Political correctness has been waging war on Christmas for years now. Stores will agonize over whether they should display a “Merry Christmas” sign or a “Happy Holidays”. Now, however, I’ve been noticing a trend. People have become more aware of the silliness of the politically correct model. More and more people are making fun of the idea of being hesitant to use the word “Christmas”. Last Thursday on NBC most of the comedy shows had some kind of reference to this silliness and mocked it mercilessly. So is the politically correct model falling out of fashion? Is Christmas making a comeback? Perhaps, but not in its intended form.
What I noticed on Thursday in watching NBC’s great comedy lineup was that Christmas is being redefined. As the shows poked fun at the idea that people would go out of their way to be all-inclusive about the Christmas season, they redefined Christmas as a vague holiday to celebrate whatever you want. This was most apparent in the amazing stop-motion episode of “Community”. This has actually been my favorite show out of this comedy line up this season and this episode was stellar as always. But as the gang was searching for “the meaning of Christmas” I wasn’t surprised to see them decide that Christmas can be about anything you want. For Abed, it was about celebrating with friends. That’s great and all, but that’s not the “meaning of Christmas”. The meaning of Christmas is that Jesus, the Son of God, left his heavenly throne and put on humanity to become out sin-bearer and redeem us. This is a huge and amazing concept and the whole of Christmas celebration hinges on that alone.
I think that this movement away from politically correctness towards affirming Christmas as a vague and wishy-washy holiday is actually more dangerous. As a Christian, I would encourage other faiths to celebrate other festivals (though I would pursue them to come to Jesus and embrace the fullness of Christmas as it is intended). However, it bothers that some would instead attempt to strip the Christmas celebration of its true meaning and replace it with shallow, feel-good pseudo-theology.
So enjoy a show like Community and laugh along with the whip-smart comedy, but understand that there is actually only one real “meaning of Christmas” and it’s a lot richer than simple “togetherness”.
Watch the Christmas episode of Community below: