It’s nearly that time of year. Stockings will be hanged, gifts will be made or purchased, and families will reunite for Christmas celebrations. And in the background, you may overhear the usual news stories about a culture-wide “war” on Christmas.
But there is no war on Christmas. According to the Pew Research Center, 78.4 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian. Those folks aren’t going anywhere. And the Christmas décor you can find at Lowe’s and Wal-Mart as early as late October isn’t going anywhere either.
While there may be no war on Christmas, there is another threat to freedom lovers: the War on Autumn.
What? You haven’t heard of the War on Autumn?
Autumn is supposed to be a wonderful time of year. Trees change their colors and shed their leaves ahead of winter’s chill. As temperatures cool and humidity drops, the air takes on this subtle electric quality that makes you feel anything is possible. Families gather to share a harvest and reflect on the events of the year.
Like kudzu, Christmas music and decorations have crept earlier and earlier into the calendar. The dying practice of making decorative gourd arrangements attests to the fact that our fervor for Christmas has drowned out fall’s glory.
“But Justin,” you may be asking, “Aren’t you being silly? After all, we don’t live in a celebrity culture or tabloid culture, we live in an outrage culture. Being thin-skinned has almost become a prerequisite for making a political point, and you’re just posturing.”
Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps we spend more energy finding things to upset us than we do appreciating the overwhelming majority of things that don’t. Perhaps if we put all our energy into the Advent, we’ll have no energy left to be present for the event we were anticipating. Perhaps we are so focused on the excitement of giving and receiving Christmas gifts that we forget the communion of the season that came before.
Readers: United, we must take back Autumn! It will not be retaken all at once. Let’s start one day at a time, beginning with Thanksgiving. If we do not make a stand over Thanksgiving, then all is lost, and in a few short years, Summer may fall as Fall fell, and we’ll find ourselves decking the halls in July.
Make a solemn vow now not to patronize any businesses on Thanksgiving. If employers see that there is limited or no business being conducted on Thanksgiving, perhaps next year they will remain closed so that everyone can spend time with friends or family.
With sustained effort, we can restore Autumn to its proper place and ensure that decorative gourd arrangements do not go the way of the Dodo.