Why do Christians insist upon celebrating the birth of Christ? If, as so many of them insist, one is a full and complete human being from the moment of conception, then isn’t the birth of Christ simply an epilogue, a denouement? We should, instead, back up our wassailing and gift-giving nine months, celebrating the conception of Christ on March 25. We could keep the usual Christmas creche but trade out the manger for whatever piece of furniture Jesus was conceived upon (I’m not sure the Bible specifies, so we might have to take a vote), and bands of carolers could stand outside the homes of recently married couples singing Barry White tunes so as to encourage ongoing conception and spread holiday cheer. Instead of Black Friday, we could kill each other in big-box stores on the day after St. Valentine’s. Moreover, since our new Conception-mas would often occur right near Easter, we could get away with visiting family and going to church early in the year and spend the other three seasons as we like.
It is a shame that Jesus’s first nine months are so poorly celebrated. Where are the hymns in which angels herald “the newly conceived king”? Where are the tacky decorations featuring a smiling, blonde, multicellular blob? Where are the Fetal Jesus coloring books? Where are the television specials in which young, attractive people find themselves inspired by the story of zygote formation? Does no one, despite their protestations and political campaigns, actually take fetal personhood seriously?