Religion or Secularism

Daniella Rivera, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The debate to keep the Christian values, or to take them away from the holiday, continues on what Christmas should really represent.

“[A] poll found that while 90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas, only 55 percent regard it as a religious holiday,” according to The News and Observer. This begs the idea of how Christmas is losing its sole purpose, and may not be considered a religious holiday in the near future.

As many know, Christmas was made a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who is believed to be the son of God. More than half the U.S. would attend religious services to rejoice, but this number has dropped to barely half in the past years. Proved by New York Times, “82 percent said they would spend the holiday with family or friends and 51 percent who said they planned to attend a religious service.” Older religious traditions are fading as new stories arise.

Saint Nicholas, or as many know him as “Santa Claus,” had started as a figure for merriness, but also the representation of Christian beliefs. America as a whole has strayed away from this by adding a cultural twist to the old man. Styling the elderly soul in a deep red overcoat, a black belt that barely fits over his big ole’ waist, and a slouchy hat with a cotton ball hanging at the end; leaving Christian customs to wane. Bringing toys to the children who made it on the “nice” list, and leaving coal in the stockings of the “naughty.” Tales of the fat man in the sleigh popularize leaving the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas to vanish.

The question still stands, should Christmas be considered a religious holiday? According to The New York Times, “Like much else in the United States, a strong partisan divide runs through the survey results, with responses from Republicans seeming to place an emphasis on religion and those from Democrats on secularism.” By keeping Christmas to it’s denoted intention, Christian families can continue to celebrate what they have grown to strongly believe in without feeling like their religion was stripped from their very hands. For many, other religions have their own holiday, so why can’t they?

What happens to the families who don’t believe in Christianity? By separating the birth of Christ from the holiday, families who either aren’t religious, don’t affiliate with a certain religion, or simply aren’t Christian can commemorate still with presents under their tree without feeling as though they aren’t allowed to celebrate because they aren’t Christian. In this instance, the holiday becomes a more cultural, nationwide and open holiday, that everyone and anyone can feel they are a part of.

The argument of keeping the white-bearded man and his ebullient reindeers versus the faith of a religion as the face of Christmas is only worsening as more generations are born. The controversy between the purpose of why the holiday was created and the children’s stories of Santa Claus bringing happiness to all, will continue for generations to come.

Should there be a separation between the holiday and religious belief, so more families can celebrate? Or, do we leave the Christian beliefs? Because what is Christmas without Christ?…Mas??