"Christmas Tree" by Lotus Head is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The War on Christmas is Over. Christmas Lost.

Nov 30, 2018

By Hemant Mehta

This won’t surprise you: Only Republicans care about the fictional “War on Christmas.”

This might surprise you: Even Republicans don’t really care about the “War on Christmas.”

How do you even measure that? A new poll from Morning Consult finds that, while 56% of Republicans say they would be more likely to shop at stores that explicitly say “Merry Christmas,” 36% said it wouldn’t change their habits at all. Meanwhile, if a store said “Happy Holidays,” 48% of Republicans said it wouldn’t make any difference.

But overall, more Americans than not said it wouldn’t make a bit of difference if a store used the phrase “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” They’re going to shop wherever they feel like it.

Those numbers stand in stark contrast to Democrats, who really don’t give a damn what anyone says in a store, but it hardly some sort of Christmas coup for the GOP. If this is the sort of thing you get worked up about, it probably has more to do with your politics than your faith.

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8 comments on “The War on Christmas is Over. Christmas Lost.

  • re:

    The War On Christmas Is Over. Christmas Lost.

    As a child, during the 1950s, I was raised as a catholic – per Prof. Dawkins’ admonition, I hesitate to refer to myself as a catholic child.  Christmas was a fun holiday – and even involved a solemn high mass, but it was always explained to us that as far as the church calendar was concerned, Christmas was not the major holiday of the year.  More important were the Pascal Mysteries celebrated at Easter.  It was during those festivities and liturgies that the essence of Christianity was expressed.
    So, it’s amazing to me how much Christmas means to American fundamentalist Christians.  For the most part, the holiday means nothing more to them than spending too much on presents, putting up flashing lights and Christmas trees, eating too much sugar and drinking too much egg nog.  I’m convinced that if Charles Dickens had not written the Christmas Carol, the holiday would have about as much significance as St. Patrick’s Day, or St. Valentine’s Day.  And yet, when someone challenges their nonsense, they react as though an unforgivable blaspheme has been committed. 

    American Christians are really tiresome!!

  • Michael 100

    So, it’s amazing to me how much Christmas means to American fundamentalist Christians. 

    For the most part, the holiday means nothing more to them than spending too much on presents, putting up flashing lights and Christmas trees, eating too much sugar and drinking too much egg nog.

    Actually Rather than the Catholic activities you describe,  this seems much more like the mid-winter Roman festival of Saturnalia which the Christians stole from the the worshippers of Saturn! (and later the Yule festival assimilated from the Vikings.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

    Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the god Saturn, held on 17 December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to 23 December. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves.[1] A common custom was the election of a “King of the Saturnalia”, who would give orders to people and preside over the merrymaking. The gifts exchanged were usually gag gifts or small figurines made of wax or pottery known as sigillaria. The poet Catullus called it “the best of days”

  • Alan, I agree 100%. You hit the nail on the head. I just wish the Christians would acknowledge their own traditions, but that would be like pulling a loose thread from a garment— pretty soon nothing is left.  We can only hope that some day that happens.

  • In a relatively short time, the forces of super capitalism have morphed Christmas from a solumn non-observance to a frenzied worship of conspicuous consumption. Wiki history:

    Christmas in Puritan New England

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Christmas celebrations in New England were illegal during parts of the 17th century, and were culturally taboo or rare in former Puritan colonies from foundation until the mid-18th century. The Puritan community found no Scriptural justification for celebrating Christmas, and associated such celebrations with paganism and idolatry. Indeed, Christmas celebrations in 17th-century England involved Carnival-like behavior including role inversion, heavy drinking, and sexual liberties.[1]
    The earliest years of the Plymouth Colony were troubled with non-Puritans attempting to make merry, and Governor William Bradford was forced to reprimand offenders. English laws suppressing the holiday were enacted in the Interregnum, but repealed late in the 17th century. However, the Puritan view of Christmas and its celebration had gained cultural ascendancy in New England, and Christmas celebrations continued to be discouraged despite being legal. But by the mid-18th century, Christmas had become a mainstream celebration in New England, and by the beginning of the 19th century, ministers of Congregational churches, the church of the Puritans, actually called for formal observance of Christmas in the churches.[1]
    When Christmas became a federal holiday in 1870, late 19th century Americans widely fashioned the day into the Christmas of commercialism, spirituality, and nostalgia that most Americans recognize today.

    Growing up in the Methodist church, Christmas was primarily about the birth of Christ with special programs at the church and an evening church service that was, in my memory, magical and beautiful. Christmas morning was a wonderful childhood memory.

    If only the holiday had stayed simple as I remember it with decorations, good food, family visits and emphasis on the kids, I’d have no complaints, but watching people spend down their bank accounts on gifts for everyone under the sun and going into credit card debt to keep up has got to stop.

    Between the bullying of the church and the bullying of greedy Capitalists, the victims can’t see the forest for the trees and they suffer for it. It’s very difficult to step away from these forces and do things independently.

     

    Jesus never once mentioned a Christmas tree in the Bible and never said that every child must have an IPhone X.  !

  • Alan

    Perhaps there were no Vikings around for him to meet!!! 

    Right. Jeezis missed them by a thousand years. Still, the Vikings left some of their Northern European DNA behind in the Mediterranean. (Winning!)

  • A midwinter solstice festival — Saturnalia if you like — is an eminently sensible and long standing tradition, with only the odd temporary blip from puritan killjoys out of step with reality.  And the nearer the Arctic you live, the more sensible is the festival.  Something to help a community make it thru til Spring, an excellent piece of evolved social behaviour in our species.

    That said, I’d be more than happy to ban the infernal Christmas Playlist that’s inflicted on all headphone-less shoppers for weeks on end.  I’m not sure if the Devil has all the best tunes, but Santa definitely has the worst.

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