing coloring books to almost 500 preschool and kindergarten children as they have done for close to 50 years.  At their own expense.

Somewhere, someone is being oppressed, I just know it....

I’m not going to get into a long tirade about the attacks on religion or Christmas.  Sorry, I’m too happy celebrating this time of year to let that nonsense ruin my Christmas spirit.  It does make me wonder however, why celebrating one’s faith openly and in the public square is so terrifying to certain groups of people that they run yearly campaigns to destroy faith-based messages of good will, oftentimes in ways that are at best mean spirited and at other times, openly hostile and inflammatory.  The good firefighters of Saugus have been giving coloring books to children for 50 years and I don’t believe they have ever excluded any child based on his faith.  Nor has the school system of Saugus instituted a Christian only policy.  Portland Maine has never declared Judaism the official religion of the city, unless I missed that in the paper somewhere.  Quite sure I would have caught that.

For those who adamantly claim there is no such thing as Santa, or God for that matter, to so fear the expression of these beliefs by others boggles my mind.  How can something that you do not believe exists cause you such fear?  Or pain?  Or inflict harm on you in anyway?  You pay a great deal of attention to something that isn’t there.  And for all of the arguments about separation of church and state, two questions come to mind.  What town or state for that matter has declared an official religion?  Why does recognition of faith expressed by a rather large majority of citizens exclude anyone from anything?  You have the right to not believe.  Or the right to dis-believe. Just smile at us small minded dolts and walk away.

Small children still fear to look under their beds or into the dark closet late at night, afraid of the boogeyman that isn’t real. There are quite a few adults that need to make the same transition that children eventually do, stop fearing what you claim does not exist.  Heck, if Christmas frightens you so badly, you may want to dress up as Santa for Halloween.  Of course, that’s only if you celebrate that kind of thing.

Whatever you believe or do not believe, I wish you a Merry Christmas anyway.  It requires no commitment on your part, no conversion or change in your beliefs.  Just an acceptance of others who believe differently than you.  Isn’t that what your message is supposed to be all about?

Merry Christmas.