Well its that time of year again! You know, the time that everyone starts complaining about something.  The Christians are up in arms about the ‘War on Christmas’, the atheists are rambling on about how ‘Christians are ramming Jesus down their throats’, and everyone else is screaming about how ‘Christmas is just a materialistic holiday’. When did Christmas become so painful?

Enjoying Christmas is so easy a child can do it, and they are about the only ones who do anymore. Just as the head elf, Benard, in the movie ‘The Santa Clause’ said, “Children hold the spirit of Christmas in their hearts”. As responsible adults, we forget about the spirit of Christmas and make of it what we want–a season of contention. We need to accept some personal responsibility and simply enjoy Christmas again.

Christmas, at its core, is all about spending time with friends and family. Everyone agrees with this. We need to get back to this basic principle and spead love, not hate and division. We must take back the holidays and recreate the magic we remembered as children.

Below is a handy guide to enjoying Christmas for each of the three groups I named above.

For Christians

There is no ‘War on Christmas’. What is so wrong about retailers trying to include everyone during the holidays, anyway? A retailer’s sole mission is to make a ton of money off our consumerism. They are only trying to maximize their shopper base, and I would venture to guess that they don’t care about the ‘true meaning’ of Christmas at all. The only one making a ‘War on Christmas’ is you.

For the record, the only thing truly Christian about Christmas is the story of Jesus’ birth. Literally everything else came from pagan winter festivals; everything from Christmas trees to colored lights to exchanging wrapped gifts. Go look up the history of Christmas and see for yourself.

For Atheists

Does a Nativity scene on public property really erode the fabric of our society? It is public property after all, which means it belongs to all of us. You have just as much of a right to put up a secular Christmas display as the Christians have for putting up the Nativity. Oh, wait, Santa Clause is already a secular symbol for Christmas that is currently more pronounced than Jesus’ birth on public property. Can you try to chill out a bit and take a more constructive approach besides attacking the Nativity? This is suppose to be a season of unity where we can celebrate everyone’s views.

For the ‘Retailers are out to get us’ Crowd

If you don’t like the consumerism craze that goes on during December, then don’t be a part of it. Focus on the important things like your friends and family. I am sure they would appreciate spending time with you more than feigning appreciation over a gift. I hate the day after Thanksgiving as much as anyone else, which is precisely why I stay at home and hang out with the people that matter to me the most.

The magic of Christmas is up to you to capture. If you let yourself fall prey to consumerism and the ‘rush as fast as I can to buy gifts and mail cards’ plague, then you have only yourself to blame. Calm down and cherish the simple things this holiday season. Retailers cannot dictate how you live your life.

Christmas is what you make of it, so make it count.