Santa Claus is the True Meaning of Secular Christmas

My large family started as a Christian family. But as the years went by about half of us ended up not believing in God or Christian values. All of us continued to celebrate Christmas, though. There was no conscious thought to change much about the holidays so little changed. Secular Christmas is everything Christmas except that little thing about being the birthday of the son of God.

Secular Christmas is everything Christmas except…

If you say “Merry Christmas” to me I will say it right back. If you send me a Christmas card, I will be sure to send you one back. Don’t expect a baby Jesus mention in my card. I don’t mind this time of year being called the Holiday Season but I am more likely to call it Christmas and the New Year.

I’ve always liked receiving gifts and giving gifts so I have never missed the gift exchange at Christmas. I like eggnog and peppermint ice cream and consume both near Christmas. I don’t even mind bringing trees into the house to decorate. Personally it is easier to have an artificial tree which is what I have.

I sometimes use the cutesy Xmas shorthand and secretly like the idea of there being no Christ in it.

I sometimes use the cutesy Xmas shorthand and secretly like the idea of there being no Christ in it. My Christian friends think “Well at least it has a cross in it.”

I even think it quite likely that Secular Christmas is spreading. In my town, Syrian refugees were allowed to get Christmas gifts for their kids at some charity thing this year. I believe they will give those gifts to their children and just say it is the time of year to give and get. I will lay odds that 98% of them will remain Muslim and will just start this new Secular Christmas as a part of being Canadian.

So for all you Christian people who complain that you can’t say Merry Christmas anymore, Secular Christmas allows you to do this. Just don’t expect the Merry Christmas you hear back to mean anything about the baby Jesus.

Secular Christmas means Santa Claus and commercialism.

Secular Christmas means Santa Claus and commercialism. It means all those delightful traditions you’ve been doing all along. Just don’t expect everyone wishing you a Merry Christmas to attend your church’s Christmas mass.

A hot chocolate toast, then (it’s what I happen to be drinking), to Secular Christmas.

God and ‘O Canada’

I recently came across someone lamenting that perhaps Canada’s immigrants might take God out of the national anthem, “O Canada”.

I was annoyed with this, largely because the O Canada I knew in grade school in the seventies never once mentioned God. Indeed it was not until 1980, that Pierre Trudeau forced us all to say God in the first verse of O Canada, something I objected to, but was only willing to protest by singing “O China”.
Actually myself and classmates had been singing O China before the word change but it was close.

the O Canada I knew in grade school in the seventies never once mentioned God

I was surprised to find that the 1927 version of O Canada, that was expected to be performed in school and public events, had 4 verses. I had only ever heard the first which didn’t have God in it. The three verses are what you might expect of a song honouring a country. Only the fourth verse mentions God. This is odd and seems tacked on given the first three verses.

So I went back to the 1908 version, the first lyrics written by Robert Stanley Weir. There are only three verses in these original lyrics. There is not one mention of God.

Weir should have stuck to his guns and kept God out

It is my opinion that Weir should have stuck to his guns and kept God out of his official lyrics.

I heard years ago that 15% of North Americans are athiest. I wouldn’t be surprised if this number is roughly static and that there are always fifteen percent athiests in all religious countries. There is a debatable number of agnostics who neither believe in God and others or don’t. The original settlers of this land are the indigenous people who weren’t originally Christian. There were also the slaves (Yes Canada had slavery it just ended before the American kind) who originally were not Christian when they were forced out of their African homes.

God was never a uniting symbol of all the peoples of Canada. I’m glad Weir’s original lyrics kept God out of it. I am just sorry that Christianity badgered Weir so much that God eventually made appearances in his song. From unity to meh.

And Weir never wrote the music. That was written decades before by the the French and has its own meanings.

From unity to meh.

I hope enough immigrants will allow us to turn O Canada back to the religously agnostic words it began with. Then the song can truly unite Canada again.