Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Christmas Rant

I posted a version of this on Facebook recently and got a lot of response. I kept it short for Facebook but I've now added to it and posted below.

If you are someone who actually believes that there is a "War on Christmas", save yourself some aggravation and stop reading now.

There Is No "War on Christmas"

When I walk into stores in October, I see Christmas decorations next to the aisle of Halloween costumes and decorations.

When I was younger, Christmas songs were interspersed with a radio station's regular rotation and you sure didn't hear them before Thanksgiving. Nowadays, more and more stations are switching to an all-Christmas format and they're starting earlier than ever before.

I celebrate Christmas but I don't appreciate the fact that the season starts earlier and earlier each year. That being said, radio stations wouldn't switch to all-Christmas music and stores wouldn't be pushing Christmas so early if it was bad for business. Obviously, lots of people like it so I simply switch radio stations when they go 24/7 Christmas and I try to ignore the Christmas trees in the aisle over from the candy corn.

Of course, there are more Christmas specials than ever before because they make new ones all the time (along with remakes of previous ones). So between the hundreds of channels we have now and all the movies, TV show Christmas episodes, and specials you could probably spend most of December watching nothing but Christmas-themed entertainment.

So why are so many people fooled by this idiotic myth of a "War on Christmas"?


I think this "Merry Christmas" militancy is getting crazy. When I was a kid (and that was quite a while ago), we had decorations in our house that said, "Merry Christmas", "Season's Greetings", "Happy Holidays" and "Happy New Year".

In college, when saying goodbye at break, we usually said, "Have a great holiday". That was decades ago! When did this suddenly become wrong and get labeled "P.C."?

My December "Fit Bits" newsletter said, "Happy Holidays". Why? Because I'm being politically correct? No, because I'm courteous enough to acknowledge that people celebrate other holidays this month.

If that gets me labeled "P.C.", fine. I'd rather be mocked for being considerate by the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter than use the season to pit people against one another like they do.

I don't swear or use vulgar language on my blog but I don't want to be accused of censoring those with whom I disagree so here is an example of the importance of Christmas to Ann Coulter...

"Oh, It was so much fun this year, because saying 'Merry Christmas' is like saying 'Fuck You.' I’ve said it to everyone. You know, cab drivers, passing people on the street, whatever."

So it's wrong to be inclusive and say "Happy Holidays" but it's just fine for her to go around saying "F U" (in her own way) to people. That's the Christmas spirit, Ann. I'm sure Jesus would be proud.

First of all, the vast majority of people are not going to be upset by anyone sincerely wishing them a "Merry Christmas", whether they celebrate it or not, so that comment is just ridiculous. (Yes, I realize there are some atheists who are compelled to mock anyone who believes in any kind of higher power but those folks are in the minority.)

However, the fact that Coulter's idea of Christmas and "fun" is going around purposely trying to find someone she might be able to annoy is very telling.

What exactly is wrong with saying "Happy Holidays"? Shouldn't the spirit and intention of the greeting matter more than the actual words? If not, why didn't Jews freak out long ago after hearing "Merry Christmas" over and over again, year after year? My guess is that, although presumptuous, the vast majority took the greeting in the spirit in which is was intended. Of course, that was before people like Ann Coulter and others started using the phrase as a weapon to challenge and annoy people.

Considering the uproar about "Happy Holidays", can you imagine the reaction if these same people heard "Happy Kwanzaa", "Happy Eid", "Happy Hanukkah", "Happy Solstice", etc. time after time, year after year?

And yet, they find the inclusive "Happy Holidays" insulting.

I realize that most people are used to the majority of the U.S. acting as if nothing except traditionally Christian holidays matter but, guess what, they do and the fact that more people are acknowledging that is a good thing.

Celebrate whatever you want but don't expect everyone else to pretend that only your holiday counts.


Did you know that the only real threat to Christmas came from Christians? Me, neither until I read the following blog post. Apparently, the Pilgrims banned Christmas celebrations in 1659.

You can read more in this excellent article someone sent me after my rant was posted on Facebook ==> Merry Christmas From An Atheist. It goes into much detail about the mythical "War on Christmas".  


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