Many American children have, in recent years, grown up under the influence of parents whom we might classify as secular progressives; parents who seem to be unaware of the true meaning of Christmas.

They often profess a belief in Christian values like peace, love, and forgiveness, but have no idea where these values come from. If you ask them, they’ll say something like, “it’s natural that everyone should believe in such things.” Well, it’s not.

Also, they might practice Christmas; that is, they get a Christmas tree, exchange gifts, say “Merry Christmas,” drink hot-buttered rum and eat bagels (oops – those last are actually a couple of OUR Christmas traditions). But more and more they’d rather have a “Holiday” party,” or even a “Year End” party if the word holiday is too religious for them.

This can result in some confusion for their children, who might get the idea that Christmas is important but might never had much about it explained to them. So, as usual, I’m here to help.

Now, I’m not going to try to explain the part about God incarnate, divine from before the point of conception, born as a defenseless baby into the care of loving parents living in the shadow of the authoritarian institutions of their time. That’s what church is for. If you want to know more then go sometime and learn. Trust me – you’ll be glad you did. Just let the possibility of the reality set in – the miracle of Jesus’ birth, and what it really means to you.

No, I’m going to stick to the other stuff; more like a FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions, like a Quick Ref. You can print it out as a reminder for next year.

Q: Why is Santa Claus always so white?

A: Santa Claus is based on the legend of Saint Nicholas, a kind man who became Bishop of the Grecian city of Myra. Early Americans, mostly European, wanted to emphasize the virtue of giving and culturally appropriated St. Nicholas as Santa Claus; so Santa Claus is white. Don’t take offense – anyone of any color can be Santa and no one cares. However, a female Santa would be unusual because Santa is male, if you believe in that sort of thing.

Q: Joseph and Mary were immigrants; so why don’t people like the idea of Syrian immigrants?

A: Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem because a distant central government ordered them there for purposes of taxation (h/t @baseballcrank); the kind of thing distant central governments are want to do. Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt when Herod got paranoid about Jesus and ordered the deaths of all the male infants in Bethlehem, something Herod thought was justified.

When people think killing other people is justified, as they often do, then absent Christian constraints they tend to do it – like despots, criminals, and people under the influence of radical Islamist ideologies. That’s why we tend to not want these kinds of people in the neighborhood of our country. Without life, there can be no liberty; and without liberty there can be no happiness. I hope this helps answer your question.

Q: Isn’t having a Christmas dinner sort of a privilege kind of thing?

A: Sorry – gotta cut this short. It’s time for Christmas eve dinner in about an hour. Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas. May the LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto you.