The war on Christmas

Whateverman

Well-known member
Doesn't seem to be that much of a thing this year.

Is this due simply to COVID-45, or have the actual number of attacks on Jesus' favorite holiday gone down?

Not even the so-called president has been whining about this...
 

Temujin

Well-known member
Doesn't seem to be that much of a thing this year.

Is this due simply to COVID-45, or have the actual number of attacks on Jesus' favorite holiday gone down?

Not even the so-called president has been whining about this...
Maybe it was a figment of the imagination, and Trump's election victory has put all the other figments into cold storage.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
I'm still fighting the good fight.
If I know the person's religion, and if I can't think of a good reason to annoy them, I wish them the most specific holiday greeting possible. That means I have no problem wishing someone a Merry Christmas, and I've already done this a few times. I've also wished one person a Happy Hanukkah.

The "war on Christmas" fiction is nothing but a few snowflake Christians who need a safe space away from all the other religions.

edit: being honest, I haven't raised a stink about this thread's subject before because it really feels like this country needs some goodwill towards our fellow citizens this year, regardless of the politics involved. I actually feel a little bad, having raised it here.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
If I know the person's religion, and if I can't think of a good reason to annoy them, I wish them the most specific holiday greeting possible. That means I have no problem wishing someone a Merry Christmas, and I've already done this a few times. I've also wished one person a Happy Hanukkah.

The "war on Christmas" fiction is nothing but a few snowflake Christians who need a safe space away from all the other religions.

edit: being honest, I haven't raised a stink about this thread's subject before because it really feels like this country needs some goodwill towards our fellow citizens this year, regardless of the politics involved. I actually feel a little bad, having raised it here.
I have to ask, is it really a thing? I love Christmas. In a normal year I will attend church and sing carols. I wouldn't dream of wishing anybody the cop out phrase, "happy holidays". It is Christmas. I cannot speak for anywhere else, but the religious aspect of Christmas is an optional extra. It is a cultural festival, open to all faiths and none. The iconic Christmas figure is Santa, not the infant Christ. If there was a war on Christmas, it has been won. The midwinter festival, annexed by Christians for two millennia, has been taken back by secularism, leaving only a few isolated pockets of religiosity like kindergarten nativity plays and repeats of "It's a Wonderful Life".
 

rossum

Active member
The War on Christmas is over. Godzilla won. :D

 

Whateverman

Well-known member
I have to ask, is it really a thing? I love Christmas. In a normal year I will attend church and sing carols. I wouldn't dream of wishing anybody the cop out phrase, "happy holidays". It is Christmas. I cannot speak for anywhere else, but the religious aspect of Christmas is an optional extra. It is a cultural festival, open to all faiths and none. The iconic Christmas figure is Santa, not the infant Christ. If there was a war on Christmas, it has been won. The midwinter festival, annexed by Christians for two millennia, has been taken back by secularism, leaving only a few isolated pockets of religiosity like kindergarten nativity plays and repeats of "It's a Wonderful Life".
I think I've told this story before (here), but for a while I worked at a small store opened by friends of the family. It sold local products, freshly-made sandwiches, groceries, beer and a bunch of other stuff.

This store was in a small rural town here in central Massachusetts, where farming is a part of daily life for many. MA has an undeserved reputation as politically liberal, when in reality it's more purple than anything; there are pockets of liberalism and pockets of conservativism all across the state - in equal proportions. Hardwick (aka. the town our store was in) was mostly conservative, and still is.

Anyhoo, I was one of the older employees, and helped set the tone of the place for the younger employees. This meant greeting people, being polite, etc. Around the holidays, this also mean holiday greetings - and regardless of the towns political leanings, it contains Jews and a few Muslims, some atheists, etc. To be careful not to alienate anyone, I routinely wished people a Happy Holidays in December.

I did this not to be politically-correct, but because it seemed the most-polite thing to do. I wasn't annoying about it, either.

On several occasions, customers got angry at my greeting. This got me scowls, corrections ("Merry CHRISTMAS", etc) and an actual lecture from an older well-to-do Christian woman.

I've never tried to insult people (in-person) with the generic greeting. It was simply my default, and if I knew the person was a Christian, I'd wish them a Merry Christmas. However, when I saw people getting angry at me for not adhering to their version of political correctness, the "war on Christmas" took on a whole new meaning...

It's primarily a war BY conservative Christians on non-conservatives/non-Christians.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
I think I've told this story before (here), but for a while I worked at a small store opened by friends of the family. It sold local products, freshly-made sandwiches, groceries, beer and a bunch of other stuff.

This store was in a small rural town here in central Massachusetts, where farming is a part of daily life for many. MA has an undeserved reputation as politically liberal, when in reality it's more purple than anything; there are pockets of liberalism and pockets of conservativism all across the state - in equal proportions. Hardwick (aka. the town our store was in) was mostly conservative, and still is.

Anyhoo, I was one of the older employees, and helped set the tone of the place for the younger employees. This meant greeting people, being polite, etc. Around the holidays, this also mean holiday greetings - and regardless of the towns political leanings, it contains Jews and a few Muslims, some atheists, etc. To be careful not to alienate anyone, I routinely wished people a Happy Holidays in December.

I did this not to be politically-correct, but because it seemed the most-polite thing to do. I wasn't annoying about it, either.

On several occasions, customers got angry at my greeting. This got me scowls, corrections ("Merry CHRISTMAS", etc) and an actual lecture from an older well-to-do Christian woman.

I've never tried to insult people (in-person) with the generic greeting. It was simply my default, and if I knew the person was a Christian, I'd wish them a Merry Christmas. However, when I saw people getting angry at me for not adhering to their version of political correctness, the "war on Christmas" took on a whole new meaning...
I have never come across anyone, whatever their faith position, who was insulted by "Happy Christmas!" Any atheist who feels insulted should get a life.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
I have never come across anyone, whatever their faith position, who was insulted by "Happy Christmas!" Any atheist who feels insulted should get a life.
You mean insulted by "Happy Holidays"?

I've never come across an atheist who appeared to feel insulted by any holiday wish, so long as it was given in good faith...
 

Temujin

Well-known member
You mean insulted by "Happy Holidays"?

I've never come across an atheist who appeared to feel insulted by any holiday wish, so long as it was given in good faith...
No, I mean Happy Christmas. Who on earth is insulted by it? Why use "holidays"? It may be a cultural thing, but this is an Americanism we can do without.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
No, I mean Happy Christmas. Who on earth is insulted by it?
No one? You're the first person I can remember hearing (seeing) use it...

Who on earth is insulted by it? Why use "holidays"? It may be a cultural thing, but this is an Americanism we can do without.
I'm not understanding you.

I've talked about the negative reaction "Happy Holidays!" gets from some Christians, and that this anger is part of the so-called war-on-Christmas
 

Temujin

Well-known member
No one? You're the first person I can remember hearing (seeing) use it...


I'm not understanding you.

I've talked about the negative reaction "Happy Holidays!" gets from some Christians, and that this anger is part of the so-called war-on-Christmas
We are talking across each other. Christians are annoyed by "holidays" allegedly, because it denies or marginalises the Christian festival of Christmas. You have experienced such attitudes, so clearly "holidays" does upset some people. "Happy Christmas" annoys nobody, so why not use that instead? I too am annoyed by "holidays" because it is meaningless. The festival is Christmas. All the rituals and iconography, the tinsel, tasteless jumpers, over-eating, everything, it is all Christmas, not "holidays".
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
Not at all. Jews celebrate Hanukkah. The whole country, including Jews, celebrates Christmas.
There's nothing wrong with wishing a Jew "Merry Christmas", but they'd probably appreciate "Happy Hanukkah" instead. Ditto African-Americans "Happy Kwanzaa".

This time of year contains holidays that not everyone celebrates. What's wrong with at least trying to offer to closest/best holiday greeting?
 

Temujin

Well-known member
There's nothing wrong with wishing a Jew "Merry Christmas", but they'd probably appreciate "Happy Hanukkah" instead. Ditto African-Americans "Happy Kwanzaa".

This time of year contains holidays that not everyone celebrates. What's wrong with at least trying to offer to closest/best holiday greeting?
Oh I agree. I just think that Happy Christmas is the generic and "Happy Holidays" is redundant and meaningless.
 

Temujin

Well-known member
I don't understand why you'd think either of those things. Can you explain a bit?
OK, I'll try.
Christmas in the UK is essentially a secular holiday. Everyone celebrates it, irrespective of religion. Those who wish will attend church services, but even that is often for secular reasons. I go for the music and because the nine lessons of Christmas are part of my cultural heritage, which I value. I don't believe in Christianity, but I do value it as part of my culture, like the monarchy or the language.

"Happy holidays" is meaningless to us because the holidays are Christmas. We celebrate for the full 12 days. Decorations come down on Jan 6th. New Year is merged into Christmas. It is so woven into the culture that it isn't possible to not celebrate it. The whole notion of a war on Christmas is just silly. If Christians want to keep it as a religious celebration, they lost that one some time ago.

"Happy holidays" seems mealy-mouthed and a bit false, rather like "Have a nice day". It's just a bit formulaic. It's also not very common over here, so perhaps that's why it grates.
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
OK, I'll try.
Christmas in the UK is essentially a secular holiday. Everyone celebrates it, irrespective of religion. Those who wish will attend church services, but even that is often for secular reasons. I go for the music and because the nine lessons of Christmas are part of my cultural heritage, which I value. I don't believe in Christianity, but I do value it as part of my culture, like the monarchy or the language.

"Happy holidays" is meaningless to us because the holidays are Christmas. We celebrate for the full 12 days. Decorations come down on Jan 6th. New Year is merged into Christmas. It is so woven into the culture that it isn't possible to not celebrate it. The whole notion of a war on Christmas is just silly. If Christians want to keep it as a religious celebration, they lost that one some time ago.

"Happy holidays" seems mealy-mouthed and a bit false, rather like "Have a nice day". It's just a bit formulaic. It's also not very common over here, so perhaps that's why it grates.
Ok, fair enough.

As a non-Christian American, I perceive the Christmas season differently. The season is more evangelical, in the sense that it's "pushed", rather than relaxed. It's a subtle phenomenon, rather than overt, and the way those who try to distance themselves from it are treated - makes the holiday seem more evangelical.

Plus, I've never been a Christian, nor have I ever participated in the overtly religious customs it can entail.

This might explain the difference in our two positions on inclusive seasons' greetings.
 
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