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This War on Christmas Nonsense

Apparently, some political talking heads (most notably Bill O’Reilly) are yammering on and on about how Christians, being the minorities we are, are being oppressed because of the treatment of Christmas. And they’re hopping mad that people say things like Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. They’re also apparently upset that some retail outlets, who make a ton of bling at Christmas time, are not acknowledging the holiday and thanking the baby Jesus for all the scratch they’re raking in.

First, Happy Holidays is viewed (by me, anyway) as addressing both the holidays of Christmas and its eve and New Year’s and it’s eve. Also, if I were to wish a Merry Christmas to the two Jewish people I know, that would pretty much make me a dick.

Have these talking heads actually been to a Wal-Mart or Target? It’s been a Christmas shopping orgy there since about, oh I don’t know, Labor Day.

That said, the other extremist side who actually is trying to get Christmas removed from the public vernacular is being ridiculous too. But it’s not Wal-Mart or the greeter at Kroger who wishes you a Happy Holiday. The folks (very, very few) who advocate removing the term and hate that it’s a holiday is who I mean. Guys, if you cost me that day off from work to spend with family, I’ll personally kick you in the balls.

As is the case, both extremist sides are sort of being dicks. Both of you, knock it off. No one really cares except you five percenters.

So, to all of you, Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, Have a Coke and a Smile, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa, Happy Labor Day or whatever inoffensive greeting you like, you dick.

12 Responses to “This War on Christmas Nonsense”

  1. Yosemite Sam Says:

    I disagree. Maybe O’Reilly goes too far, but take my little test. Go to the Amazon.com site and do a search for Christmas. No hits. Now go to the Amazon.co.uk site and do a search for Christmas. Multiple hits. I’ve also noticed that the word Christmas is rarely if ever mentioned in Television commercials that are trying to sell Christmas gifts. There does seem to be a growing trend to not mention the word Christmas among retailers here in the United States. This seems to be a particularly American phenomenon and frankly irriatates the hell out of me.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    I actually get hits for christmas on amazon. Also, sure retailers will shy away so as not to alienate those that do not celebrate christmas.

  3. Justin Says:

    Christmas is a pagan holiday…go ahead look it up. Also look of the “cult” of Mithra. There is nothing Christian about xmas period.

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christmas_TheRealStory.htm

    http://www.venusproject.com/ecs/true_origins_christianity.html

    Of course I am an atheist so I’m a wee bit on the biased side…

  4. Yosemite Sam Says:

    That’s weird. Just went to their main page and no hits for Christmas on the page I get. Maybe Amazon has different page depending on your IP address? It may be that the marketing is different in different parts of the country. Maybe, up here in the secular Northeast, Christmas isn’t mentioned much and down there in Tennessee, it is mentioned more. From what I am seing here, it is barely mentioned much less than in the past. This doesn’t seem to be a problem in Britain which is just as multi cultural and multi religious as the United States. It’s just a particular pet-peeve of mine. I don’t really feel compelled to go and shop at a particular retailer if they won’t even mention the name of the holiday. Maybe a compromise would be to give people the day off to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, etc. and still keep Christmas.

  5. Thibodeaux Says:

    “Christ’s Mass” is a pagan holiday?

  6. cube Says:

    “Christ’s Mass” is a pagan holiday?

    rather the date and some of the tradistions are stollen from pagan holidays…ie tree, santa clause.

    Though i rather like santa clause, if he would actually kill the bad people (since he knows all) ,instead of ignoring them, life would be a lot better.

  7. tgirsch Says:

    Thibodeaux:

    It’s actually brilliant marketing by the early Christian church. They essentially made their holiday (Christmas) align by date with pre-existing pagan and Mithras celebrations that centered around the winter solstice. Then, they coopted many of the symbols and traditions (the trees, yule logs, etc.) and over time it was forgotten by most that many of those symbols came from other, earlier faiths.

    Cube is wrong about Santa Claus, though; that’s a Christian (specifically Catholic) concoction based on St. Nicholas’ feast day, Dec. 6th. The name “Santa Claus,” as with so many other names, is an anglicized bastardization of the German rendering “Sankt Niklaus.” The whole gift-giving tradition comes from St. Nicholas, within the Catholic faith.

    The association with Christmas comes from its proximity to the holiday as it’s now observed, and of course the Santa Claus we all now know and love was basically a marketing invention of the Coca Cola company.

    As to the whole “Happy Holidays” controversy, it’s almost entirely manufactured. What surprises me is that it’s generally Republicans who bitch about it, since the de-emphasis of the term Christmas and the substitution of “Happy Holidays” is not the work of some cabal of Christmas haters somewhere; it’s almost entirely the result of the unfettered free market. Retailers have simply figured out that they can make even more money by using religion-inspecific holiday terminology. There’s no Big Bad Lawmaker forcing them to do anything. And like Uncle says, if Target is so hostile to Christmas, why do they start putting up the Christmas merchandise and Christmas displays in fucking October?

    And building on Uncle’s “saying Merry Christmas to a Jew makes me a dick” theme, try this little litmus test: Say the religion-specific “Merry Christmas” to a Jew, and say the religion-neutral “Happy Holidays” to a conservative Christian (or worse, try “Happy Hannukkah”), and see who gets more offended. Then tell me who’s got the bigger bug up their ass.

    The supreme irony in this, to me, is that these Christians don’t seem the least bit offended at the tremendous extent to which their sacred holiday has been commercialized. No problem at all with using the Good News to sell a two-year wireless phone contract. Just make sure you say “Merry Christmas” while you turn the birth of the savior into a huge profit center, and you won’t draw their ire.

  8. Yosemite Sam Says:

    I agree it is mostly retailers that are driving the Happy Holidays mantra.
    As far as Christians not caring about the commercialization of Christmas, are you kidding me? They have been complaining for years about it. Remember don’t take the Christ out of Christmas. Geez, the Peanuts Christmas special 40 years ago was a lament about Christmas Inc. Pastors have given sermons for years about this issue.

    Anyway, it isn’t saying Happy Holidays that offends me in particular. It is that the word Holiday is being used as a substitute for Christmas. We now have “Holiday” Gifts instead of Christmas Gifts and a “Holiday” Tree instead of a Christmas tree. Both are examples I have heard this year.

  9. Thibodeaux Says:

    TGirsch, thanks for the lecture, but I was really being kind of sarcastic and snarky.

  10. Justin Says:

    Hey Yosemite, do you think Christ would give a shit about a holiday that encourages people to buy things? I would think he would be more concerned about mankind as a whole vs. advertisements/retailers celebrating Happy Holidays vs Christmas.

    Hey Tgirsh…where did you get the Thibodeaux post/comment from? I dont see it here. did he delete it?

  11. tgirsch Says:

    Sam:

    When I talk about Christians not complaining about the commercialization, I was referring specifically to the same Christians who piss and moan most loudly about the “Happy Holidays” thing. After all, which is the bigger affront? The use of “Happy Holidays” by retailers, or the retailers’ earlier co-opting of the holiday? It seems to me that the priorities of those doing the complaining are a wee bit screwed up. That’s the point I was after.

    Thibodeaux:

    I know, but less frequent readers might not have known.

    Jusitn:

    Thib’s comment was brief. “Christ’s Mass is a pagan holiday?” written Dec. 9 at 12:32 PM. Basically, his sarcastic objection was to a previous poster’s comment that Christmas is a pagan holiday. That’s a false allegation, but the grain of truth is that the modern celebration of Christmas contains many of the trappings of the pagan holidays to which that poster was referring.

    But then, that’s a nuanced position, and conservatives like Thib hate nothing more than they hate nuance. 🙂

  12. Blounttruth Says:

    I think Bill O’ is right on Q. It is not so much that they are attacking Christmas, but workplaces are now telling employees that they cannot mention the word Christmas. Not only is this infringing on free speech (which I thought you would be pissed about), but it is just another form of control the feds are pushing to add to the Frey of political correctness. In other words I do not expect to go to India and just because I am there they all start eating cattle, this is the US of Farking A, and Christmas is still Christmas. My parents still have pictures from the early 70s where me and my cousin are sitting in the bedroom looking out the window for Mr. Clause, and I for one will not stand for anyone to tell my children that they cannot enjoy (or mention) this great American tradition. This is a fine example of how America is for sale. As you know Christians are by no means the minority in the US, and this is why Christmas is under attack, because it is a US holiday and we white devils can’t do without getting our Yule tide on. In my opinion Christmas should represent the holiday not the word holiday representing Christmas. Check out the sites video and you will see a true representative of the people of the South speaking out about our new ??Improved?? Christmas…. Hehe

    http://www.contemporaryinsanity.org/content/view/409/2/