The Requisite “War on Christmas” Post

First I must give credit to Fox News for creating an issue out of nothing.  I do this just before wishing them all the rotten karma in the world.  Because they created this problem, now commentators like myself have to comment on it.  F*$) you Fox News.

But seriously…

As I’ve said frequently in the past, I work with the pubic.  I haven’t mentioned that I work with a very DIVERSE public.  The company is in a wealthy, white-bread neighborhood, but the clientele is extremely diverse (and divided) in terms of religion.  This colors my view on this faux “War on Christmas” outrage.

You see, a large portion of the clientele is Jewish.  A sizable minority are Muslim.  Even among the Christians, there are all sorts of denominations.

Some Jews are not happy about what they view as Christmas decor in our establishment, and several times a season I have to deal with their barely-concealed rage.  In one remarkable incident, I had to deal with a  kid (who had clearly been coached) demanding to know why we didn’t have any Hanukkah decorations.  Much more commonly these folks protest by marching through the place saying the word “Hanukkah” as often and as loudly as they can.

On the other side of the issue, and with much  bigger mouths, are people (almost always elderly males), who find the decor offensive because it’s not religious, and that awful holiday music intolerable because it doesn’t mention the baby Jesus.  I hear from one of them almost every friggin’ day during this season.

Thank you, Fox News, for this latter group.  I wouldn’t know if I still had my hearing intact without them yammering in my ears.

Mostly they become upset over the non-issue of being addressed with “Happy Holidays,” instead of the very risky “Merry Christmas.”  I’ve got news for them that I’m sure Fox News hasn’t delivered: “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” MEANS “HAPPY HOLY DAYS.”  It’s only (possibly) an insult if you are NOT RELIGIOUS.

Here are some other inconvenient facts: It is unlikely that Jesus was born on December 25.  However, as it happens, December 25 coincides with various Pagan observances (which are usually focused on the winter solstice), so it’s quite likely that Christmas was INVENTED to distract newly-converted Pagans from their old solstice celebrations.

The other day on a social site, a friend posted one of those “war on Christmas” diatribes that get passed around this time of year, with the usual coda: “if you want to keep Christ in Christmas, share this on your wall!”  To my surprise, she was immediately and sharply corrected by another friend of hers about the authenticity of Christmas.  But she didn’t back down entirely.  “I just am so unhappy that so many people are forgetting about God,” she countered.

And I thought, “Yes dear…just look at Walmart on Black Friday.”

The fact is that Christmas is NOT a religious holiday for Christians.  Never was.  Even the sainted Pilgrims outlawed Christmas celebrations because they felt so strongly about this.

It is, however, a holiday in the more light-hearted sense of the word.  It may nowadays be about little more than mass consumption, but it is a holiday.  And so in my mind, especially while working in a very diverse neighborhood, “Happy Holidays” will suffice.  It provides a safe haven during a time of the year when it seems more and more people are looking for excuses to feel sorry for themselves. “O, tidings of comfort and joy,” indeed.

And to Fox News I dedicate that very well-known song by C.lo Green.  The original version, that is.

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