Jason Stanford: A letter from the front lines of the War on Christmas
To all Americans in the world, fellow citizens & compatriots:
I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Republicans under Santa Claus—The War on Christmas is all but lost—The walls cannot long withstand the cannonade of feigned outrage—our flag of embattled tolerance still waves proudly from the walls—I shall never surrender or retreat.
The defeat has long been expected since the armies of commerce and Christianity joined forces, but even in our defensive posture we did not expect stores to bombard us with Christmas carols on Halloween. When the assault came, our disguised troops were extorting the populace for confectionery, leaving our front lines undefended. Now they’re selling Christmas trees out of our Tactical Operations Center.
Our lines overrun, we were powerless to stop Christmas’ assault. For every overhyped complaint about a religious observance on government property, thousands of Holiday pageants in public schools feature songs of Jesus, miracles and mangers. Everywhere you look, homes blaze with colored lights. Normally sane men consider gifting their wives luxury sedans adorned with giant red bows and buying their children expensive electronics. Children pose urgent inquiries to their parents about the coming home invasion from this “Santa.”
Many inhabitants have happily laid down their arms and picked up Gingerbread Lattes. For all the preparations for merriment available to the eye, one must assume that the resistance has gone underground and remains in hiding.
Our allies are abandoning our War on Christmas. On television’s “Glee,” that noted haven for nontraditional values, a recent episode featured a Jewish girl, a gay man and a lesbian singing, “Hark now hear the angels sing, ‘A king was born today’/And man will live forevermore because of Christmas Day.”
My sons, I fear, have quit The Cause. My heart swelled with pride when I saw them inscribe lists of demands. Images of dictating the terms of surrender in the War on Christmas danced in my head, but these hopes were dashed when I chanced to look upon their note pads wherein they had listed LEGO products of such dizzying variety that I had to calm my nerves with a tonic.
I can find no safe harbor in this War on Christmas from the cloying appeals to purchase durable goods for loved ones. There is no refuge from the assumption that the Christ child is appeased by our obligatory and stressful preparations for the annual observance of his arrival. Our lives are henceforth measured in shopping days, and they are dwindling.
It seems I am the lone holdout in the War on Christmas. Tell my wife I loved her—even though she asked me to get the Christmas decorations out of storage and to untangle the lights so we can put up a tree. And I need to make my reindeer cookies, and send my parents their presents, and send out the Christmas cards—I question my own resolve.
Perhaps some who don’t celebrate this Christian holiday pleaded for tolerance in the public sphere, but the carols drowned out their voices long ago. Others might have mistakenly believed that in a pluralistic democracy all are welcome, even those who meekly ask for respect for their minority views. They have since been re-educated that tolerance is discrimination.
This War on Christmas caused needless acrimony and bloodshed, though the blood was as phony as the offense took at “Happy Holidays,” a term meant only to draw the circle of good tidings a little wider.
As long as conservatives insist on a politically rigid observance of Christmas, there will be others who remember talk of peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, though they long ago abandoned their posts. The rebellion in this War on Christmas is over. I am tired.
My heart is sick and sad.
From where the Star of Bethlehem now stands, I will fight this War on Christmas no more forever.
Jason Stanford is a Democratic consultant who writes columns for the Austin American-Statesman and MSNBC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @JasStanford. Stanford’s columns are distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.