It’s that time of year yet again. Thanksgiving is over. Black Friday is over. November is over. We come to the happiest time of the year for the Fox family. They get to add up all of their cultural battles that they’ve invented inside their heads and combine them into one singular focus. It’s war on Christmas time. I know all of you have been looking forward to it.
If we take a step back we realize the hilarity of it all. If we take more steps back we realize there has been a war on Christmas for multiple generations and the wrong people are winning. Heck, I usually try not to be pessimistic in such times, but some might claim we lost a long time ago.
One of my wife’s relatives threw up a meme around Thanksgiving that said it as succinctly as I could think of. The meme said, “Only in America do we have something called Black Friday where we trample over people for stuff when just one day earlier we were talking about how thankful for the stuff we had.” Maybe I got a word wrong here or there, but that was the general sentiment.
I suppose this began innocently enough. We decorated around the house and maybe put up a few lights. Then, the competitive side kicked in. We began hiring contractors whose job it was to dangle twenty feet in the air off our roof and hang lights, decorations, and life size images of Santa Claus and reindeer. Maybe they climbed some trees to hang some of the new fangled icicle looking things.
Lost in all this exchange are the three messages of Christmas and more generic form of happy holidays. There is the pure religious significance of the day itself. It’s Jesus’ birthday. At least it is the day we choose to acknowledge as his birthday. There are all the feelings and actions that get attached to that. It’s a new beginning that goes along with the theme of a new year and a new beginning.
That brings us to the second message of the season. The term Happy Holidays is an inclusive message that generalizes the time to include other faith traditions. It also more generalizes the meaning. This is where we get the spirit of giving as the meaning of the season. Naturally, corporations love this because it means we buy stuff and religious purists hate it because while it is a positive message, it isn’t exactly the point. However, as far as messages go it is fairly benign.
Naturally, the third message is the pure unadulterated commercialism of the season. I suppose the irony is that many of the Fox talking heads and loud mouth politicians have skipped past unadulterated and just gone to adultery. That’s just an aside though as kids grow up thinking this time of year is a bonanza where they get stuff.
This line of thinking became immortalized when South Park’s Eric Cartman sang “Oh Holy Night.” He mangled the words and sang, “Jesus was born and so I get presents. Thank you Jesus for being born.” The creators have called Cartman the junk in everyone’s soul. Sadly, when the show first aired he seemed to be an extreme example of amoral behavior and character. Now, he seems much more normal. Of course, Fox doesn’t go to war with that. They would have go to war against themselves.