According to President Trump, we all need to be saying Merry Christmas again. He made this important proclamation at something called the Values Voter summit in Washington D.C. last Friday. He also said stores decorate with red, but promote New Year’s because they are afraid to promote Christmas.
I was just trying to buy a few candles and maybe a nice wreath in the classic fall colors of brown, rust, and yellow.
I am sorry, but it is pretty clear this guy hasn’t been in or near a store for years, and not just because he keeps wearing that baggy suit and egregiously long tomato-red tie. I was in TJ Maxx Thursday (who’s the real Values Voter here?) trying to buy a few pillar candles and maybe a nice wreath in the classic fall colors of brown, rust, and yellow. Too late! I clearly should have shopped for fall right after The War on Easter ended in April.
The Reindeers Are Here
Because what did I find? Shelves of glittering glass trees and silvery reindeer, flannel pajamas covered in more trees and reindeer, festive red throws and pillows with trees and, you’ve got it, reindeer—oh, and Santas and lots and lots and lots of things emblazoned with “Merry Christmas.” Not one pathetic New Year greeting in the bunch. Same result at other various and sundry bargain emporiums. It was October 12th. It was 85 degrees. If there is a War on Christmas, the masterminds behind it have developed an insidious strategy—a fifth column of in-your-face Christmas displays and decorations invading our stores when the body of Labor Day is barely cold.
Bing Crosby, a devout Catholic, sang “Happy Holiday” in 1941.
Of course, there’s an alternative theory. That there is no War on Christmas. That there is no political imperative to control retail holiday décor or personal holiday greetings.
Yes, I’m saying holiday. Like my mother taught me back in sixties—and not the hippie sixties, the all-American Leave It to Beaver sixties beloved by the Values Voters. My mother was raised Catholic but believed that if you did not know a person’s religion, it was polite to wish them “Happy Holidays,” a greeting that also generously encompassed Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
Before Political Correctness
Mom was not some fire-breathing radical, just a nice lady who believed that the holidays were about making people feel good, not excluded. And Happy Holidays, far from being a creation of the politically correct 21st century, was common back then. Bing Crosby, a devout Catholic, sang “Happy Holiday” in 1941, and Perry Como, another Catholic, sang “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” in 1954. I don’t recall any Value Voters smashing their records or getting all up in my mother’s grill and aggressively replying “MERRY CHRISTMAS” to her holiday greetings.
Now, social watchdog organizations keep lists of retailers who aren’t out front with Merry Christmas and sell buttons that say, “It’s Okay to Wish Me a Merry Christmas.” While I am not an extremely religious person, I believe Jesus would find an arm-twisting campaign that forced stores to sell their crap using his name—putting that Christ in Christmas—patently offensive.
The Judeo-Christian values I was raised with—values shared, I might add, by many religions and traditions—include civility, tolerance, and benevolence.
Same with any of his followers who responded to a kindly meant holiday greeting with anything but gracious kindness in return. (He might also have something to say about stores forcing heavy flannel reindeer throws and Merry Christmas pillows on a poor soul searching for pumpkin spice candles in the unseasonable heat of early October. Okay, maybe not.)
“We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values,” Trump told the Values Voters to enthusiastic applause. The Judeo-Christian values I was raised with—values shared, I might add, by many religions and traditions—include civility, tolerance, and benevolence. When people are judged and maligned for wishing others the happiness of the season, those values are indeed under attack. Happy Holidays … and if you find any autumn pillar candles anywhere—text me.