Here’s this year’s holiday dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

I don’t know about you, but I miss those old-time Christmas TV specials. You know, the ones with hosted by the like of Bing Crosby and Andy Williams.  NBC recently tried to revive the form recently with one hosted by modern-day crooner Michael Bublé.  It was classic and traditional on the surface but was unsatisfying to this viewer in that (unless I missed something, which I don’t think I did) it managed to get through entire hour without any real reference to (or song about) the real meaning of the day. (NBC still deserves some credit for including some faith-based music in its annual  airing of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.)

When I was a kid, the knock on Christmas was that it had become too commercialized and that people (including Christians) were not mindful enough of  its true meaning. Somewhere in the decades since, the opposite idea seems to have set in. Now, to mention or display the true meaning of Christmas in public (and even saying Merry Christmas to an extreme few) is considered in some circles to be somehow not inclusive.  Likewise, campaigns to prevent the public showing of Nativity scenes are somehow considered an act of civil tolerance rather than religious intolerance.

To my mind, I’d like to see all religions openly celebrated in public places so that we could all learn about each other and from each other.  Government should not establish a religion but neither should it actively seek to censor positive expressions of any faith.  You don’t teach tolerance by intolerance.

Anyway, enough of my soapbox. Here’s the Christmas special I’d like to see made up mostly from spare parts of Christmas specials past.

I’ll be some taking some time off until the New Year. Till then, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah everybody!

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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