Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Grerp On The War On Christmas

***Note: Grerp has her take on the "War on Christmas". Instead of writing an essay on it, my Weimerica Weekly podcast this week will tackle the subject.***

It’s that time of year again, the Christmas season. Or, if you’re Catholic, it’s actually Advent, and Christmas won’t start for a few days yet, but since we pre-celebrate Christmas in America, it’s still Christmas time. What this means for you and yours, practically, is anyone’s guess because we no longer have commonly held cultural traditions when it comes to Christmas or any other holiday or much of anything, really. This is what the outrage over “the War on Christmas” is about. It’s a sort of angry nostalgia over our inability to maintain or celebrate our communities or our communal experiences.

To be honest, this year I’ve not kept up on the War on Christmas. The fracas over the cups at Starbucks not being Christmas-y enough showed up on my Facebook dash courtesy of my aunt who lives for outrage porn, but otherwise I haven’t seen anything, read anything, or talked to anyone about it. A couple of years ago I got really het up about the nativities being pushed out of all public spaces and the juvenile aggression of evangelical atheists in their attempts make all public space either Christianity free or all inclusive. Their “poisoning the well” strategy was great for angering absolutely everyone and cluttering up public spaces with ugly crap, but it wasn’t going to make a dent in Middle America where hardly anyone sees the humor in erecting statues of Satan with small children on the state capitol lawn.

The question is: is there a war on Christmas?

Many people point out that Christmas takes over everything from November on, and that anything so ubiquitous isn’t persecuted. Christmas is on television, whole radio stations are devoted to playing only Christmas music for months, and every store starts putting out its Christmas merchandise in October or even earlier. How can there be a war on Christmas?

The problem is that for many people who celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday or even a time spent socializing with family don’t view TV watching or consumer spending as part of their authentic celebration of the holiday. They see these things for what they are: attempts to get everyday people to part with their money or be shallowly entertained. It’s a clever strategy: dilute Christmas down to a message of happiness, kindness and gift-giving and anyone can enjoy it. Who doesn’t like to eat, get stuff, and delude themselves about humanity?

Christmas as a Christian holiday, however, is something that you have to make an effort to celebrate in contemporary Western society. The kind of cultural Christmas experience my parents had as children with public school pageants and Christmas carols - that’s long gone. Christmas has been made unwelcome by a small protesting minority of people who don’t want to feel left out so they force the majority to celebrate privately or not at all.  

The days when you assumed that your neighbor was doing much the same thing you were doing in your own home are gone. Now you just hope your neighbor doesn’t want to shiv you if you hang out a string of lights. The reality is that most people do like Christmas and probably enjoy seeing the lights, getting Christmas cards, and wishing (and being wished) a Merry Christmas. But the well has been truly poisoned. We’ve been forced into saying “Happy Holidays” instead for fear we’ll offend anyone by celebrating a Christian holiday in a European way. And we resent it. We resent having to share our holiday with a bunch of other minor holidays that have been pushed on us to dilute a Christian holiday and make us feel guilty for celebrating it.

Ultimately, this is a reaction to the deliberate diversification of America. People feel alienated from each other when they don’t share common beliefs, ideas, and cultural practices. We don’t fully trust each other. Hollywood and academia have been telling us for so long that we are all the same once we scrape off the false dividers of religion, race, and culture, but we aren’t. Cultures differ, values differ. We differ.

I don’t have any problem with other people celebrating their own holidays. They’re important, and they create meaning and joy in people’s lives. And when Christmas comes around, I’d like for people who don’t celebrate it to kindly keep their mouths shut and not whine and complain about it ad nauseum. Being in the room with a Christmas tree is not torture. Having to hear Christmas carols at a school program may not be meaningful to you, but it’s not hurtful. I don’t follow sports and I don’t like football, but I don’t tell everyone I know how stupid football is on Superbowl Sunday because that day is not all about me and what I like or enjoy.

The reason that this all erupts around Christmas instead of, say, Columbus Day is because of the emotional attachment we have toward the holiday. For many people some of their best childhood memories revolve around it. We might resent hearing all of the anti-white ranting on Columbus Day, but very few of us feel that the actions of a 15th-century Genoan represent us as modern Americans. If he wasn’t the greatest guy, well, what famous 15th century person was? We can dismiss it. When people treat what is a favorite holiday for many Americans like it’s something dirty and oppressive, we get angry about it.

I’ve been able to look at this more objectively over time, and I can see that, in large part, the War on Christmas as it’s promoted on FOX News is also just another way to distract and funnel the burgeoning anger of Americans to a problem that is largely unsolvable. How much would we think about this without the outrage media driving it? Probably not much. Most people are pretty busy in December.

So my solution has been two pronged. I ignore the media, and I celebrate my holiday without shame or embarrassment. I wish people well, and I forget about the rest. And on that note, Dear Reader, please have a very Merry Christmas. 


NZT said...

At the Christkindl Market in downtown Chicago, every year the Jews make a point of constructing a huge menorah sculpture, and atheist groups set up a massive HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE billboard, just to be dicks. I was walking by the other day and noticed them in irritation, when I overheard a nearby mom pointing them out to her kid: "Look at the giant Christmas candles!" I can't help but think this was God nudging me to cheer up and remember he has it all under control.

John J said...

Kudos to NZT. You cheered me up too, with your post.

/s/ More Catholic Than the Pope

ps yes that's why they do it ... to be dicks

Portlander said...

And as if on cue, the latest assault on Christmas from the dim-witted, willing accomplices that run the government indoctrination camps, er, schools. Close to home for you, SoBL, it's from Maine.

Albeit Bangor, which I understand, like Minneapolis-St Paul, is being gifted to Somalis, so maybe there's an extra, unstated angle for pushing out Christmas at the school there.

Finally, don't say the globalists don't have a sense of humor -- filling Minnesota and Maine with Somalis -- hoo-ha. It's twisted, sick, and despicable to be sure, but a sense of humor nonetheless.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Most Protestant denominations observe Advent as well. Snot just a Catholic thing.

Alexandros HoMegas said...


The funny thing is that Hannukah isn't a major jewish holiday in israel, it was American jews chutzpah that turned Hannukah in a rival to Christmas.

Also with almost all jewish holydays is a celebration of the jewish Tribe killing their goyim enemies, in this case the Greeks.

Anonymous said...

Off-Topic: Kristol and the Neocons have finally destroyed the Republican Party.

Peter Blood said...

It is a bonus (a Christmas bonus!) that wishing someone a "Merry Christmas" doubles as trolling.