As it has for more than 100 years, a familiar carol by Josiah G. Holland joyously proclaims, "There is a song in the air!" Yet, one does not have to hear the song to know that something special is in the air. There is a decided air of anticipation everywhere and elaborate preparations are being made for that coming event.
All across the land, homes, places of business and towns are being beautifully and gaily decorated. Lights, garlands of evergreens, and other colorful decorations are being put in place. Some of these decorations involve the traditional symbols of Christmas which have been used for ages. But others, sometimes described as "whimsical," are mere glitter that give a festive appearance and suggests a secular theme.
When neighbors meet on the street, sometimes they say "Merry Christmas", while others, avoiding any reference to Christmas, say, "Happy holidays." In some schools - one of the primary institutions for molding young minds - programs featuring traditional Christmas carols are forbidden and have been replaced with secular programs which celebrate the arrival of the winter solstice. On some school calendars "winter break" has replaced "Christmas holidays." All is symbolic of a significant cultural cleavage in American society. This cleavage, fostered by a zealous minority, seeks to replace traditional Christmas symbols with secular items which suggest a festival to mark the beginning of winter.