(The State) Cindi Scoppe–The war on Advent continues

I’d be more sympathetic to complaints about the war on Christmas if they weren’t coming from the very people who have waged a largely successful war on Advent. Because, let’s face it, the idea that Christmas should be celebrated in early December, or even mid-December, is not a Christian concept; Christmas celebrations historically were confined to ”¦ Christmas. They were even banned in several of the Protestant colonies, and once the bans were lifted, Christmas remained unrecognizably low-key by today’s standards. The monthlong Christmas celebration is a secular invention, promoted and pushed a little harder each year by a retail industry bent on doing what it does best: convince us to buy more and more things we don’t need.

And the complaint about a societal war on Christmas is not a religious complaint; it’s a political complaint, which politicians have used quite effectively to make too many people believe that Christians have been marginalized by the larger society ”” as if we weren’t ourselves the larger society.

Adding insult to spiritual injury, the assault on Advent crowds out the real observation of Christmas ”” the one that starts on the evening of Dec. 24 and runs through Epiphany, 12 days later. Try to find a Christmas carol then or, after the new year, anyone who even says “happy holidays,” much less “merry Christmas.”

Read it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Advent, Christmas, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Eschatology, Media, Religion & Culture, Theology

5 comments on “(The State) Cindi Scoppe–The war on Advent continues

  1. Catholic Mom says:


  2. Katherine says:

    I don’t really want to listen to Christmas carols now, in Advent, and when I do want to listen during Christmas season, I’ll have to play them at home, because they’ll be gone from the airwaves.

    We’ve had some serious sermons in church this Advent season, about death, end times and resurrection. Pop Christmas, in church or in society, never thinks about these things. Why celebrate a tiny child? Because he died for you.

  3. Ad Orientem says:

    Outstanding article! In the Orthodox Church the pre-Christmas period is one of fasting for us. Our Winter Lent (the Nativity or St. Philip’s Fast) runs until broken by the reception of Holy Communion on Christmas morning. After that it’s eleven days of feasting for us. Even the usual Wednesday and Friday fasts are suspended until the eve of Theophany. During this period we greet each other with the words “Christ is born!”

    Ms. Scoppe is absolutely correct. Christmas STARTS on December 25th and the feasting runs for eleven days (twelve in the old Western tradition).

  4. recchip says:

    The way I deal with it is to consider that there are two parallel things going on. First is the Christian seasons of Advent and Christmas which run for, respectively, 4 Sundays and then 12 days. So in church we do advent hymns and then Christmas song after Dec 24. Then of course there is Epiphany so we can sing about the Kings.

    Alongside these Holy Seasons is the SECULAR “Christmas Season” filled with Red Nosed Reindeer, Dancing Snowmen and Jingle Bells. We can fully enjoy this secular season while still remembering the religious festivals to follow.

    The same thing is true of Easter, we have the Feast of the Resurrection and society has eggs and bunnies.

    There is no real conflict as long as we keep the two “holiday seasons” in their proper places.

  5. Charles52 says:

    I went to a concert last night and am so ashamed to admit how much I enjoyed singing Adeste Fideles with huge pipe organ and brass choir. The irony of the (very enjoyable) program was that it was loosely (very loosely) based on Lessons and Carols, but several of the “readings” were spoken versions of lovely Advent hynms. …sigh…heavy sigh…