And so, the war begins once again… (Open letter to Obama)

From a neurologist’s blog:

Dear President Obama,

I’m writing to you for the first time.

I don’t want this to be a political blog. There are plenty of other sites for that. But we now face a national crisis of such serious proportions that it dwarfs other issues, such as global warming, health care, and middle-east peace. It now threatens the very fabric of our society, and directly affects every citizen. And I can remain silent no longer.

It’s still September, and every store near me ALREADY HAS THEIR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS UP!

I have nothing against the holidays, Mr. President. Peace on Earth and all that stuff. But moving them up as if they were being held in another time-zone or alternate universe is getting out-of-hand. As far as I know, Christmas hasn’t budged in my lifetime. And treating every day like it was Christmas (like the stores seem to want me to do) is not helping.

The well-respected Nick documentary program, The Fairly Oddparents, has carefully researched what would happen if Christmas were held every day (Episode 107, air date 12-12-01 I have kids, OKAY!). Their conclusion? It would be catastrophic.

More.

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24 Responses to And so, the war begins once again… (Open letter to Obama)

  1. 1
    Robert says:

    Finally, a “war on Christmas” we can all agree on.

  2. 2
    Jake Squid says:

    How weird is it that Crazy Eddie’s was decades ahead of the curve? Do you remember Crazy Eddie’s Christmas in August? How about when that got to be old hat after a couple of years and so they started Crazy Eddies Christmas in August in July? It’s a pity that those psychopathic killers Newmark & Lewis took Crazy Eddie down.

    Until we see Christmas in June, I’m not worried.

  3. 3
    meerkat says:

    The consequences of daily Christmas were also explored in… Reading Rainbow, I think? They ended up with a ton of puppies and ran out of names for them.

  4. 4
    Daran says:

    It’s not the decorations that bother me. You leave them behind when you leave the mall.

    It’s the Christmas songs that bug the lell out of me – the same old songs you hear over and over again, day in, day out, the same songs you heard last year, and the year before, and which so thoroughly colonise your mind that you carry on humming them all day, even when you’re back at home..

    Humbug!

  5. 5
    Tom Nolan says:

    As you know, Daran, we in the UK not only have to put up with Bing Crosby, Boney M and innumerable cathedral choirs chanting in our ears every time we want to buy a tin of beans from October to January, we also, somehow, have to live through the agony that is Slade.

    Is it too soon to say: “Merry Christmas Everybody”?

  6. 6
    Daran says:

    …Slade…

    Dear God!

    The two other, distinctly British songs I can think of, aren’t too bad. I wouldn’t mind listening to “Stop the Cavalry” if it weren’t played quite so often. “Fairytale of New York” is really good. Of course, neither is really about Christmas.

  7. 7
    RonF says:

    Go to any Scout camp and you will find that on July 25th the staff, having been isolated up in the woods for quite a weeks by that time, will have a Christmas tree up. Often with ornaments made of cans spraypainted gold. Gold is preferred over red and green because it is more opaque and thus people are less likely to discover that not all the cans are soft drink cans.

  8. 8
    RonF says:

    Daran, the problem you cite is quite true. Unfortunately what you’re having to listen to is music that has either passed into the public domain or is cheap – and is cheap for a reason.

    I’d also suggest that if you review those songs, you’ll find that they are NOT Christmas songs. They are “winter holiday” or “seasonal” songs. I’ll bet you’ll find that only a few of them have any relation to Christ or Christianity at all. Most of them are of the “Winter Wonderland” type of thing, carefully chosen so as to not offend the sensibilities of non-Christians.

    And no, I’m not on the “Let’s force Wal-Mart to make it’s employees say ‘Merry Christmas’” bandwagon. They’re private organizations, they can do what they want. But if you say “Seasons’ Greetings” to me, you’re going to get “And a Merry Christmas to you!” back.

  9. 9
    Daran says:

    I’d also suggest that if you review those songs, you’ll find that they are NOT Christmas songs. They are “winter holiday” or “seasonal” songs. I’ll bet you’ll find that only a few of them have any relation to Christ or Christianity at all. Most of them are of the “Winter Wonderland” type of thing, carefully chosen so as to not offend the sensibilities of non-Christians.

    I think there’s a cultural difference between the two sides of the water. Here in the UK, we don’t suffer the kind of pervasively-obnoxious Christianity that you seem to get in the States. Consequently, there’s no backlash. Overtly Christian songs are tolerated as much as the merely seasonal.

    The two songs I mentioned as not being that bad, aren’t even seasonal. “Stop the Cavalry” is an anti-war song which contains the a single line “Wish I were at home for Christmas”, followed by some Chrismassy chimes. That was all the marketeers needed to hear. “Fairytale of New York” is a broken drunk’s recollections of Christmasses past, without it being about Christmas. Its colourful lyrics mean that it is rarely played in stores – and probably never uncensored. It is so played on the radio though, again reflective of how much less uptight the Brits are about these things

  10. 10
    RonF says:

    Slade? What song(s) are we talking about?

  11. 11
    RonF says:

    For a few years we had a Christmas concert here at work that consisted of songs presented by employees. About a dozen of us formed a choir and sang some songs during lunch in the cafeteria, and some people also performed solo.

    About the 3rd year we were handed a play list. I noticed that all the songs were of the winter holiday type. Santa, snow and sleighs were in, Christ was out, even songs that didn’t name Him directly such as “Silent Night”. I asked around and got told that HR was afraid of offending someone. Well, they failed – they offended me. No, I didn’t kick up a fuss. But there’s a reason for the season, and from my viewpoint it’s not to help retailers finish the fiscal year with a profit. I simply declined to sing, without giving any reason.

    Apparently I wasn’t the only one. There was only one more performance after that.

  12. 12
    Daran says:

    Slade? What song(s) are we talking about?

  13. 13
    Tom Nolan says:

    Ron, be very, very careful about clicking that link. I mean, to judge from your comments here you seem to be a fairly robust character, with a no-nonsense approach to life. But you just might need counselling if you persist in listening to, and even worse watching, Slade.

    If you lived in the UK you’d be forced to listen to “Merry Christmas Everybody” several thousand times over the Christmas season. It’s about this time of year I start pondering emigration.

  14. 14
    Silenced is Foo says:

    In reference to the cartoon visible in the article, what the Dickens is a frig?

    And yes, Christmas music (or holiday music in general) is an abomination. For some reason, the only Christmas music that doesn’t grind my gears is the stuff they actually sing in Church, and I’m an atheist.

    /and yes, I do generally like to say “Happy Holidays”. BLEAAARGH, I’m trying to kill Christmas by sharing my winter festive goodwill with Jews and Muslims!

  15. 15
    PG says:

    “Fairytale of New York” is probably my favorite secular Christmas song. “Christmas Song” by the Dave Matthews Band is my favorite non-secular Christmas song, though I’m not sure it would meet with RonF’s approval either.

    As for the difference in the level of overt/ obnoxious Christianity in the U.S. vs. UK, it’s amazing what having a state church will do to drain the passion out of religious conviction.

  16. 16
    Tom Nolan says:

    Just in case it’s not clear yet “Merry Christmas Everybody” is the name of that Slade song.

    PG

    As for the difference in the level of overt/ obnoxious Christianity in the U.S. vs. UK, it’s amazing what having a state church will do to drain the passion out of religious conviction

    You guys should try it. Maybe Scientology?

  17. 17
    Simple Truth says:

    I tend to choose Christmas cards with non-denomination sayings out of respect for those who I send them to who aren’t Christians (such as myself) but I’ve never turned down a Merry Christmas. To me, it’s your way of spreading good will. The only people I disagree with are ones who use it to “correct” you when you tell them Happy Holidays or something along those lines. Ugh.

    BTW – I think the cartoon is supposed to say fridge.

  18. 18
    PG says:

    Simple Truth,

    I remember in December 2002 when a roommate and I were going to split a large package of holiday cards from a big box, and were trying to pick one out. Neither of us was very religious (and to the extent I had a religion, it was not Christian), so the overtly religious cards were out. She worked at the State Department; I’d started blogging; we were both Democrats strongly opposed to the war in Iraq who had a large number of hawkish Republican family, friends and colleagues. We got cards that said “Peace on Earth,” despite both of us having a niggling feeling that this year, it was a political sentiment.

  19. 19
    chingona says:

    I’ve never turned down a Merry Christmas. To me, it’s your way of spreading good will. The only people I disagree with are ones who use it to “correct” you when you tell them Happy Holidays or something along those lines.

    Yup. I’ve never been offended by a genuine wish for a Merry Christmas, but I can’t say I care for the hostile Merry Christmas.

    As for cards, I send New Year’s cards. That way we can buy one box of cards for the entire family, and there’s a lot less hand-wringing around the message. This year I considered sending New Year’s cards around now (Rosh Hoshanah), but decided it was 1) possibly passive-aggressive in the same way “correcting” Happy Holidays is and 2) there was no way I’d ever get them out in time. I barely get cards out at all as it is.

    Also interesting to note that this post about the other war on Christmas still somehow managed to drift into the same old war on Christmas.

  20. 20
    RonF says:

    I don’t offer my Christmas wishes in either a hostile or corrective spirit. I’ll accept your greetings with a good will and offer mine in the same fashion, and make no speculation about your motives.

    PG, “Peace on Earth” is an entirely fitting sentiment to be wished at any time, but especially during the Christmas season. Regardless of the politics of either the wisher or the listener.

  21. 21
    RonF says:

    Thanks for the warning, Tom. 1:41 of that was quite enough, thank you.

    … it’s amazing what having a state church will do to drain the passion out of religious conviction.

    One of the greatest benefits of the Establishment clause of the First Amendment is that by preventing the establishment of a state church in the U.S., it prevented government from stultifying and corrupting religion.

  22. 22
    RonF says:

    It’s still September, and every store near me ALREADY HAS THEIR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS UP!

    There should be a Federal law, enforced by special agents with whips and cattle prods and no-knock warrants, that would prevent stores from having any Christmas displays until the day after Thanksgiving. Remember Thanksgiving? Maybe it was different where you all were brought up. Me, I was brought up about 20 miles from Plymouth Rock, and Thanksgiving was a strong rival to Christmas and was given it’s full and due respect and celebration. But that was in my youth, when Miles Standish, William Bradford and William Brewster were still alive and dinosaurs strode the earth.

  23. 23
    chingona says:

    I don’t offer my Christmas wishes in either a hostile or corrective spirit. I’ll accept your greetings with a good will and offer mine in the same fashion, and make no speculation about your motives.

    My apologies, Ron. I thought I detected some hostility right around here:

    I’d also suggest that if you review those songs, you’ll find that they are NOT Christmas songs. They are “winter holiday” or “seasonal” songs. I’ll bet you’ll find that only a few of them have any relation to Christ or Christianity at all. Most of them are of the “Winter Wonderland” type of thing, carefully chosen so as to not offend the sensibilities of non-Christians.

    But apparently I misinterpreted you. Sorry about that.

    And just to reassure you, I’ve never wished anyone a Season’s Greetings in my life.

  24. 24
    PG says:

    At least in New York, we don’t jump into Christmas quite yet because there’s another consumption-heavy holiday to get through first: Halloween. Just saw a new, temporary Ricky’s location opening up a few blocks from where I live.

    Thanksgiving doesn’t really serve capitalism because it’s too concentrated on food and family. You don’t go to parties for it, you don’t buy any kind of special clothing. It’s a bonanza for the meat and carbohydrate industries and not much else.