The War on Christmas is no fair fight

Conservatives like to convince the easily convinced that there’s a war on Christmas, as if Christmas were some kind of quaint old-fashioned notion under threat of extinction, like quilting or personal privacy. But Christmas is huge. Christmas is the global superpower of holidays. In the supposed war on Christmas, Christmas has all the military advantage: a vast propaganda machine across government, media and the military-industrial-tinsel complex; covert “Secret Santa” operations; the winning of hearts and minds with cookies; and the psychological warfare of bright lights and Mariah Carey.

That there could be some kind of war on Christmas is unthinkable. A border skirmish on Christmas, maybe; a UN sanction on Christmas, tops.

What’s happened over the years, though, is that those who don’t celebrate Christmas have become more vocal in their demands to be included in what you have to admit is a pretty awesome time of year. And really, it’s not as though Christmas has anything against the other holidays. It’s just that Christmas is so big and powerful that sometimes it forgets the other holidays exist at all. Christmas is like the United States, and the other holidays are Canada.

Nonetheless, governments and business have tried to make the holiday more inclusive by, for example, wishing their constituents “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” — which drives the True Keepers of Christmas nuttier than a box of Turtles.  “Say ‘Season’s Greetings’ and the terrorists win!” No, no they don’t. The terrorists might smirk humorlessly, but they won’t win.

And here’s the thing: Christmas is barely a Christian holiday anymore anyway. It was a Christian holiday. Well, first it was a pagan holiday, then it was co-opted by the Christians, then it was co-opted by the capitalists and now it’s pretty much been co-opted by the conservatives. But as a religious holiday, Christmas in North America is like Joan Rivers after all her plastic surgeries: barely recognizable.

Whether secular or religious, though, the heart of Christmas remains intact: the hope for better days and of peace and joy.

Unfortunately, the made-up war on Christmas is making some people hold back on expressing their seasonal hopes in the way they would like, which I think is a shame. In fact, I would like to express myself, with a song:

Have yourself an ostentatious Christmas
Light your tree up bright
Don’t feel you should
Hide your manger out of sight

Feel free to wish me a Merry Christmas
It’s just a thing we say
So much nicer
Than “Hey, bud, you’re in my way.”

Please don’t fret about Hannukah
It’s come and gone-ica a spell
Don’t be cowed by the atheists
’Cause they’re going straight to hell

There’s no need for Christmas to surrender
Spread your love about
Let your ostentatious décor all hang out
Unless you are a Quebec public servant now

And that’s it, which makes me think, if we must declare war on something, it should be on horrible musical parodies. Merry Christmas, everyone.

This piece originally aired on CBC Radio’s “Breakaway.”


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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35 Responses to The War on Christmas is no fair fight

  1. J Blanche says:

    Reblogged this on Its me…pleasure!.

  2. markbialczak says:

    Yes, Ross, Christmas is so big some people even have named their children Garland.

  3. I detected sarcasm in that tune!

  4. pinklightsabre says:

    The Joan rivers line is fab. Bull’s eye.

  5. grayhairedmom says:

    As a liberal, feminist, left-leaning, non-believer, I’m extremely concerned about this War on Christmas. I mean, my draft notice must be in the mail as I type! I don’t want to fight in a war. Do you know if Canada is offering an amnesty program for draft dodgers? @greyhairedmom

  6. Elyse says:

    “Christmas is the United States, and the other holidays are Canada,” I think my Canadian friends might lynch you for that one. Promise to disable that clip and I’ll keep mum.

  7. peachyteachy says:

    Happy festivus. Don’t really get the problem with folks wishing each other good cheer, regardless of the exact specs of the greeting. Positive vibes exchanged between folks who otherwise don’t make eye contact? Scary,terrorist greeters!

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I love celebrating or at least getting the good wishes of some other culture’s festival. I love Chinese New Year, for instance, which is probably something else the Right will have us afraid of soon.

  8. El Guapo says:

    If xmas was a bit more “be nice to everyone” and a bit less “OHMYGODITSCHRISTMASBUYEVERYTHINGNOWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I doubt as many people would war on it.

    (I’d read your reply, but I’ll be busy hamstringing a busload of orphans so I can get the last 72″ tv for $17.)

  9. Twindaddy says:

    Christmas? Wasn’t someone born on that day?

  10. Kylie says:

    You’d think we’re trying to destroy the fabric of Christmas by decking the halls with gay apparel or something.

  11. Joan Rivers! I love your song. Watch your back, Mariah, there’s a new Christmas jam in town.

  12. Lily says:

    Christmas is totally like the US! Hah. It has kind of been ruined with consumerism and expectation, but it still makes the dead of winter feel a little more cozy! Luckily the link wouldn’t work for me… 😉

  13. cat9984 says:

    I really think Christmas is a lot more popular than the U.S. 🙂 I’m religious and work in retail; it’s like having a split personality. btw – I followed the link for your book – it’s says there’s one available – if I can figure out the exchange rate and buy it, you may need more

  14. calahan says:

    “…better than ‘hey, bud, you’re in my way’…” Ha! Beautiful.

  15. denmother says:

    Merry Christmas, Ross!!!!!!

  16. Pingback: What if the “War on Christmas” Goes Hot? | angryid

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