The festival of Hanukkah begins tomorrow at sundown; Christmas is on Sunday. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, a time to spend with family and friends, to appreciate what’s most important in life.
And maybe even to forget about politics for a bit. But remember one political or historical thing this holiday season: in addition to its religious significance for Christians, Americans share an excellent historical reason to celebrate on Christmas day.
Back in January of 1776, Thomas Paine published his runaway bestseller and our namesake, “Common Sense.” His pamphlet was read publicly throughout the colonies, galvanizing opinion in favor of the Revolution that had begun the previous year at Lexington and Concord with the shot heard ’round the world.
Later, in July, the Declaration of Independence was written, signed and proclaimed to the new nation by the Continental Congress.
But by December of the same year, the prospects for the American cause were looking bleak.
British forces, along with their mercenary Hessian reinforcements, had manhandled the Continental Army. Gen. George Washington’s troops were routed at Long Island, pushed out of Manhattan, forced to retreat across the Hudson to New Jersey, and then run out of Jersey across the Delaware River to Pennsylvania “exhausted, demoralized and uncertain of [their] future.”
Soon, the British believed, the American revolt would be extinguished.
“To compound Washington’s problems,” recounts the EyeWitnesstoHistory.com website, “the enlistments of the majority of the militias under his command were due to expire at the end of the month and the troops return to their homes.”
Yet, on Christmas night, Washington marshaled his ragtag soldiers and crossed the icy Delaware, then marched his men nine miles to Trenton. In the wee hours of that Dec. 26th morning, the Continentals attacked, catching more than 1,000 Hessian soldiers by surprise and capturing nearly all of them.
In strictly military terms, the victory was not terribly significant. But in terms of American morale, as well as the perception of important potential allies (think France), the military success was absolutely the perfect Christmas gift for the new Republic.
Our Republic, always in the hearts and hopes of the people dedicated to liberty and justice for all, continues to this day.
And today, you and I are left to defend it — just like the barefoot minutemen who walked through the snows at Valley Forge and faced their world’s most powerful military force.
Without smart phones.
If on this happy and historic holiday you too want to launch a surprise attack against modern day tyranny and Big Brother government, to give a gift that will protect and grow freedom, there’s a link here to speed your way across the Delaware and right to the donate page of Citizens in Charge Foundation.
While you’re still free to do so.
Or maybe you’re all gifted out for now. Still, be sure to share the good news — er, the other good news, the Christmas story about initiative, daring, courage . . . about the battle won by the forces of freedom 240 years ago. Post this commentary on Facebook, Google+, Minds, Instagram, email it to a friend, you name it — or just mention it to loved ones while you’re relaxing after dinner.
And best wishes for a safe and happy 2017. Let’s hope we freedom-loving folks find even more success.
Merry Christmas, America! Happy Hanukkah! Peace and good will to all.