Inventing Christmas – A December 2005 Post Revisited

kinnon —  December 22, 2006 — Leave a comment

This post from December 23, 2005 (which features only seventeen words of my own) is worth a re-read (or even a first time read).

From NRO, a wonderful Father Schall essay that begins with GKC:

One writer against Christmas went so far as to say that the shopkeepers for their own commercial purposes alone sustain Christmas Day. I am not sure whether he said that the shopkeepers invented Christmas Day. Perhaps he thought that the shopkeepers invented Christianity. It is a quaint picture, the secret conclave between the cheese-monger, the poulterer, and the toy-shop keeper, in order to draw up a theology that shall convert all Europe and sell some of their goods. Opponents of Christianity would believe anything except Christianity. That the shopkeepers make Christmas is about as conceivable as that the confectioners make children. It is about as sane as that milliners manufacture women. — G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, January 13, 1906.

Father Schall comments:

Christmas seems to bring out in some a certain kind of venom that strikes us Christians as bordering on the diabolical. “Why is this most tender of feasts subject to such resentment?” we wonder to ourselves. In these days of an often-intolerant tolerance, we hesitate to speculate. We know of the words spoken of this Child born amongst us that many would rise and fall because of Him. A sword would pierce the heart of His mother. He could not be ignored, even if rejected, perhaps especially if rejected. Such things go against the mood of our age, yet are more true in our age than ever before.

Read the entire essay, please.

(Originally prompted by the Tavernistas.)



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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