Monday, December 8, 2014

Waging The War On Christmas

I ventured out from under my rock yesterday and went shopping. It wasn't entirely a miserable experience. The cashier was rather cheerful. She even wished me a "Merry Christmas". Having a customer service employee actually acknowledge my existence made me smile. I felt kind of warm and fuzzy with the spirit of the season.

But as I was hurrying away, my packages in tow, I wondered if I should be offended. It wasn't a very politically correct sentiment to share with random customers... and nothing is more important than being politically correct. If you aren't careful, the wrath of the entire planet might fall on your head. Look at Darius Rucker; he couldn't even get away with singing White Christmas without suffering from internet fall-out. Traditional Christmas songs are apparently offensive in their racial exclusiveness. (Forget that snow is white... as well as a very traditional symbol of the Christmas season. Don't confuse people with your science and logic. We have no room for that here!) Wishing people a "Merry Christmas" could be offensive in it's religious exclusivity. (Note for the sarcasm impaired: I'm being incredibly snarky here.)

Then I braved another store, also not an entirely miserable experience. This time the cashier wished me "Happy Holidays". Again having my existence acknowledged by a retail employee made my day. Plus being wished "Happy Holidays" was like a multiple choice question. I could choose which holiday to make happy. The list of winter holidays is after all, quite extensive. Saturnalia, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Boxing Day, Yule, New Year's Day, Festivus... I didn't know whether I should pick just one or all of them. This cashier could literally be wishing me happiness for the entire winter season!

But as I was rushing off to brave the chaos that is the mall parking lot, I wondered if I should be offended. According to Bill O'Reilly, there is a huge war on Christmas, and that smiling, well-wishing, existence-acknowledging cashier was on the front lines of the attack.

Seriously, there's like a war on everything these days. What kinds of weapons are used in a "War on Christmas"?

Tinsel and Glitter? (Very likely weapons of mass destruction.)

Holly? Ivy? Debauchery?

Alcohol and Santas?

Alcoholic Santas?

Tanks and fruitcakes? (Which one is more deadly?)


The War on Christmas has nefarious roots dating back to the 1950s, when the John Birch Society attempted to expose a communist plot to "take the Christ out of Christmas". It's always the commies...

Arm everyone! It's the War on Christmas!
Now people like Bill O'Reilly, The American Family Association, and the Religious Right are taking on evil Wal-mart greeters (seriously... they are evil), in-store advertisements, and rampant paganism. They are fighting to keep Christ in Christmas.

Certainly a noble battle.

However, dear noble warriors of the Christian faith... if your Christmases haven't been overflowing with good deeds...

If you haven't busied yourselves with the feeding of the poor, the clothing of the naked, the caring of the sick...

If you haven't been forgiving the guilty, welcoming the unwanted, and loving your enemies...

If you haven't been doing unto others as you would have done unto you...

Then perhaps your Christ was never in Christmas to begin with.

A holiday with Christ at the center would welcome the sinner and the non-believer. It would be filled with hope and love and charity... not the greed and gluttony and exclusivity that all too often characterizes this holiday.

I just can't see the Christ of the Bible caring one whit about whether the cashier at Target wishes you a "Merry Christmas" or a "Happy Holiday". He'd be too busy working on the things that matter, which would probably not include shopping at Target... unless he was purchasing clothing for the poor... but if Christians were busy about His work, He wouldn't have to do that, either.

So maybe there's no "War on Christmas" at all. Maybe pagans and Wal-mart greeters and democrats aren't trying to remove Him from the most sacred of Christian religious holidays, because He isn't there anymore. Maybe He left because he was tired of the hate and bigotry. Maybe He was tired of the shiny tinsel and glitter (God knows I am... pun intended... especially glitter. That stuff is like The Plague) and the lack of substance.

So stop shouting at each other. Stop with being offended when people don't think just like you. Stop lobbing fruitcakes at one another. Those fruitcakes are dangerous. You'll put an eye out. Focus on the important things. Then you'll be too busy to be offended.

And please, let's stop referring to this trivial childishness as a war. It's an insult to the victims of the destruction and savagery and carnage that is REAL war. There are no similarities here. There are no victims in this war.

Unless you count that one time my cousin got hit in the head with one of Aunt Edna's fruitcakes...


Misty Brown said...

Completely agree!!! Happiness to you this whole winter season!!

Amy Jones said...

Merry Christmas to you Alice and a Happy Festivus!