In America, you are taught at an early age to believe in that loveable fat guy in the red suit, Santa. I've always loved Christmas, and everything that Christmas brings, including Santa Claus. While I've long ago learned that Santa isn't real (which I learned a bit late, I believe), Christmas has always been magical for me. When I was younger, our whole family would sing Christmas songs in the living room at night by our fake Christmas tree, I preferring the vocals of O Holy Night and other classics, while the little ones would hum here and there and then suddenly burst "JINGLE BELLS!" when they recognized the song (finally). Then there would always be Christmas morning, where we would rush with wild hair and red plaid pajamas to tear open presents and peek inside our stockings to see what Santa had left us.
While my parents always reminded us that Christ's birth was the reason for the season, many other families skip the real meaning of Christmas altogether. How does America cover this up? I think Santa must take the blame. For people like me, he just adds to the excitement of Christmas, but for some people, he is Christmas.
Santa has become a replacement for Christ. We gave him a kind spirit, a bag full of gifts, and wrote dozens of songs about him. In movies, such as The Polar Express, we are told to have "faith" in Santa and to "believe". It's the Gospel of Christ stripped of Christ and decorated with our media-saturated tinsel and holly. In Shrek the Halls, the message of Christmas is to be with family and friends. While family is special, is that really what Christmas is about?
It's all a mask, like putting concealer over flawless skin. Why mess with a good thing? Our country cannot stand to be led by Christ, so we do everything we possibly can to minimize Christ and maximize profit. That's all Santa really is. That's what "happy holidays" really means. Profit. Consumerism. Buy, buy, buy. Sell, sell, sell. Let's take Christmas, strip it of its worth and beauty, and create our own holiday, worshipping America's consumeristic culture. You can have your happy holidays, I'll have a Merry Christmas.