The Importance of Christmas to America’s Past and Present

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I can literally hear the tune going in my head…and ears because I’m listening to it and Baby It’s Cold Outside constantly because they are some of my all-time favorite Christmas songs.

The United States of America has really embraced and changed the Christmas holiday. I don’t plan on writing up another “History of Christmas” article. There are plenty like that out there already, namely this one on that’s worth a read.

But I do have to give a SUPER summed up version of the history of the American holiday.

History of Christmas

History of Christmas Traditions in the 19th Century
[Image via ThoughtCo]
I don’t want to write a whole thing about the history of Christmas, so I’ll see how quickly I can sum this up.

Christmas wasn’t always what it is today. There wasn’t originally a Santa Claus or an intimate celebration with friends and family. 

It began as a huge rowdy event.

Christmas, like America itself, has numerous influences from all over the world. 

Originally, logic made it a good time to celebrate because the harvest was done, the wine and beer had finally fermented, and the animals were fattened for the winter and perfect for the slaughter. 

Naturally, mythology and religions were tacked on to the event.

The Norse celebrated Yule starting December 21st. Germany honored Oden, who they believed flew at night to check on his people and decided who will suffer, prosper, and perish. Then Romans celebrated Saturnalia and Juvenalia, both holidays landing at about the same time in mid to late December. 

All of these celebrations were pretty crazy though. They were hedonistic, more akin to modern Mardis Gras than modern Christmas. 

As Paganism faded and Christianity took its place, the Church wanted to get rid of these unsavory holidays and made Christmas festivities take their place. Christmas was the celebration of Jesus’s birth, although not the actual day of his birth. 

After America had gained its independence from Britain, the nation didn’t really care to have Christmas. They wanted a new nation with new traditions. Plus, Christmas was still a holiday primarily predicated on the rich being forced to host the poor with the threat of mischief, much like Halloween’s “trick ‘r treat.” 

Medieval Festive Facts: How Was Christmas Celebrated In The Past? -  HistoryExtra
[Image via HistoryExtra]
This often led to riots (side note: Christmas riots are the reason the first-ever police force was created in America). 

Along came  2 authors that completely changed the course of the holiday: Washington Irving and Charles Dickens. 

Dickens wrote the famed Christmas ghost story: A Christmas Carol. This tale gave the notion that Christmas was more about charity and community than drunken raucous behavior. 

Irving made a more American impact though. He wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent. It showed that the upper and lower classes could easily mingle and be friends on the Christmas holiday instead of always erupting into riots (something that should be noted by the “peaceful” protestors of late).

These two books so changed the landscape of the American celebration of the holiday that it completely changed it to what it is today – a holiday about more than just getting gifts, but about family, tradition (religious for some, but not for all), charity, peace, and goodwill to everyone on earth.

The Problem for Christmas to Solve

[Image via YouTube]
I could go on about how America is in the midst of a culture war, but everyone had said that. You could make an argument that the conservative side of the aisle has lost that pretty bad. 

Most, if not all, of pop culture, leans to the left politically. 

On top of that, we see more and more radically left-leaning politicians gaining a following. People like Bernie Sanders (an outright socialist in beliefs, but not in practice because he has multiple large houses), AOC, Kamala Harris, and Ilhan Omar, to name a few, have really gained a strong following in recent years. 

But there are even articles online that say they don’t have a liberal enough platform.

This is terrible for the American future because there are claims that the younger generations are flocking to a socialist movement because they believe capitalism is the reason for tough times when you could easily make an argument that socialism is what hurt the modern generations the most. 

The most common idea that people think of when they hear about Marxism is Communism and the abolition of private property.

Another common idea Karl Marx proposes is the abolition of the family.

Marx made the claim that the family was a microcosm of patriarchy and capitalism. So, Marx states in the Communist Manifesto, that we need to abolish the family in favor of a community that acted as a large family.

The worst part about this is that with the rise of Americans wanting socialism comes the rise of people wanting to abolish the family. 

It doesn’t stop there, the modern feminist movement has jumped on this idea too because capitalism is inherently patriarchal despite the fact that women now hold a record high of CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies.

How Christmas Solves the Problem

Christmas Miracle (2012) - IMDb
[Image via IMDb]
A common critique of the left is that conservatives are science deniers and don’t believe stats. At the same time, Ben Shapiro has made famous the statements, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” 

So, I’m going to contract the leftist critique and use some stats to back my statements. 

The way to fix the future is to help children become the best people they can possibly be. On top of that, children that come from stable nuclear families do better than those that come from split families. 

Of course, there are outliers and some people can successfully co-parent with no issues. 

There is a literal study that says child wellbeing is directly related to family stability

It’s also no secret that divorce rates have risen recently. There’s an article on that says that instability in the household directly relates to the downward mobility of the children of said household. That means a strong stable household helps to build a strong character to maintain or gain wealth in the following generation.

Even the left-leaning publication The Atlantic has an article about the importance of the nuclear family for children. And an argument can be made that cohabitating parenting, though still in its infancy comparatively, relates to higher instability in the household for children’s sake.

I say all this to really say that America needs the stability and comfort of the family. 

America needs Christmas. 

Not the classic rowdy Christmas of yesteryear, but the modern interpretation where we gather to celebrate family, friends, charity, peace, and goodwill to the world. 

Christmas promotes good feelings. Think about in Home Alone when Macaulay Culkin’s character Kevin is talking to Marley in the church. Marley is there to see his granddaughter because he got into a fight with his son and this was the only way he could see her. Kevin tells him to call his son because a son wants to hear from his father especially around the holidays.

Home Alone's most mind-blowing theory ever? Old Man Marley is magic? |  Films | Entertainment |
[Marley (Roberts Blossom) and Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) in a church]
Then as the movie comes to a close Marley talks to Kevin and says he called his son and it went well. 

This is the kind of power the holidays have. They make people remember the importance of family. It helps people to know that family is incredibly important for the future of America. It helps fight the socialist movement and promotes personal responsibility. 

America needs Christmas. Now more than ever.

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