The Phony War On Christmas (Again)

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With the exceptions of Patrick Lalley and Jonathon Ellis, I tend to bypass the Argus Leader columnists as they’re all a little too whimsical for my taste. I never was a big fan of Terry Woster’s weekly tales of living in a South Dakota small town, and while the other columnists come from a variety of different backgrounds, the tone is very similar. I just don’t give a rat’s ass how a happenstance encounter, or time spent with a distant relative, continues to influence them to this day.

Every so often, though, I see a headline that causes me to go against my better judgment, and last Friday was a perfect example. (Actually, thanks to a retweet, I knew this awful column was coming.) Yvonne Hawkins wasted some prime newspaper real estate with an overlong piece detailing her inner turmoil over whether to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holiday”:

“Truthfully, I've long been a little uncomfortable with the well intended but, at times, disingenuous expression of ‘happy holidays.’ After all, if the idea is to champion inclusiveness, then it often falls short. For instance, if you're planning to continue offering ‘happy holiday’" after next Thursday, I'd ask: ‘What's the point?’ If you ask: ‘What's next Thursday?’ I'd say: ‘That's my point.’...And if a bland seasonal greeting is punctuated by images of Christmas trees or Santa Claus, or includes those images but without a Hanukiyah or kinara, then clearly it's talking about Christmas.
Oh, it gets better:

“The real reason ‘happy holidays’ exists is to reconcile our nation's firmly rooted celebration of a Christian holiday with the infusion of government support. It's a celebration that dominates our communal conversation in nearly every form throughout December. It's a celebration that enjoys federal recognition with the closure of schools and other public institutions. And it's a celebration that's boosted further by private industry in all sorts of ways, but most notably with a collective shutting down of everything. In the midst of all of this Christian-based celebrating, we intuitively know that not everyone in this country is Christian, not even all those who celebrate Christmas. But no national observances of that magnitude surround Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or Ramadan. So we say ‘happy holidays’ throughout December, hoping that somehow settles things.”
Give me a break.
So poor Ms. Hawkins has obviously given hours and hours of thought over the ramifications of how to greet people, and seems to believe that we all go through a similar experience. Great, that’s just what we need right now, as once again Fox News has brought back the phony “War On Christmas”. Let’s be clear – outside of a few percent of people who firmly believe they’re a persecuted bunch and the purpose of everybody’s actions is to push a “secular agenda” on those poor folks there is NO war on Christmas. Nobody is trying to take away your customs and beliefs. Nobody wants to turn you into a Godless heathen destined to burn in the fires of hell.
Seriously, nobody gives a shit, especially when it comes to how we greet each other. I know in my case, there are times I say either of these phrases. I couldn’t even tell you which I use most frequently. Just as there is no difference between “hello”, “hi”, and “greetings”, it’s just whatever mindlessly leaves my lips. Thanks to articles such as this one, though, these poor folks have every reason to believe that every utterance of “Happy Holidays” is a indication of a political stance.
So guess what? There is a reason why I’ll never say “Merry Christmas” again. Thanks to Ms. Hawkins, I’m starting my own “War on Stupidity”. 90% or more of the people I encounter will obviously have no idea that there’s meaning behind my greeting, but my desire is to offend as many idiots as possible. In fact, to enhance this new agenda, I’m going to change it to “Happy Fucking Holidays”. Thank you, Yvonne Hawkins, for inspiring me to do my own (extremely) minute part to better our great country.


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