I love Christmas. Let me rephrase that. I LOVE Christmas! It has been my favorite holiday since I was too young to know when it would happen.
My parents emigrated from Holland (the Netherlands, but also one of the two provinces in the Netherlands that are "Holland") before I was born. So Christmas in our house was a mix of American and Dutch customs. We got presents on Christmas, not Sinterklaas (Dec 6th, though the presents happen on the eve.) But we didn't have gingerbread; we had spickulaas (I am almost certainly spelling it wrong because I never saw the word written down.) It's kind of like gingerbread only much better and with almonds on top, and shaped in windmills and sailboats instead of houses and people. I was in my twenties, however, before I discovered our spickulaas was Mom's best attempt at recreating spickulaas by combining spices to taste--in Holland one just buys "spickulaas spices" but of course that isn't available in American stores, and translation difficulties meant Mom didn't realize that this was actually allspice. And frankly Mom's spickulaas was harder to make but nicer than Dutch spickulaas.
We wrote poems with our presents--something that gets blank stares from my American friends, and that probably set me up for fast lyric writing, since I don't recall ever starting my poems until the night before. We sang our Christmas carols in English--except that on Christmas morning Mom would come get us with a tray with candles and sliced lemon bread, singing a Christmas Carol in Dutch, and that's how we knew we were officially allowed to get up--Mom and Dad did not want us molesting the Christmas presents unsupervised, because the Opening Of The Presents was a Christmas morning ritual.
Christmas was a smorgasbord--a buffet of customs from which our family chose the ones we liked and ignored the ones we didn't. And I knew this from a very young age. Which is why it puzzles me to see certain sad, pitiful, joy-killing people trying to police Christmas--trying to tell us we can't have presents, or lights, or candy, or a tree, without Christ. Sure we can; my family has been doing it for more than fifty years. What are they going to do, break into our house and steal our presents and our tree, like the Grinch?
If you like the sermon; knock yourself out. If you don't mind going to more than one church, and are careful about the timing, you can probably get two in. If you like the creche; paint the town. You can make a list of all your favorites in the neighborhood and have a creche crawl in the days before Christmas where you visit them all to admire them. If you like the carols, go for it! There are groups singing carols all over, or you can get together with fellow carol-lovers and do your own.
But people shouldn't try to squat in the middle of Christmas, baring their teeth, saying "no non-Christians allowed." Don't be a dog in the manger; there is plenty of Christmas to go around.