An Open Letter to Those Worried About a Secular War on Christmas

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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171 Responses

  1. Avatar ppnl says:

    Yes that’s pretty good. I really don’t think they will believe you but if you can just distract them long enough for me to sneak in and piss on their Christmas tree…

    Yes I know. I’m not helping. At some level of stupid it’s hard to care.

     Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Should I fail to support your religion, that is not the same thing as me repressing it. Translation: if a vendor says “Happy Holidays” to you as a form of greeting or thanks for patronizing their establishment, that does not mean that you have somehow become a victim.Report

    • Avatar Renee says:

      Yes.  Similarly, if I wish you a Merry Christmas, I really am not trying to convert you.  When did we all become so thin-skinned?  It would be nice if we could simply assume the best of the other as opposed to nefarious plots.Report

      • Avatar Kimsie says:

        though that is true, I treat “merry christmas” as the equivalent to kneeling in church. After all, merry means holy in that expression — so my disagreement is warranted (though best if kept cheerful).Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        You can wish me Merry Christmas all day and it won’t offend or bother me a bit. I think it’s a rather nice thing for you to say and I readily recognize the spirit of friendliness, well-wishing, and happiness inherent in the phrase. I may even say “To you, too!” and mean it sincerely despite my irreligiosity.

        I suspect that I speak for a large majority of secular people with respect to that sentiment. So, Merry Christmas, Renee.Report

  3. Avatar James Hanley says:

    There is no secular War on Justin Bieber.

    No kidding, that’s a holy crusade.Report

  4. Avatar Ryan Bonneville says:

    Was that “cross section” comment a pun about the crucifixion?Report

  5. Avatar Chris says:

    That picture is awesome.Report

  6. Avatar Liberty60 says:

    As an observant Christian, I am a bit relieved to hear there is no secular War On Christmas .

    Although,when I look at the bizarre, frenzy of consumerism that defines our celebration of Christ’s birth, where people stampeded and pepper spray each other over 2 dollar waffle makers, I have to admit that a part of me, would like to declare and wage fiercely a religious War On Christmas.

    I mean seriously, how can any self-professed Christian look at what has become of this holiday and not feel just  a bit sheepish and ashamed of it all?

    Yeah I know, I am sounding remarkably Puritan and self righteous about this. But am I really alone in wondering if Jesus is really honored and pleased by the December To Remember Lexus sales event?

    Religious leaders are always happy to rail about sexual immorality and the spiritual dangers of excessive gratification and self-centeredness. But there seems to be an astonishing silence with regard to the pornography of consumerism..Report

  7. Given that Christmas has already stormed the beaches of Thanksgiving and is pushing forward on the front of Halloween, I think we can safely assume that the forces of Christmas have, in fact, won, and are fast on their way to invading Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Independence Day.Report

  8. Avatar debbie says:

    Oh my G-d! Dead on. Working in retail I get my head bitten off multiple times a season if I wish someone happy holidays.  The lecture about my company requiring us to avoid Merry xmas and how America and apple pie are under attack.

    I  usually fix them with a butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth look, and sweetly say, “My company doesn’t  suggest that we say anything at all. I am Jewish myself so I  guess I don’t automatically assume that everyone in the world is Christian. I do hope YOU have a Merry Christmas though.”

    F@#%$ idiots!  I think they are the same people ask me how much something is if it is 50% off.

    DebbieReport

    • I agree.  I see no reason why anyone should be offended by “happy holidays.”Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      @debbie: I  usually fix them with a butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth look, and sweetly say, “My company doesn’t  suggest that we say anything at all. I am Jewish myself so I  guess I don’t automatically assume that everyone in the world is Christian. I do hope YOU have a Merry Christmas though.”

      Two things:

      1. I can totally picture you doing this.

      2. I would still pay good money to see you do it.Report

      • Avatar Kimsie says:

        I used to get pretty snappy myself, whenever folks would wish me Merry Christmas.

        Standard response: “I’m not christian, but thanks anyhow” — with varying amounts of acerbity, judging from how long they’d known me (people four years or more got some pretty mean looks) [The alternate response is “Happy Hanukkah” — though if I were doing it now, I’d probably say, “happy kwanzaa” — just because]Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

          Why not just say “Merry Christmas to you?”Report

          • Avatar Kimsie says:

            First, it’s buying into the idea that everyone celebrates a holiday.

            second, I’m not Christian, and I do rather expect people who have been around me enough to have figured that out.

            Third, it’s rather inconsiderate to assume that everyone’s got the same holidays as you do. Gently reminding people that there are other folks around is a good thing, ymmv.Report

            • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

              “First, it’s buying into the idea that everyone celebrates a holiday.”

              I disagree.  I think it’s more akin to having someone tell you “Hey, have an awesome day.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Don’t tell me how to live! Now you have to stand there while I tell you about me and my personal inclinations for a good 30 seconds!Report

              • Avatar debbie says:

                I agree.  When someone wishes me a Merry Christmas I say “thanks, you too.”  It is essentially “have a nice day.”

                If someone said “enjoy your celebration of the miraculous virgin birth of our personal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” I might feel differently.

                As for Channukah, it is a lovely but relatively minor holiday that has been elevated to bizarre heights by American Jews as psychological self defense .  Yes, I suffer from Christmas envy.Report

        • Avatar Kris Kringle says:

          Jolly Ole’ Kimsie–it’s interesting you get so upset about someone saying, “Merry Christmas” to you. It certainly doesn’t bother Jews in the slightest.  I’ve had Jewish friends my entire life and they actually get a big kick out of it–and a big smile.  To be so obnoxiously and caustically rude as you profess, would be entirely out of the question.   I know this is asking the impossible, but have a little heart, will ya?Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      Debbie,  It’s people like you that help keep the world sane.  I’d just snap, “Don’t you know holidays means holy days?  Don’t you think Christmas is holy you godless heathen!”  People like me do not help keep the world sane.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

        People like me do not help keep the world sane.

        No, but when people like us band together we keep each other from going k-razy, so we have that going for us.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Aluminum foil doesn’t help. Not you, anyway.

    They’ve proven this.Report

  10. Avatar Kyle Cupp says:

    Don’t think I’m not on to this little ruse of yours, Tod.  Trying to trick me into lowering my defenses.  And when I do, you’ll strike.  No, sir, not going to happen.  I will continue striving to remake this country in my own narrow, idolatrous, ideologically-religious image, and will consider anything less than active submission on the part of all you secularists to be an assault against Me and against the Truth.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Oh Kyle, dear sweet Kyle.  You’re worrying about nothing!  Just close your eyes and let us watch over everything.  It will all be over soon, and you’ll be so much happier.  I promise.Report

  11. Avatar James K says:

    On a similar note, use of the abbreviation Xmas is not some secularist plot to “remove Christ from Christmas”.  As Snopes points out it’s usage dates back to early Christianity and the X represents Chi, the first letter in Christ if you’re spelling it in Greek.Report

  12. Avatar Kris Kringle says:

    [EDIT]Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        I get the comments by e-mail so I saw what Tod deleted. Though I am not a big fan of censorship, I wholly support his decision in this case as the comment was both off-topic and needlessly offensive.Report

        • Avatar Chris says:

          That’s Heide.gger. He’s a serial bannee.Report

          • Avatar Kris Kringle says:

            Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas, Chris!   Does your name being so close to the name, Christ, ever cause you messianic delusions of grandeur?  It certainly would be understood.  For no particular reason, I’ve always assumed you were brought up Catholic.   Please confess.  In grade school, when it was time to do the annual reenactment of the manger scene and birth of Christ, did you play the parts of ALL Three Wise Men at the same time?   I can only imagine what gifts your young mischievous imagination would be bringing to the birthday party. Maybe the works of Chomsky, Betrand Russell, and Richard Dawkins.Report

            • Avatar Kris Kringle says:

              Scratch Dawkins.   Make that Madelyn O’Hare.Report

            • Avatar Chris says:

              Heidie, you’ve imagined me to have grown up Catholic because I’ve told you as much, I’m sure. And no, I didn’t play the Wise Men. I played Mary. This was post-Vatican II, after all!

              Also, I am not a fan of any of the 3 authors you listed. When I played Mary, I carried a copy of Totem and Taboo with me.Report

              • Avatar Kris Kringle says:

                I don’t recall you ever saying you were Catholic.  There were many other reasons why I thought this, mostly your passionate atheism.  I being a Catholic, altar boy, choir boy the whole nine yards,  also suffered this chronic malady.  It’s not easy to shake, so my heart goes out to you. 

                I would have bet my life Betrand Russell was one of your gods.  I guess we all know Jesus Christ wasn’t.   How old were you when this happened? 

                As for the manger scene and you playing Mary—PLEASE tell me you were creative enough to play a bearded Mary.  You know, like that bearded “dude” a few years ago giving birth to his bundle of joy.  That would also be the first case of same-sex marriage I guess, giving birth to the King of Kings no less.    Only you, Chris. Only, you. A manger scene transformed into a Gay Pride Spectacle.   I”m sending O”Reilly after you!  And then, Pope Benedict!Report

              • Avatar Kris Kringle says:

                I don’t recall you ever saying you were Catholic.  There were many other reasons why I thought this, mostly your passionate atheism.  I being a Catholic, altar boy, choir boy the whole nine yards,  also suffered this chronic malady.  It’s not easy to shake, so my heart goes out to you. 

                I would have bet my life Betrand Russell was one of your gods.  I guess we all know Jesus Christ wasn’t.   How old were you when this happened? 

                As for the manger scene and you playing Mary—PLEASE tell me you were creative enough to play a bearded Mary.  You know, like that bearded “dude” a few years ago giving birth to his bundle of joy.  That would also be the first case of same-sex marriage I guess, giving birth to the King of Kings no less.    Only you, Chris. Only, you. A manger scene transformed into a Gay Pride Spectacle.   I”m sending O”Reilly after you!  And then, Pope Benedict!Report

  13. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Not all will be deleted, obviously.  But I am not a libertarian, and this fluff piece on the holidays isn’t going to have descriptions of barbarism gumming up the threads.

    Try again.Report

  14. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    All the things I’ve deleted of yours?  Dude, I deleted one thing today and nothing prior.  Chill.Report

    • Avatar Kris Kringle says:

      Sorry Tod.   A false accusation on my part.  My personal reading of Kimsie’s words set me off in a frenzy.   Anyone knowing anything about the origins and history of Kwanzaa and its founder would react similarly I would expect or hope.   In any case, end of subject. Das tut mir Leid!Report

  15. Avatar ppnl says:

    The real irony here is that christmas is stolen property anyway. Its origin is is the pagan holiday Saturnalia.Caligula attempted to limit its celebration to five days because it was too wild for him.Report

    • Avatar Kimsie says:

      which explains why the puritans refused to celebrate it.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Ah yes.  We secularists refer to this holiday as X-nalia.Report

    • Avatar Kris Kringle says:

      Does the fact that the celebration of the Winter Solstice predating the birth of Christ  mean Christmas was stolen?  Granted, the Winter Solstice is about 5 billion years before the birth of Christ but still, your logic doesn’t work.Report

      • Avatar ppnl says:

         

        But christmas didn’t just happen to fall on the end of saturnalia. Saturnalia was explicitly appropriated with malice of forethought. The fact is nobody knows when Jesus was born and this date was chosen as a way to convert pagans. Before that christmas was not celebrated and there was generally no interest in or knowledge of Jesus’ birthday.

        But what you don’t understand is that this is just a judo move by pagans. We godless bastards have succeded in injecting our demonic holiday into christianity world wide. Steal christmas? Man we slipped it to you.

        Christmas, corrupting christianity for over 1300 years. Who is the harlot?

         

         Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

          Saturnalia was explicitly appropriated with malice of forethought… this date was chosen as a way to convert pagans.

          I’m not sure the first part is a proper conclusion, given the second.

          I don’t know many believers of any faith who would regard converting the pagan as an act of malice.Report

          • Avatar Kimsie says:

            Then you should visit the Carlisle Indian School. Forcibly separating children from not only their parents but their culture and language is indeed an act of violence, if not a malicious one. (waiting for someone to pipe up about something the Scotch Irish did…)Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

              Richard Pratt wasn’t a theologian.

              I’ll gladly concede that many practices used by organized religions over the ages have been corrupt, banal, venal, and/or downright evil.  Many practices used by organized religions over the ages have also been forward-thinking and/or humane.

              In any event, I still don’t know many believers of any faith who would regard the act of converting the pagan as malicious.  Some of the tactics, certainly; and many of them would be the first to decry some of the historical record’s blatant examples.  The strategy, not so much.Report

          • Avatar ppnl says:

             

            No but choosing a date for political purposes with no basis in reality must be considered dishonest. The motive was good but the sin they committed opened the door into the church for my dark lord. Who is the harlot? The church on earth is the harlot. All organized religion is corrupted and will be the downfall of man.

            Well anyway I’m an atheist so I don’t really believe any of this. But my mother was an odd kind of christian and taught me this stuff.

             Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

              dishonest

              Oh, granted.

              Still, the commandment is, “Do not bear false witness against your neighbor” (don’t lie to screw somebody else), not “Speak no untruths”.

              There’s lots of wiggle room in the middle for both the well-meaning and the unscrupulous.Report

              • Avatar ppnl says:

                My dark lord loves wiggle room. People can convince themselves that just about anything is justified. Usually he doesn’t even need to employ invisible demons whispering temptations in your ear.

                Face it, christmas is my dark lords greatest victory.  So enjoy your greed, sloth and gluttony in this wonderful season.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                Face it, christmas is my dark lords greatest victory.

                If that’s your greatest victory, you’re doing it wrong.Report

              • Avatar ppnl says:

                 

                Well yes but understand that we have been having a problem with this whole enlightenment thing. That was a damned dirty trick. We are stuck with operating through a hand full of bible thumpers. Liberal christians are so wishy washy they aren’t worth the trouble. Fire breathing bible thumpers have some life left but people are beginning to point and laugh.

                So we are stuck relieving our last major victory. Christmas, our last dirty trick. Our only hope for the future is an economic or environmental disaster that sets civilization back so our minions can operate freely again.

                BTW, global warming? It’s a con job perpetrated by greedy evil scientists.  Trust me. And here are some collateralized debt obligations I will sell you for cheap.

                Piss on Sagan’s candle.

                 Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I dunno. I kinda enjoy spray cheese.Report

        • Avatar Kimsie says:

          what type of pagan are you?

          Oh, get a load of this song:

          “the lord is good to me,

          and so I thank the lord,

          for giving me, the things I need

          the sun the rain and the apple seed.

          the lord is good to me.”

          Now, name the lord. 😉

          [googlehint, in case you’re stuck: Johnny Appleseed]Report

        • Avatar Kris Kringle says:

          “The fact is nobody knows when Jesus was born”.   What do you mean?   Every single Hallmark Christmas card I’ve seen says it was on December 25–are you implying they’re all wrong?   Can the inevitable time machines travel into the past?  It will nice to settle this once and for all.   Next thing you’re going to say is the Vernal
          Equinox and Easter are connected.Report

  16. Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

    Today Walgreen’s, tomorrow the world!

    The story didn’t make the papers, of course, or at least none that are coming up.  No wonder nobody heard about it…Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Apparently if retailers use the word “Christmas” to sell you shit, Jesus wins.Report

    • There’s a big difference between labeling certain items that are clearly specific to Christmas as being for Christmas and using Christmas as a generic term for everything in the month of December and early January.  Check Walgreen’s website – the overwhelming majority of relevant stuff there is still labeled as being for “the holidays.”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        In the late 90’s, Ted Turner sent out a memo to all of his organizations that they were to cease using the term “foreign” and start using the term “international” instead.

        This meant that wrestling matches where a guy used a knuckleduster that the ref didn’t see had the commentators yelling “HE’S USING AN INTERNATIONAL OBJECT!”Report

        • [Laughs as he imagines JR saying this].Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

          Plus, even used in the right context it gives everything a James Bond-like, continental flair.

          When you hear that Homeland Security catches a foreign terrorist it’s pretty good news.  But when they catch the international terrorist?  It sounds especially awesome, and makes you wonder if they found his secret island lair.Report

      • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

        The euphemistic gymnastics to erase XMas are such an insult to the intelligence [“‘holiday’ tree”], it can’t help but come off as an insult to Xtianity.

        If Walgreen’s has at least got rid of such stupidities, that’ll do.Report

        • Avatar Chris says:

          The euphemistic gymnastics to erase XMas

          We’ve found our tinfoil hatter, apparently.Report

          • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

            Whereas I illustrated my point, Chris, you resorted to insult. Mercy.Report

            • Avatar Chris says:

              Tom, this is your fundamental problem: you take a piece of evidence, X, with multiple possible interpretations, and you automatically assume the boilerplate conservative interpretation, and further assume that to be both objective and obvious.

              So no, I didn’t insult you. I made an observation.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                Chris, of course you insulted me and insult everybody’s intelligence by denying it.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Tom, if I was inaccurate in my assessment, I’d be happy for you or anyone to point out where. Otherwise, it’s not really an insult.

                You’re a conspiracy theorist about academics, about liberals in general, and about secularists. This is no exception.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

                You play dirty, Chris, and you’re not fooling anyone.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                If you say so, Tom. Climate control, the media, social scientists, religion in the public sphere, and apparently a conscious effort, through linguistic gymnastics, to eliminate Christmas: all conspiracies. Again, if I’m wrong, point to where. Otherwise, claiming I’m playing dirty is, well, playing dirty.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

                Tom is not claiming a conspiracy. At least, I see no evidence at all suggesting that he is.

                He is only claiming that some efforts by retailers to avoid giving offense are, in themselves, both ridiculous and (to him) offensive.

                The presence of offense is not for the offender to determine, it is for the victim.  Conservatives, I’ll point out, do not give this maxim much weight when it comes to liberals claiming to be offended, but the maxim remains true anyway.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Jason, Tom doesn’t say they’re trying to avoid offending anyone, he says they’re trying to “erase XMas.” What’s more, he implies that the media’s in on it. When you combine this with his usual fair, which I know you’ve been reading for the last couple years, because I’ve been reading it on your sites, in which secularists are attacking religion, the media is attacking conservatives and particularly Christians, social scientists are attacking conservatives/conservative positions, and climate scientists are conspiring to make it look like the world is warming up, along with his conviction that conservatives are persecuted here, you’ll understand why I say it sounds like conspiracy-mongering. There is no effort, by anyone, to erase Christmas, but to Tom, that’s what it looks like. He makes that clear.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

                Tom doesn’t say they’re trying to avoid offending anyone, he says they’re trying to “erase XMas.”

                He references “The euphemistic gymnastics to erase XMas.”  A euphemism is a word or phrase that is altered to avoid giving offense.  And — very, very obviously — referring to a “holiday tree” can only be an erasure of “Christmas,” because no other holidays around this time of year have anything to do with trees.

                What’s more, he implies that the media’s in on it.

                If by “in on it,” we mean that the media has used similar euphemisms, then the claim is inarguably true.  If by “in on it,” you mean that Tom thinks they are participating in a conspiracy, then there is no evidence for this claim.

                Although conspiracy is a persistent explanatory pattern of his, I don’t see him resorting to it here.

                 Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                There’s trying to erase Christmas, and there’s trying to be more inclusive. The latter may accomplish the former, but the intention is different. It’s the intention that he’s highlighting.

                Also, the media being in on it is implied by their not covering the story, not by their also getting rid of Christmas language (I don’t see this, but I live in the South, or at least something adjacent to the South, so Christmas is still very much in the media).

                Anyway, I won’t press it further. If you don’t think this is yet another example of liberals/secularists/social scientists pushing a liberal/secularist agenda, that’s fine. I will admit it’s open to interpretation. I don’t think my interpretation is that off, though. Certainly not as much as Tom likes to make it out to be.Report

        • I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Jaybird’s comment probably gets closer to the truth than a conscious conspiracy against Christians.  This is especially true when you consider that Walgreen’s is one of the drug stores that longest maintained a policy of permitting its pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription for birth control if their conscience prohibited it.

          The reality is that this stuff happens in the marketplace, and large corporations are pretty poorly disposed to doing nuance or creating flexible policies (IIRC, Hayek made the point that the calculation problem was nearly as much a problem for large business as it is for government).  On average, one sells more winter-related stuff when one uses the word “holidays” for everything winter-related.  So it makes good economic sense to do this if the status quo ante is to use the word “Christmas” for everything.  But at some point – way too late for common sense, and several years down the road – you figure out that though this increases sales on average, it decreases sales of certain types of items.  At that point, it’s probably a good idea to change your policy as it applies to those items, as long as you can figure out a way to do this that still minimizes a local manager’s discretion.

          IOW, the problem isn’t so much anti-Christian prejudice as it is that large businesses tend to adopt one-size-fits-all policies.

           Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            This seems so obvious to me that I’m amazed that it needs to be said. I understand that a certain breed of Christian, crossing the Evangelical/fundamentalist divide (though in recent years it seems to have infected a certain type of Catholic as well) has a persecution complex that is immune to common sense, but it still boggles my mind to hear someone act as though business decisions, particularly those made by large businesses, are designed to do anything other than make more money.Report

  17. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My theory is that when we are children, the vast majority of our lives are spent around people similar to us. We say “Merry Christmas” to people who say “Merry Christmas” back to us and it doesn’t really sink in that they’re relatives.

    It’s once we get to high school or college that we start meeting people who have something other than “Merry Christmas!” to say when we wish them one.

    Then once we get out into the real world? Whoooo. Tons of people who don’t say it.

    And instead of thinking “man, I didn’t know anybody who wasn’t like me when I was a kid!”, we think “the country didn’t used to be like this!!!”

    That said, the black Friday BS has got to stop. It didn’t used to be like this.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      My response to kids at college who didn’t celebrate Christmas was more along the lines of:

      You really have too try this.  It’s amaaaazing.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      That said, the black Friday BS has got to stop. It didn’t used to be like this.

      Amen to that one, brother.Report

    • Avatar Kimsie says:

      my theory is that only Christians say things like this. I live in a jewish neighborhood, but everyone still has Christmas decorations up (except for the judaica store and the koshermart), they just have hanukkah decorations as well.Report

    • Avatar BSK says:

      Brilliant.  I wonder what else this can be attributed to?  It is not the America of their youth that people are missing, but the youthful perspective and experience of the world?

      As an early childhood teacher, I would argue that some (many?) people probably did encounter diversity as children, but they were not developmentally prepared to understand and likely little was done to aid in that development.  Up to a certain age (around 4 or 5), children assume that everyone experiences the world in the exact same way they do.  This developmental norm is bolstered by parents who are overly accomodating to their children (e.g., kids are naturally inclined to assume everyone likes the same TV shows they do and if parents pretend they love those shows too and never watch anything else, it only affirms the child’s worldview).  When I discuss holidays in my class, some kids genuinely say, “I had no idea that people did things differently than my family does.”  Again, much of this is developmental and can’t necessarily be sped up, but there are experiences that kids can have that will help them gain a better understanding and ability to perspective take when they are developmentally ready.

      So, read the entirely wrong way, basically I’m saying that Christians are infantile.Report

  18. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Off-topic, but has anyone noticed a relative dearth in Christmas ornaments in the big retailers this year?  Each year my spouse and I buy each kid a Christmas ornament as one of their presents, and this year it seemed as though there was just a lot less shelf-space devoted to ornaments than in previous years.

    Also, most of what was there was true dreck, all kinds of ugly things covered with shiny sprinkles).  Last year there was a revival of classic ’50s style glass ornaments, and this year it looks as though Ms. Pumperschnautt’s pre-school art class was in charge of design.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      It seems to me like this has been going on for a few years now.  It’s getting to be that to find great, cool ornaments you have to stumble upon them at some little upscale boutique for an exorbanant amount of money.Report

      • Avatar Michelle says:

        Yeah, but it’s a lot easier to find a nice menorah than it used to be. When I was a kid, you could only get one at your local synagogue’s gift shop or specialized Judaica stores. Now, Crate and Barrel sells them. Yee-hah.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

          I noticed this in my 20s; friends of ours were getting married in late November and we thought in our naively goyish way, “Hey!  I know!  Let’s get them a special, cool and artsy menorah as a gift!”

          Yep, that’s what we thought. Us and about 40 other goyim couples.Report

  19. Avatar Steve S. says:

    “But we don’t hate Christmas.”

    Let me say for myself, I do hate Christmas, but not for secular reasons.  Our cultural norms surrounding Christmas would suck regardless of whether or not there was any truth to the religious myth.Report

  20. Avatar dhex says:

    can we swap out the war on christmas with a war on christmas music? the only good one is dominic the donkey and that’s one of the dumbest songs ever written. and even that’s not any fun at all in november.Report