re: the war on Christmas

Anyone who thinks there is a war on Christmas should turn on their TV sometime during the month of December.  I’m just saying.

Sure, most retail stores prefer their employees to say “Happy holidays!” instead of “Merry Christmas!”, but the intent and message of goodwill behind both phrases are the same –– and if the store I worked at is any indication, the majority of people (employees and customers) don’t seem to mind either way.  Is that because I worked in a state that is 92% Christian, so the implication behind “Happy holidays” was “Merry Christmas” already?  I can’t say whether that factored into it, but most customers just responded with a fellow “Happy holidays” in return.  Occasionally a customer would say something like, “Let’s be honest about it: Merry Christmas to you too,” but that was rare.

My point is, regardless how one is greeted at retail stores, I can’t see there being any such “war” on the Christmas spirit when anyone can see that Christmas is culturally constructed as the most-celebrated American holiday.  So that cashier told you to have a nice holiday, and the Obamas (those socialists!) put “Season’s Greetings” on their “holiday” card rather than a traditional Christmas greeting?!  Big whoop.  Why don’t you go home and watch some How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Frosty or A Charlie Brown Christmas or any of the Rankin-Bass specials from the 1960s?  They’re aired every year, and if you missed them, well, you can onDemand it.  Or why not check out some year-round shows, like 30 Rock or The Office?  They have Christmas specials too.  (Even It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has a special, although if you’re that concerned about the state of the holiday, I suggest skipping that one.)  Or maybe you feel like a Christmas movie.  If so, try ABC Family’s the 26 Days of Christmas, TBS, USA, AMC, or (the old standby) onDemand again.  They’ve got a whole slew of Christmas movies, from Four Christmases to A Christmas Story to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  But if TV’s not what will salve your fears, why not hop in the SUV and drive around looking at the lights?  I doubt you’ll find a lit-up menorah among the bunch.

And before some conservative pundit comes across this website and freaks at the liberal elitism being bred in young adults, let me say: I am young and liberal and Christian.  Yes, it is possible to be all three!  I love Christmas.  I start listening to Christmas music, on average, by August.  Does that mean it bothers me when someone tells me to have a nice holiday?  Do I grab that person by the lapels and yell “Christmas, dammit, tell me to have a nice Christmas”?  No.  It doesn’t bother me, because the sentiment is the same.  The sentiment, that is, of goodwill. But if you don’t have enough goodwill to include others in holiday celebration, well…

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4 Comments

Filed under Heather

4 responses to “re: the war on Christmas

  1. emma

    as someone who doesn’t celebrate christmas but “gets” that most americans do, i have to say that i’m pretty offended by the “war on xmas” stuff. like, are you kidding? thanksgiving through new year’s is a CARNIVAL of jesus-centric commercialism and it’s annoying. the world doesn’t stop for me when my “religion” dictates that it’s time for me to spend time with MY family or fast for 24 hours or whatever. but it does for you. this doesn’t mean i’m an oppressed minority, but it does mean that it’s fucking annoying when i have to plan my life around a holiday i don’t even celebrate. it’s doubly annoying when you not you bleat “merry christmas!” at me because you assume i celebrate, but you also have the nerve to freak out because your precious, precious holiday is ~under attack~ by ~non-whites~ and ~people who are willing to pay taxes~

    sorry. pet peeve. thanks for writing this, heather. maybe i won’t crucify one of “your kind” this yuletide.

    • Heather

      glad you appreciated it. i wonder sometimes why no one on the Daily Show doesn’t do a parody, like, “The War on Hanukkah” or something. that could be good.

  2. Batia

    So true. And at the opposite end of the spectrum, I also find it kind of offensive when people say things like “Christmas isn’t really a Christian holiday, it’s an American holiday.” Um, no. It’s not. I’ve got my own holidays, and they suit me just fine thanks. See also: people using the phrase “Judeo-Christian values” to refer to “Christian values.” That said, living in the Midwest has gotten me pretty immune to the whole “Merry Christmas”/”Happy Holidays” thing. Also, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

  3. Heather

    I can’t believe I didn’t wish you guys a happy Hanukkah. Wow, what a douche. I hope you both had a really good one!!

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