In Defense of Christmas

Deck the halls with whatever you want, just deck them please. It’s December, and we’re in the (ostensibly) snowy Northeast, where the days are short and cheeks are red, yet there’s no pageantry. None. Christ wasn’t born in December. Historians have deduced from scriptures that he was probably born in June. We celebrate Christmas in December because December is the time to celebrate. For cultures all across the Northern Hemisphere, the winter festival is the biggest party of the year, and not because of any messianic figure, but because some day between December 20 and December 23 is the shortest day of the year. They sing, dance, exchange gifts and protest the darkness of the sky with candles and rainbow lights. There’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day and the many other jubilations of people across the Northern Hemisphere. The winter solstice (and the summer solstice down South) is a better time than any other to learn about the traditions of cultures around the world. And yet the secular progressive movement has made celebration blasphemous. We may only have the first 12 days of December on this picturesque campus, but that’s no reason to hold back our holiday spirit. Our “diverse” community, come the holiday season is hardly “vibrant.” It’s numb. And the lights that could be glowing, celebrating any of these Solstice-time holidays that feature light, are absent. The Christmas tree in Boston is officially named a holiday tree. As is the tree in Olympia, Washington. And in Andover, we’re not singing “O Tannenbaum” either, despite the entire Knoll of pines. Why can’t we light trees? And menorahs? And kinaras? We do have Mrs. Chase’s Holiday Reading (Freeman Room, 6 p.m., Friday night), which features the known classic “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and the sneaky good “Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins.” And the Phillipian newsroom, if you feel like stopping down here, is decked out in tinsel and colorful lights. And at the All-School Meeting, while abandoning the traditional and exhilarating holiday medley, Jazz Band played some enjoyable (though nearly tropical) renditions of a few standards. But, talking about Andover students, Band Aid might sing twenty some-odd years later, “do they know it’s Christmastime at all?” Jack Dickey is a four-year Senior and News Director of The Phillipian from Guilford, Conn. Harrison Hart is a four-year Senior from Baltimore, Md. and Commentary Editor.