The War on Christmas is over for another year. No word as yet on the body count, but we can assume that some nativity scenes are now absent a baby Jesus or two. Other than that, the only shots fired have been of the metaphorical variety. The winners? Probably retailers across this great land of ours who depend on that end of the year bump to get them to the finish line in the black.
What possible ties do sales and Christmas have? This question was posed to my family and I when were out at dinner on Christmas Eve. A rather opinionated gentleman sitting at an adjacent table felt comfortable sharing his views about the merchandising of the givingest time of the year. He rolled his eyes and asserted the idea that corporate greed was behind the whole enterprise and that image of a bearded elf carving wooden animals for the children in his village is a lot of hooey. These were the thoughts handed to us the night before Christmas. I was left trying to make sense of what that meant for the polite pile of wrapped gifts beneath our plastic tree.
I found that my own Yule Log wasn't burning quite so bright. I could blame the guy at the diner, but his was only the reminder I needed to bring all my cynical thoughts on the matter to the surface. War on Christmas? There have been plenty of years in which a ceasefire was necessary, and plenty of actual shootin' wars that didn't bother to stop for any sort of Christian holiday observance. But that's not exactly the War Bill O'Reilly has been babbling on about, is it?
His is more one of privilege. His is the wish that we should all remember the holiest time of the year, now matter what the United States Constitution says about Freedom of Religion. Ironic that it is the same amendment, the First, that guarantees the freedom to say what you might like about that very freedom. It is precisely this religious freedom that our puritan forefathers brought forth on this new continent and then proceeded to ban Christmas for the first twenty or so years that they camped out here. Discovering that Christmas was not a federal holiday here in Estados Unidos until 1870 was a revelation to me. Of course, that means that the actual assault on Christmas only began in the past decade or two. That's when the unbelievers took over. Or tried to.
I still opened gifts with my family on Christmas morning. I guess the terrorists lost again. Ha!