Stealing Christmas ... again!

I really didn’t want to write this ... again.

Still, I sometimes feel I need to put pen to paper because if I don’t nobody else will — especially around here.

So ...

Here we go.

While driving up I-75 on my way home from New York over the Thanksgiving weekend, I spotted a billboard.

Not just any billboard, but one of the stupidest billboards I’ve seen in quite some time.

In eye-catching red with black lettering, the billboard read:

“I miss hearing you say Merry Christmas. — Jesus”

OK. Let’s move beyond the horrifying pretentiousness of someone putting words in Jesus’s mouth.

Let’s move on.

Despite the fact that many of my fans (sic) believe I am the Spawn of Satan, I read my Bible a lot.

A LOT.

I love reading my Bible. Perusing the Scriptures or some portion of The Word is an almost-daily practice.

I often study a specific passage for days if not weeks on end.

I find it inspiring, comforting, stirring, a call to action, and a life guide.

There ... Credo in unum Deum.

Nowhere, nowhere have I seen anything that would hint Jesus expected us to say “Merry Christmas” as opposed to “Happy Holidays.”

Nowhere.

I’ve heard a lot from Bill O’Reilly on the topic, but nothing from Jesus.

As a matter of fact, Jesus was a humble and compassionate person who never would have demanded one greeting over the other, and would not have needed or wanted the supposed or proposed earthly honor and glory attendant to the one greeting and not the other.

Jesus was not a lofty, haughty, or pride-filled man demanding salutes of any kind.

He never woke up thinking “Hey. They don’t say “Merry Christmas like they used to. Bummer.”

Ridiculous.

Do the folks who pay for such a bulletin board really understand who Jesus is, or what His message to the world was and continues to be?

Do the THEY’RE STEALING CHRISTMAS crowd who so enthusiastically wage war on any holiday greeting except “Merry Christmas” really understand what they’re doing to the Spirit of the Season.

I’ve said it before, and unfortunately I’ll probably need to say it again:

NOBODY IS STEALING CHRISTMAS … or any other holiday for that matter.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, take a look around you.

Holiday decorations are already going up.

I was in New York this past week and, lo and behold, buildings all over the place already have their seasonal decorations in place and well lit.

No shop has canceled one single order of Christmas goods and goodies.

No church has declared Christmas as called off and closed the doors for the duration.

Christmas is Christmas, and it won’t be stolen, canceled, ripped off, or limited by “Them” or “They.”

Back in the day, people greeted each other in wide and varied ways ... all in the Spirit of the Season.

Today, if you slip up and wish someone “Happy Holidays” with all the best of intentions, you’re declared some sort of infidel.

Here’s the deal.

I love the winter holiday season. I love the spirit of charity and giving that permeates this exciting time of year.

I generally greet people wishing them a “great holiday season.”

And I mean it.

I hope they have a wonderful and meaningful holiday season.

Christmas is often the only time of year when people can really express love, charity and a sense of fellowship without feeling silly and self-conscious.

Now, a collection of miserable commentators have dictated how to offer blessings and how to express the Spirit of the Season and if you don’t fall in line you become one of “Them” — the guys stealing the holiday.

I’m really tired of being told how to offer my seasonal greetings.

I’m tired of being told by a bunch of angry, bitter old men how I should celebrate my holidays.

I’m tired of the fear mongering that has filtered over into this, one of the most wonderful times of the year.

I’m sick and tired of people trying to pollute my Christmas with their pettiness.

I know nobody is stealing my Christmas.

There is no war on my Christmas.

Despite the billboard on I-75, I know and promise you that Jesus doesn’t care one way or the other — Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays.

He simply doesn’t care.

What He does care about is the anger and hatred promoted by these niggling campaigns that so effectively taint the spirit of the season.

He cares about how we treat each other more than if we’re spouting insincere Merry Christmases hither and yon

As we head into this wonderful holiday season , please, I beg of you, please remember:

There is no one out there trying to steal or declare war on Christmas.

Not “They,” not “Them,” not the ACLU and not the (dare I say it) “liberals.”

Please remember, “It’s Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.”