The holiday season is officially underway. Many stores have had their decorations up since Halloween, and have been discounting items for weeks in hopes of combating the economic recession. Yet some, most notably Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly, continue to object to many of these shopping outlets choosing to wish their patrons “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” So, are O’Reilly and those who share his view onto something? Is there a War on Christmas?
You’d know what time of year it was even if you didn’t have the day and date. There’s that crisp chill in the air. You start seeing flurries of tiny white flakes when you go outside. People string their Christmas lights and put out their enormous inflatable Santas and snowmen. Parents flock to the malls and toy stores to ensure a memorable morning on December 25 for their little ones. Radio stations pack their rotations with old standards by Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole and Judy Garland. Cities big and small hold parades and light trees in the squares. And Bill O’Reilly starts ranting about the War on Christmas.
A few years ago some retailers started making a point of telling their customers “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” They did this because they finally realized that not all of the people coming into their stores in the last month or so of the year care that much about Christmas, and some have religious beliefs that actively discourage them from joining in everyone else’s reindeer games. So these retailers decided to celebrate the holidays in general, rather than just Christmas. By wishing people a happy holiday, what they’re really saying is, “Hey, I hope that whatever you’re celebrating this time of year — Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the winter solstice, whatever — you have a good one, and have a happy new year, too!” It’s well-intentioned, polite, and inclusive. Bill O’Reilly calls it an assault on traditional values.
Some people have too many books to sell and too much time on their hands. Ever notice that most of the stores who have swapped “Merry Christmas” for “Happy Holidays” are still festooned with gold and silver tinsel and hung heavy with holly and mistletoe and fake pine branches twisted into various festive formations? Looks an awful lot like Christmas to me. The only difference is that they’re expanding their well-wishes to include people who don’t get such a kick out of celebrating the birth of Christ — Jews, Muslims, Hindus, even atheists, who, rumor has it, enjoy buying gifts and spending time with their loved ones despite their lack of belief in a supernatural deity. There’s no denial of Christmas, just an attempt to recognize the other holidays!
It’s such a stupid suggestion that I’m surprised it gets any attention at all. Unfortunately, it seems to have become as much a part of the annual season as “Jingle Bells” and the Charlie Brown special. Of course there is no War on Christmas. I’ll tell you this, though: I wish there was. A real one.
Try to see it from my perspective. I’m a stuffed dog. I don’t have fond memories of rushing downstairs to find a pile of gifts under the tree. I’m the gift. This time of year, guys like me are bought and sold like Africans fresh off the Tecora. If getting rid of Christmas means my fellow Plush Americans have to spend less time wrapped in colored paper with bows fixed to their heads, I say “To arms!”
Of course there’s a War on Christmas! Look at the evidence, for God’s sake. It’s all around you! Stores trading in “Merry Christmas” for “Happy Holidays,” towns putting up “holiday trees” in front of their town halls — that’s no holiday tree, mister! That’s a Christmas tree, so-called because it represents the wooden cross on which a fellow named Christ bled and died for the sins of humanity — that’s you all.
God-hating liberals have been trying to take the Christ out of Christmas for years, but now they’re losing patience and would rather just chuck the whole thing out the window of their stupid gay Prius. Whenever you see a banner at some department store, or hear some Wal-Mart greeter tell you “Happy Holidays,” just remember what they’re really saying: “Fuck you, Jesus. In your ass.” Can you imagine? Jesus would hate that.
Things get worse every year. Do you realize that at this very moment there is a sign on display in the lobby of the Capitol in Olympia, Washington, right next to the Nativity scene, put there by a buncha lousy atheists, that says “There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds”? Have you ever heard anything more outrageous in your life?
But I don’t know what else we expect. Afterall, look at what our (well, your) precious children are taught in public schools: that they were not created by the hand of God in His own divine image, but that they are the result of a gradual process of biological evolution that took place over billions of years. With their heads full of that garbage, can we really blame them for lashing out, piercing their ears, singing along to the likes of Iggy Pop, and displaying atheistic placards in the lobbies of our state capitols?
Let me clue you Christmas-haters in to a few things. I’m not a human; I’m a stuffed dog. But, like you, I didn’t evolve from a goddamn thing. My ancestors weren’t sofa pillows — I was created, according to a cosmic design, by the hand of God. And God’s number one homeboy just happens to be his one and only son, Jesus H. Christ, who allowed himself to be tacked by the wrists to a big-ass cross and bleed the hell to death so that you could be forgiven for your sins! And all Jesus asks in return for that loving and compassionate sacrifice, aside from a lifetime of sexual repression and fearful obedience, is that we celebrate his birthday.
And it’s not even his real birthday! We just picked a day! Has Jesus ever said anything about that? Of course not. Not a word. Know why? Too much fucking class, that’s why.
So I say “Merry Christmas,” not “Happy Holidays.” I’ve looked into those other holidays, and none of them are worth a shit. Hanukkah? Sure, eight days of presents, sounds pretty good at first. Then you realize that you’re not getting, like, a Wii and seven awesome games; instead, you’re getting a dreidel, some potato pancakes, maybe a few gold coins if your old man’s a banker instead of a grocer. Kwanzaa? I don’t even know what the fuck they’re talking about. The winter solstice? “Yay, the Sun hardly comes out at all now! It’s cold as shit and everything’s dead! Yay!” What the fuck is that to celebrate?
No, thank you. I say “Merry Christmas,” and I don’t care what other stupid religion you are, you can take it or leave it. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas! If you don’t like it, you can go fuck yourself.