12/14/2005

Bah Humbug!

Filed under: — Kate @ 6:04 am EST

Alright, I feel a need to go on the record here and say this…

ENOUGH WITH ALL THE CHRISTMAS BULLSHIT!!!

Every year it just gets worse, and I’m sick of it.

I’ve become so cranky that it’s ruined all the fun and joy for me.

I’m a cold cynical shell of what my Christmas self used to be.

We can’t go on like this, America.

So I am going to tell you how we can start fixing it.

First: Take back the music.
Christmas music should only be played in the month of December—even better, limit it to just a couple weeks. But if we could just keep it contained within December, I believe we would see a marked improvement.

Now, having said that, there are certain songs which must be retired from rotation and never ever played again. No matter what.

They are as follows:
“Wonderful Christmastime,” by Paul McCartney
“Please Daddy, Don’t get Drunk this Christmas,” by John Denver
“Silent Night,” sung by Stevie Nicks
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” sung by anyone
“Feliz Navidad,” sung by anyone

This list is just a start. Suggestions are welcome.

Second: Decorate responsibly.
There should never be any holiday decorations or Christmas lights until after Thanksgiving. Until I gets me turkey and pumpkin pie, I don’t want to see freaking Santa Claus and goddamn Christmas trees all over the place!!

Stores should keep their holiday displays under wraps until the week before Thanksgiving. They get an exception to the “post-turkey” rule, so they can be ready to sell stuff to us on Black Friday. But a week should be more than enough to get ready.

We must permanently ban those awful giant inflatable lawn monstrosities. There’s just no excuse for them. Or at least make it legal for me to sneak around and set them on fire.

Third: Stop bitching about the “War on Christmas.”
There’s no goddamn war! It’s all a conspiracy concocted by Bill O’Reilly and people with a persecution complex and nothing better to do.

Try to remember that if someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” it doesn’t make them an ungodly pagan.* After all, there are a few non-Christians in this country, and what’s wrong with trying to include everyone?

In being ignorant or insensitive about another person’s faith or culture, you exclude them. Do we want to make Christmas the time of year when we ignore everyone who doesn’t share our particular set of values? It reminds me of grade school. “We’re all in the Jesus club, and you other kids can’t play.” That doesn’t seem very Christian, now does it?

Remember freedom of religion? That means everyone’s religion, not just yours. And that means you have to exercise tolerance and maybe make a few compromises once in a while. In order to live among other humans, everyone in this world makes compromises each day. So why should this be any different?

My family celebrates Christmas, so to them I usually say “Merry Christmas.” I have many Jewish coworkers and friends, and I usually wish them a Happy Hanukkah. But I’ve always used the phrase “Happy Holidays” with everyone.

I always saw it as simplified way to say “I hope you enjoy whatever holidays you might be celebrating this year, including secular ones like New Years, as well as all the fun holiday-related activities that you might do on the days before and/or after the actual holidays.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that many people who consider themselves atheist or agnostic—or those who just don’t give religion much thought at all—still come from families with Christian traditions. Remember that religion is not only about faith. When religious traditions exist long enough, some of them become part of culture as well.

My family celebrates Christmas. We decorate a tree. We sing. We exchange gifts. What am I supposed to do? Sit in the corner?

No one is trying to take Christmas away! It will always be there. How, if, or when people choose to celebrate it is a personal choice.

Bill O’Reilly says he’s only trying to promote respect for a holiday that’s celebrated by 95% of Americans. But if 95% of us celebrate it, how is it really in any danger?

*Which if they were, would of course be their constitutional right.

24 Responses to “Bah Humbug!”

  1. Stan Says:

    In my mind, the christmas season doesn’t start until after Thanksgiving so I’m pretty safe when it comes to your rules. Heck, I don’t even decorate the outside of my house.

  2. Brian W. Sharma Says:

    I agree with you on all points, except we should probably ban all Christmas music (as a genre, it’s terrible). By the way, you are welcome to set my neighbor’s inflatable lawn decorations on fire whenever you want to. I can even get you a discount on a lawyer for your inevitable court appearance that follows :)

  3. Lushy Says:

    You had me until Feliz Navidad. Why all the Jose Feliciano hatred? Give a blind spanish soul singer some love…

    I want to wish you a merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart! FELIZ NAVIDAD! FELIZ NAVIDAD!

  4. Kate Says:

    Stan, I’m glad to hear that you’re not contributing to the downfall of society.

    Brian! Hi there! I would like to keep some Christmas music—there are songs I really love. I just can’t enjoy them anymore. And thanks for the offer of legal help. I may have to take you up on that if the arson gets the best of me.

    Lushy, I’m sorry, but that song is so annoying! It has to go.

  5. Lushy Says:

    You’re a mean one, Mrs. Grinch…

    FELIZ NAVIDAD! FELIZ NAVIDAD! Prospero ao y FELICIDAD!!!

  6. Stan Says:

    Just to add some scroogidity to the conversation, I passed a house on the way home last night that had 8, count ‘em 8, inflatable x-mas decorations on the front lawn. Granted it’s a 5 acre piece of land between Skippack and Harleysville, but still. No matter how much road frontage you have, 8 inflatables is too many.

  7. Manchild Says:

    I don’t decorate, and I think Americas bullshit “war on Christmas” is kinda cute. We all know America loves a war, (War on drugs, war on terror, war on science) so it’s like you all are giving yourselves a christmas present. Yay! We can have a war at Christmas time!!

    Some songs that have to go…
    “Do they know its Christmas?” by various
    “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby
    “Walking in the air”, by Aled Jones
    “Merry Christmas Everybody” by Slade

    I never want to hear them again.

    And the only time I ever want to hear “Let it snow” is when Die Hard is ending.

  8. daveT Says:

    as long as i can hear dominic the italian christmas donkey. im gold. been too lazy/tired to set-up any X-mas stuff. always wondered why it is X instead of christ??? but i have been running the sunny 104.5 christmas music all day every day, after preston and steve, on the work compy since NOV 5th… i do have white christmas lights up around the ceiling of the living room, but they have been up 2 years… more of the AMC movie theater effect…

    clickity click… its dominic the donkey
    clickity click
    the italian christmas donkey..

  9. Manchild Says:

    always wondered why it is X instead of christ???

    Well, X (or chi) is the first letter in the Greek name for Christ ie.
    ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (or Chi - rho - iota - sigma - tau - omicron - sigma, Cristos)

    So Xmas is Christmas. It’s just easier, shorthand, and less likely to offend non-christians.

  10. Kate Says:

    less likely to offend non-christians

    First of all, why is it less likely to offend if it means the exact same thing? Second, why would it offend anyone anyway? I don’t get it.

    Thanks for the lesson, btw.

  11. Melissa Says:

    Then y’all probably don’t want to come to our apartment between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. We have all five strands of lights up in the living room and every decoration we own is out and on display. We don’t really know the meaning of moderation when it comes to Xmas decorating.

    I agree that the “war on Christmas” is bullshit though. Like you said Kate, Christmas isn’t going anywhere so does it kill us to be inclusive of those who don’t celebrate? I don’t think so.

  12. Kate Says:

    Then y’all probably don’t want to come to our apartment between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

    As long as you decorate after Thanksgiving and don’t have any 8′ inflatable snowmen, I’m sure I’d like it just fine. :-) After all, I didn’t say not to decorate, just to “decorate responsibly.” You know, like drinking.

  13. Stan Says:

    Right, always have a designated decorator.

  14. Kate Says:

    Manchild, I’d keep “Do They Know it’s Christmas” purely for the comical value. That song never fails to crack me up.

    And “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby is sacred (in a secular sort of way), so it stays. Maybe I’d feel otherwise if I heard it a zillion times a year, but I usually only catch it once or twice.

  15. Kate Says:

    daveT: i have been running the sunny 104.5 christmas music all day every day, after preston and steve, on the work compy since NOV 5th

    Dude, you are seriously deranged. If I listened to that much Christmas music, I’d literally be in the fetal position, drooling, and rocking back and forth in a corner somewhere.

  16. Melissa Says:

    I don’t know how responsible we were, when the Christmas lights are on, they are bright enough to read by…we no longer need to turn on any house lights at night.

    Of course we were drinking spiked hot chocolate when we decorated so there may be a connection after all. Stan’s right, we should have had a DD.

  17. Stan Says:

    Every heard Holy $h!t It’s Christmas by Red Peters. Very funny stuff.

  18. Kate Says:

    Every heard Holy $h!t It’s Christmas…

    Can’t say that I have. I’ll take that under advisement.

  19. daveT Says:

    Dude, you are seriously deranged

    ah ha so you are finally figuring out my problems..

  20. Melissa Says:

    Normally I love the song but since I’ve entered this discussion, I’ve had Feliz Navidad stuck in my head for two days now. Husband is getting coal in his stocking… = )

  21. Kate Says:

    Hee hee, sorry Melissa!

  22. Manchild Says:

    I had the good fortune to meet Denise Crosby once. (I gave her flowers too, cause I’m a gentleman) and while chatting about stuff, she told me about as song she wrote in her teenage rebellious years called “Black Christmas”

    I love that woman. :)

  23. Manchild Says:

    First of all, why is it less likely to offend if it means the exact same thing?
    Cause not everyone knows that, and some people actually think the X is derogatory in some way. (I’m looking at you, Bill O’Reilly)

    Second, why would it offend anyone anyway? I don’t get it.

    In my limited experience, some people find writing the name christ to be an abomination. (e.g Some jews I know)

  24. daveT Says:

    BTW, MC, thanks for the X-mas explanation. tho i doubt i will remember it when the time arises to need that info.