And lo, it came to pass, in this season of ill will and bad faith, that a primary school teacher somewhere not terribly far from Des Moines banned candy canes “because they form the letter “j” and that stands for Jesus.”
I checked it out on Snopes, the site that I decided to trust because they promise to determine what’s true and not true when public figures are the targets of outlandish claims—that Hillary’s been running a brothel above a Thai restaurant, or that George Soros paid for all those Central Americans to come and overthrow Texas, armed with all those feisty brown kids and some tropical fruit. You can imagine the carnage, as they lob their avocado pits at the five thousand troops!
Women, Jews, illegals! Ya can’t live with ’em and ya can’t live without ’em!
Well, Snopes tells me it’s true about the teacher and the candy canes. Just what we libtards needed, to go with our lumps of coal. Thanks, Cindy! That’s what I’m calling her, Cindy, and damn it if I’m playing to stereotypes, here. I just don’t see an Amanda or a Beatrice or a Patricia getting so granular about the whole Xmas thing. This is Cindy material. Cindy’s well-meaning but tends to get too intense when she thinks she understands something.
This is perfect, because now conservatards, latching onto this one person out of three hundred million people, one overly-earnest Cindy who went a little too far and got a little too zealous about the inclusiveness thing, can stick out their chests and say, “crazy dumb-ass freakazoid Liberals, the people who banned CANDY CANES!“
You know what I’d like for the holidays? I’d like conservatives to relax, enjoy their power and superiority, and just stop saying “war on Christmas,” because there isn’t one. Christmas is still there, in our faces, always jingling and Kris Kringling, always promising a Silent Night but never delivering.
There is no war on Christmas, for the same reason there is no Straight Pride: Christmas wouldn’t die if we torched every crèche and carpet bombed the Santa Claus parade. Christmas, like Joe Straight, is, like it or not, here to stay.
Liberals being what we are, neither is there war on anything that might actually merit one, poverty or racism or the attempt to disenfranchise everyone who isn’t a CEO or Republican or a relative of Donald; no war on anything, because Liberals and Progressives, believing that we are so obviously right that we shouldn’t have to convince anyone, are perpetually sideswiped by unrelenting conservative zeal and gob-smacked into pouty indignation by every conservative schoolyard taunt. Someone who crumples up from being called “snowflake” is just not angry enough; anyone who’s reacting is not leading.
There is no war on Christmas. Everyone can celebrate Christmas who wants to, no one is being stopped, no one’s cup of eggnog is empty, all the mangers and bowls of wassail are filled to capacity. It’s oh so very fucking much Christmas, everywhere, until at least Tuesday. The Gospels are strangely silent about snow, but whatever. Behold in the East! The Three Wise Kardashians cometh, bearing candy canes! RELAX, conservatives! All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds!
Conservatives love to play the disingenuous, “what little ol’ me?” role. They’re just Simple Folk. They pretend not to know that the Happy Holidays generic greeting is a public stance. It’s the stance of governments, who, apart from theocracies (which we claim to abhor), have no mandate to promote let alone enforce one religion; it’s a recognition that Canadians and Americans are celebrating a veritable steamed pudding of different celebrations. All are citizens; all are equal. So, like a wise mom giving all her kids the same toys, public institutions try to be neutral, inclusive.
Likewise businesses, who never met a cultural practice they couldn’t appropriate, ruin, then monetize, have an interest in welcoming all. Happy Holidays!
But in private, we do and say and wish what we like. Public versus private. This is not a difficult concept.
Happy Holidays is not “Politically Correct”, because there is no such thing. There is just the attempt to speak of, and to, others in a way that acknowledges their humanity, their equality and their dignity. Let’s remember that words can and do hurt. Words have connotations, implications, power.
Let’s remember there are certain things that, for the sake of civility, of society and of living together, just should not be said.
Now get out there and enjoy the winter solstice, as appropriated by the Christian Church; light your apple-cinnamon scented candles, blow all your credit, deck your balls with holly and erect your phallic pagan tree. It’s Christmas Eve. I’m going to listen to some John Rutter, bake some shortbread and smoke a joint. Thank you, Jesus!
I mean, Justin.
January 15, 2019: THE SEQUEL
Please have a good look at this image, which I discovered quite by accident:
This page from the January 3rd, 1940 issue of “Variety” states: “From our family to yours, happy holiday, good cheer all year!” (italics mine).
That’s right. From 1940. Happy holiday. Either the war on Christmas started eighty years ago, or it was all just a bunch of conservative baloney. I know which option I’m voting for.