Why is Christmas a federal holiday?

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Why is Christmas a federal holiday?

Postby Mutcer » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:53 pm

A couple of the fundamental principals this country was founded upon were freedom of religion and separation of church and state. Jews can't take Yom Kippur as a paid holiday and are forced to take Christmas as a paid holiday. So why are Christians not forced to take Yom Kippur as a paid holiday? And why is Christmas a paid holiday in the first place. It's not the birthday of a famous American, but the birthday of a religious figure.
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Re: Why is Christmas a federal holiday?

Postby rasava » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:10 am

Christmas never really was much of a religious holiday to begin with. Many decry that the "true meaning of Christmas", the birth of Christ, has been blighted by greed and commercial/advertising excess. But what many fail to realize is that Christmas was the Catholics' way of keeping it's newly converted members from still enjoying the pagan feast of Saturnalia without feeling too guilty about it or be deprived of it.

In fact, the winter solstice was celebrated for milennia by civilizations, but it was branded with the Christmas label all over the world. What's fascinating is that there is some appeal to the winter solstice that touches humanity at a deep level. Maybe it is the fact that signs of wintry "death" begins and the harvest is complete. These feasts quite often are rowdy and boisterous. It's become more solemn in only recent years, because we get drunk instead on New Years Day.

I think I'd be as concerned as you if Easter were made a national holiday, but then it's Sunday anyway. Hey, wait a minute, why do we get off from work on Saturday and Sunday, anyway? Need I provide the answer?

We could all be like Robespierre in the French Revolution and strive for a rationally contrived sense ofa society conceptually free of all religious influences, much like he strived for a pure republic of equal citizens. But we all know how that turned out, or for that matter how an excessively ideological approach to working in the real world can actually turn you 180 degrees in the wrong direction from which you started. Soviet Union, anyone?
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Re: Why is Christmas a federal holiday?

Postby Xunzian » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:26 am

Because the majority of the American population is Christian. If the majority of people are going to take a given day off, may as well make it official. I grew up in an area with a very large percentage of Jewish people and the 'burb just north of us (which was majority Jewish) had the High Holy Days off.

In America, we have the first Monday in September off because laborers started taking May Day off and, well, American politicians didn't much care for commie holidays. So they had to throw the workers a bone somewhere.
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Re: Why is Christmas a federal holiday?

Postby Uccisore » Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:25 pm

Mutcer wrote:A couple of the fundamental principals this country was founded upon were freedom of religion and separation of church and state. Jews can't take Yom Kippur as a paid holiday and are forced to take Christmas as a paid holiday. So why are Christians not forced to take Yom Kippur as a paid holiday? And why is Christmas a paid holiday in the first place. It's not the birthday of a famous American, but the birthday of a religious figure.


Kinda makes you wonder if you haven't been mis-interpreting the whole 'church and state' thing this whole time, doesn't it?
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Re: Why is Christmas a federal holiday?

Postby Jayson » Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:24 am

Because Grant declared Christmas a federal holiday in 1870, before the Unites States of America became a Federalized nation.

Grant's declaration ONLY had impact on Federal citizens, and the only Federal citizens were Federal Employees and their families.
Like...Soldiers, and staff of, what would be Washington D.C. Federal Government in the following year (1871; the year D.C. was founded as such instead of a capital within a township; I'm not referring to when D.C. became the capital, but the year it annexed everything into the territory line we know today, and removed independent contracting of the township by taking the township as it's own).

It was intended to state that the residents of this Federal system (a very small percent of the nation...it's like one district of Microsoft declaring Christmas a Holiday for it's employees) would have the day off.

Instead, later, to process the New Deal of 1936, everyone was issues a Social Security Number and taxed.
The tax was to then return in social programs to help recover the welfare of the citizens of the American States.

Previously, on the US Military had service numbers, which were then replaced by the new Social Security Number when everyone received one.

This process of getting the Federal Administration involved into jurisdiction across state citizenship lines, caused the occurrence whereby everyone had to be a Federal Citizen to receive the Social Security Number.

Tit-for-Tat.

"If you want the benefits, then you need to be in my administrative control for me to be able to give you benefits."
More or less.

Which meant, yep, everyone that had a Social Security Number also fell under Federal Law.
And one of the Federal Laws was a recognition of Christmas as a Federal Citizen holiday.

So what was, pretty much, a Military and Federal Staff holiday became an instant national Holiday.

Christmas wasn't a national Holiday in America previous to all of this.
Many people recognized Christmas, yes, and they took the day "off", just like they took Sunday's off mostly, but they didn't really force people to shut down or anything like that like occurred in some places in the late 40's and 50's.

And I'm not sure if any State previously made it a State holiday, but I kind of doubt it.
The East was too progressive, and the West didn't like government saying anything about mandates.

Perhaps in Central America, but again...that was largely plains country so declaring anything like that for central American States was like saying, "Hey, you can give yourself the day off on this day", so I doubt any central State would have either.

The South was a bit too busy in a clash of the plains life of the central American States and the progressive life of the Eastern states, and would have held it more as an expectation that you would properly recognize Christ on Christmas as is the natural Christian thing to do.
In short...no "boss" would make you really work if he was a proper southern man.

So there's your reason.

It's a Federal Holiday because of Grant, and we're all Federal Citizens because of Roosevelt.
Honestly...it was happenstance that it's a 'National Holiday'.
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