Saturday, December 03, 2005

Merry happy Kwanhanukamas holiday! And a happy New Festivus

Sometimes, just for fun, I listen to conservative talk radio.

It always, no matter the topic, gets me enraged. Which is great if I'm travelling a long way and get sleepy. Wakes me right up.

But, yesterday, I was on my way to work and listening to a local right-leaning talk radio station. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the show. But they were discussing Christmas. Specifically, Wal-Mart's alleged mandate to its employees not to say "Merry Christmas" to its customers.

According to the show hosts, Wal-Mart was trying to be all-inclusive to its varied customers and their many religions and backgrounds. I can understand why a business would want to do that. And, suprisingly, the show host agreed with me. Why alienate customers? If you're in the money-making business, you don't make money by pissing off your customers.

What surprised me was the host's next statement. He wasn't upset about the ban on "Merry Christmas" (Which, by the way isn't even true. Check out this story.). He was bothered by the fact Wal-Mart's current ad campaign was "Home for the Holidays," instead of "Home for Christmas." He was outraged that a national retail chain would choose to slight the most major of Christian holidays. And I think his views are colored by this Fox News' commentator John Gibson's book, "The War on Christmas."

But wait.

I thought Christians were sick and tired of the commercialization of Christmas. I thought it was about the birth of Jesus.

So now that Wal-Mart has agreed with the Christians and taken Christmas out of its advertising, the Christians feel left out and want back in?

Ok. Now I'm really confused.

6 comments:

aviyah said...

I don't understand how the guy (was it Burt or Kurt by the way? Or Matt Murphy maybe?) sees a difference in the "Home for the Holidays" campaign vs. the "Merry Christmas" issue. It's the same exact thing. They should make people feel comfortable once they are in the store but not before they get there?

As a Jew, I am not offended when someone tells me Merry Christmas. However, I know that even if they say Happy Holidays IT IS ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS ANYWAY. That commercial Wal Mart has now with the teenybopper boy singer... Jesse McCartney I think, where he sings about being Home for the Holidays, there are Christmas decorations everywhere. http://www.walmartfacts.com/images/jessea.jpg I forget whether there is a Christmas tree, but trust me, poinsettias, mistletoe, and green and red bows everywhere are NOT traditional in Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist homes during this season.
They may say "happy holidays' at some stores but there are still Rudolphs, Santas, and Christmas trees hanging on the storefronts and on every corner.

I'm pretty used to that stuff and it doesn't really offend me. I think people should be allowed to say Merry Christmas or whatever they want. I do appreciate efforts at being more inclusive. I wouldn't choose to have everything so overtly Christian everywhere but I realize and accept that that is the way it is here. (I would draw the line at nativity scenes in public places, and mixing church and state). I've come to enjoy the Christmas season for the mushy, family movies, spirit of giving, pretty lights and even songs before they get too annoying (of course many of those songs were written by Jews which is a testament to how American Jews appreciate Christmas but that's another story).

What does offend me, greatly, is that any Christian would think that just because the word "Christmas" isn't broadcast from every public streetcorner every hour of the day that their RIGHTS are somehow being taken away or even that they are being persecuted. The hell?

There's a woman at my office who is leading a petition drive against the mall to try to get them to say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. Her teenage son emailed her that that offends him and she went off about how SHE is offended that he thinks that, he doesn't appreciate the spirit of Christmas, and how people should just get over it because "We're the majority in this country." (I'm guessing she watches Fox.)

For heaven's sake. Everything is all about you anyway. You have the majority, it's a comfortable, great, feeling, but in order to be really happy you have to rub it in everyone else's faces? It's like the whole Ten Commandments issue. What has made these people so insecure? I believe it's the leaders of the radical right, who have to make people paranoid about something or they won't get elected again. The whole 'War on Christmas' is a great diversion from the real war.

I guess I have some strong feelings about this issue. ;)

David said...

I thought Christians were sick and tired of the commercialization of Christmas. I thought it was about the birth of Jesus.

So now that Wal-Mart has agreed with the Christians and taken Christmas out of its advertising, the Christians feel left out and want back in?

Ok. Now I'm really confused.


Then you should stop confusing yourself with false arguments. ;)

Despite your comment that "Wal-Mart has agreed with the Christians," I haven't seen anything saying that Wal-Mart took the action in deference to Christians. To the contrary, as you stated earlier, the action was taken in deference to other groups.

And I think any notion that Wal-Mart has agreed with Christians that Christmas should not be commercialized can be belied rather quickly upon walking into an actual Wal-Mart.

That said, I myself have no problem with them saying "holidays" instead of "Christmas." I understand they have a larger audience than just me.

And, frankly, when the Christian church is upset because they can no longer count on getting evangelism done through a Wal-Mart ad flyer, they've got much bigger problems than that.

aviyah said...

This column in the New York Times today was interesting and relevant.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/opinion/04sun3.html?incamp=article_popular

Speed42 said...

Oh, that is so appropriate, aviyah! Thanks!

That's pretty much what I wanted to say, but so much more eloquently and with historical facts.

Kevin Smallwoood said...

The real truth about Christmas is, it's loaded with pagan rituals.

Here is some example. Santa is a LIE,and a lie is a lie! The tree with lights and bulbs? what does this have to do with Christ? mistole toe, again what's up with that? True Chistians, need to Read up on the orgin of Christmas and you will see how it is steep in pagan rituals. really... Do think that Jesus, exact birthday is not known for a reason? has anyone stop think that God did not mention it because he is showing us christ death was more impotant than his birth? one last question... Why is it out all the servants of God, none of them had a recorded birthday celebration mention.

Then who really benfit from Christmas? is it..Christ,man or the devil?

Christ said," The truth will set you free"

Kevin Smallwoood said...

The real truth about Christmas is, it's loaded with pagan rituals.

Here is some example. Santa is a LIE,and a lie is a lie! The tree with lights and bulbs? what does this have to do with Christ? mistole toe, again what's up with that? True Chistians, need to Read up on the orgin of Christmas and you will see how it is steep in pagan rituals. really... Do think that Jesus, exact birthday is not known for a reason? has anyone stop think that God did not mention it because he is showing us christ death was more impotant than his birth? one last question... Why is it out all the servants of God, none of them had a recorded birthday celebration mention.

Then who really benfit from Christmas? is it..Christ,man or the devil?

Christ said," The truth will set you free"