Monday, December 11, 2006

War On Christmas

The latest salvo in the war on Christmas is the reaction to the Sea-Tac airport’s decision to remove their “holiday trees” rather than risk being considered “exclusive.” Apparently, a local rabbi asked that a menorah be included in the display and airport officials freaked out at the prospect of having to include who knows what—Hindu, Moslem, Wiccan—icons and so decided to can any holiday ornamentation at all.

And now, of course, the war on Christmas paranoiacs are citing this as another instance in the ongoing effort by left-wing namby-pambies to secularize the Christian holiday.

Sure. Right. Whatever.

Seems to me that the primary war on Christmas—if we want to call it that—was already won a long time ago, by all the major manufacturers and retailers who helped turn the holiday into a celebration of consumerism and consumption.

I don’t mind that much, really; I like getting and giving presents and the birth of Jesus Christ seems as good an excuse for that as anything else.

But what does get me is all the hand-wringing over the loss of the real meaning of Christmas or about the multi-culturalization of the season.

I don’t really see how anyone—at least in the Good Ol’ US of A—gets to claim exclusive rights on the meaning of these last few weeks in December. If ever there were a time that belongs to whomever wants it, this is it.

I think if anyone gets first dibs on the season, it ought to be kids. After all, Halloween has pretty much been co-opted by grownups, so maybe this holiday should be set aside—at least at the outset—for children.

Let’s say that all the decisions about what to display and so forth get to be decided by people under 12 years old.

If we restrict these choices to those who are chronologically—as opposed to mentally or emotionally-pre-teens, I think many of the season’s problems will disappear.


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