And Next We'll Save Football and Television

One of the most irritating (in that low-grade, it's not that important, but boy it gives me a headache kind of irritating) things popping up all over the news is the "Christmas is under attack from evil secular lefties!" bullshit that's going around.

The New York Times ran a good little summary of this "controversy" yesterday: Holiday Wars: Does Christmas Need to Be Saved?

With no less a celebrity than Bill O'Reilly (apparently with some time on his hands, as he's had to stop calling up his female employees to tell them how he wants to rub falafel on their genitals) taking up the cause of rescuing soon-to-be-extinct Christmas, this is big news.

And I write this while sitting in a Starbucks sipping out of a Christmas themed cup while Christmas music plays and the entire little strip mall where it's located is done up for Christmas. But hey - clearly it's about to vanish forever. Could someone give these folks a big old reality pill?

On the one hand we have take-it-all-baby Christians who simply will not be happy till every living being in the country is piously paying tribute to their religion, and thus fondly remembers Dec. 25 as the birthday (except oops, it's the wrong day) of their sacrificial god/man offspring who was tortured to make us all free.

On the other hand, we have the basically brainless "If we don't say the C-Word it's cool!" folks who can talk about a "Holiday Tree" without feeling silly. Hello, we all know that it is a Christmas tree. We have never seen a Hannukah Tree or a Kwanzaa Tree or a Festivus Tree, so calling it a Holiday Tree doesn't make it non-Christmasy, it just makes it dumb.

(And could someone please tell me what the hell dragging trees into your living room has to do with the birth of a savior?)

If some devout Christian out there wants to "save" Christmas, here's a recommendation from someone who really doesn't care about it, and thus perhaps can see things a bit more clearly. If Christmas is your big religious holiday, perhaps you should start a campaign to make it a time of reflection for people who share your faith, so that they might celebrate it by thinking about Jesus instead of going into debt to buy a plasma screen TV.

You lost Christmas the first year that CVS was putting up candy canes the day after Halloween.

Although if you get too religious, you'll run into a little detail: Easter is actually a far better candidate to be the main religious holiday for Christianity. (If someone could explain what bunnies have to do with the resurrection of Christ I'd appreciate it.)

One final note: I am not a Christian but I don't feel particularly oppressed by the annual consumerist orgasm it brings - just a bit revolted. On the other hand, I was raised Christian, and thus have never had the experience that someone of another faith might have in our majority-Christian country. If anyone has any comments from that point of view, I think it would be an interesting discussion. Do you feel better with a "holiday tree" in the town square than a "Christmas tree?" Are you ready to scream if you hear "winter wonderland" one more time? Or does it all just seem hopelessly silly?

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