I’m not sure who fired the first shot in the supposed “War on Christmas,” but I think it is over and I’m pretty sure we won.
I have to admit that in years past I often used the term Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas. I do business internationally with some customers that I know do not celebrate Christmas, but may celebrate other holidays this time of the year, so I always threw out a Happy Holidays rather than a Merry Christmas to them. Then the Happy Holidays for me just carried over from my international customers to everyone else. Many people wished me a Merry Christmas back. Great! I never gave it a thought that maybe I was on the side of the Axis of Evil in the War on Christmas since I wished them Happy Holidays. I thought I was just being polite. For all I know, maybe I even started the War on Christmas, although I never really noticed a skirmish, let alone a war.
But there is a War on Christmas, isn’t there? Fox News reports there is. I see Facebook friends threatening to disembowel anyone who wishes them anything other than a Merry Christmas. That sure sounds like war. Time for a quick musical interlude with that festive theme …
Deck the halls with bowels of Holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la
She wished me a Happy Holiday,
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Catchy tune, isn’t it? I do happen to have a Facebook friend named Holly, so I want to make it clear that clever song parody is NOT about her specifically. It’s just sort of how the song goes as you know, even after my clever lyric parodying, the first line of which I blatantly stole from the National Lampoon Radio Hour, circa 1972. Lines 2 & 4 are also not mine, duh! But just take a look at that line #3. That is some fine line. I can claim that comic gem that is line #3 as all mine and quite clever if I do say so myself, and I do!
So anyway, this year I have purposely been wishing people Merry Christmas rather than Happy Holidays. I was surprised that I got a lot of Happy Holidays back, probably more than I got Merry Christmases. I guess I thought if I used Merry Christmas first, then that was like a secret war-time code that let my conversation partner know that it was OK to say Merry Christmas back to me. And if they didn’t, maybe they were the enemy? My insurance agent seems harmless enough, and his office was decorated for Christmas, but I got a Happy Holidays from him back in response to my Merry Christmas. I know he’s busy, so maybe he was just saving time. Happy Holidays (plural) is quicker than saying both Merry Christmas AND Happy New Year. How can I know for sure which side he’s on? Waterboarding is the obvious choice, except not in the winter. Too icy. Should I be thinking of playing it safe and disemboweling my insurance agent and all the other Happy Holidays well-wishers, or at least ringing their doorbells and running?
As we get closer to Christmas this year, I think about disemboweling my friends less and less. I feel the same inside whether I wish them Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. I don’t really care what they wish me back, unless it is for a slow death from disembowelment due to wishing them Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened more than a handful of times. If there was a War on Christmas, I think it may be over, or at least there appears to be a holiday, I mean Christmas, cease-fire. It may be premature, but I for one am ready to invite George Bush back to declare …
Merry Christmas (Dec. 25th)
Happy Kwanzaa (Dec 26th – Jan 1st)
Happy Hanukkah (Dec 6th – 14th)
In closing, I would like to complicate matters by quoting from Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas …
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Now what do you make of that Happy Christmas nonsense? Is that a combination of Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas? Is the writer of the most famous Christmas poem ever at war with Christmas? Perhaps I can deftly deflect suspicion away from me and onto him by suggesting that Clement Clarke Moore may have even started the War on Christmas with that poem. War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing … except Fox News ratings.