Sub-title two “The Grinch Who Stole “A Holiday’”
In my first 10 years or so in the Air Force, I usually served on the Christmas party committee. Just to contribute to the effort. One year, at Pope AFB, I think I’d been in about 12 years at the time, I participated again. “Well, the first thing,” the committee chair said, “ is that we have to change the name from the “Christmas party” to the “Holiday party.”
“Um, what? Why?” I inquired.
“Well, because it can offend people if it’s called “The Christmas party.”
“Really?” I said, “I’ve never heard of anyone being offended. Who are they? I’ve been involved in Christmas parties for about 11 years, and I’ve never heard anyone say anything?”
“Well, it could offend people.”
“Oh, ok, so it’s just BS then. You don’t actually know that it’s offended anyone or stopped anyone from coming.”
“Well, we’re just trying to be PC, you know.”
See, I don’t know anything about “The War on Christmas.” Here’s what I know.
When I was a kid, we watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Charlie Brown talking about the meaning of Christmas. “The Grinch who stole Christmas.” You, know, about how he “Couldn’t keep Christmas from coming.” Yahoo door-ehs, all that stuff. Endless Christmas carols and Christmas eve services. I don’t have anything against what anyone does. I, however, grew up with “Christmas.” As did millions of other Americans.
From my perspective, Christmas is a part of the American culture. And I am referring to the Christian holiday. You can’t really deny it, it’s not an argumentative point. It just is.
In America, you can worship who you want, celebrate or not celebrate what you want. But there is a culture of the majority of Americans. So when people get upset about “The War on Christmas” what they’re really upset about is seeing a piece, a very large, important piece, of their culture slowly being eradicated from the public sphere. You only have to consider that two of our major holidays are centered in the Christian religion to understand how engrained it is in the culture. When you take the manger scene out of the town hall, or call the Christmas tree the Holiday tree, I don’t care who did it or why. People see it as a cultural issue, even if they don’t express it as such.
December 25 is still called “Christmas.” If it’s a legitimate argument, why do we even allow it to be called “Christmas”? Why don’t we just call it “The Holiday”? While we’re at it, we better think about Easter. I’m no Bible scholar, but I think both those days are about the same guy.
I understand the media makes a mockery out of it. I don’t know about “The War on Christmas” or that there’s an enemy. It’s about culture, and people take their culture very seriously. It’s not about excluding anyone or disrespecting what someone else chooses. In America, we seem to have a tremendous capacity to respect everyone’s culture but our own. Worse, we’re getting to the point where we refuse to even acknowledge what it is, we can’t say what “our” culture is, for some notion that it may exclude someone. Some view it as progress. I view it as progress towards our own end. Language, culture, borders. The march to our end continues. Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.