Dude, Where’s My War On Christmas?

For decades, conservatives have claimed that evildoers are out to stop the holiday. So what happened to the war this year?
From left: Dana Perino, Jeanine Pirro, a man dressed as Santa Claus, Jesse Watters and Jessica Tarlov pose during the FOX News Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 21 in New York City.
From left: Dana Perino, Jeanine Pirro, a man dressed as Santa Claus, Jesse Watters and Jessica Tarlov pose during the FOX News Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 21 in New York City.
Michael Loccisano via Getty Images

So far this year, only one skirmish.

A library in Dedham, Massachusetts, had no Christmas tree. (The reason was vague.) A library employee complained on social media, triggering responses that quickly descended into anger, threats and bullying. Yeah, that’s the spirit.

It didn’t seem to matter to the pearl-clutchers that the building was adorned with everything else Christmas: a wreath at the door, statuettes at the front desk, and a healthy selection of Christmas-themed books and movies on the shelves. Even a gift-wrapping station.

In the end, the library put up a tree. The whole affair lasted just a few days.

Sadly, this wouldn’t even have been an issue 25 years ago. But for the past two decades, a conservative narrative has brainwashed people into believing that evil forces are out to destroy Christmas. (Talk about being “groomed.”)

Yet, one pitiable Fox News host doltishly took credit for the library reversing course, claiming, “We’ve won the first battle in the war on Christmas.”

Right. Pull this leg and it plays “Jingle Bells.”

There are three things you need to know about the supposed war on Christmas:

1) There never was one.

2) Anyone who said there was, either was delusional or a liar.

3) Profiteers used it for financial gain — which is ironic, since the very groups that should have been horrified by the crass commercialization of Christmas instead contributed to it.

Ask yourself: With all the years of the past two decades spent fulminating over this silly media sham, is Christmas any less celebrated than it ever was? Look around. Christmas trees are everywhere — the White House, Rockefeller Center and the town square.

Ever driven anywhere on Christmas Day? Virtually no traffic. I wonder where everyone is.

Where I live in California, each year the local fire department drives up my street and throughout the town with Santa Claus atop the firetruck so families can come out and wave hello — which they do even when the mercury drops into the 20s.

Just a half-mile away sits a “Christmas row” neighborhood where every house — 150 in all — glistens with lights, giant homemade figurines, Santas, reindeer and toys. Cars and the occasional limo creep along, bumper to bumper, with families gawking as homeowners sit outside around portable fire pits, greeting passersby with festive cheer and hot chocolate.

More than once, out-of-towners have stopped at my house in search of this neighborhood, clearly not fooled by the humble holiday assortment on my front lawn.

I always kid, “You drove all this way to see lights?”

They always say the same thing: “It’s Christmas!”

Alarmists have typically used the “war” as a metaphor for a declining America.

“Our traditional American culture,” one columnist wrote during the purported conflict’s heyday in 2009, “is vanishing due to multiculturism, political correctness and a general negative view of American family traditions.”

But the holiday’s origins are hardly American. The Christmas tree comes from Germany. The yule log? Norway. Santa dates back to antiquity.

Seems to me that America’s greatest contribution to the Christmas tradition is our crass commercialization of it. The push to buy starts earlier and earlier. Once upon a time, Thanksgiving marked the true beginning of the holiday season, until retailers succumbed to the debauchery of dollars that brought us Black Friday cattle stampedes. Eventually, stores began setting out their brassy displays of poinsettias and Christmas lights right after Halloween. Many now do it before that.

Yet, no complaints from self-appointed culture warriors defending Christmas’ honor. No, they were too busy cashing in as well.

The Fox crusade against infidels began in earnest in 2005 with the sale, or hawking, of then-network anchor John Gibson’s “The War on Christmas.” Gibson’s drivel hit bookstores nationwide Oct. 20, and that very day Fox aired the first of five dozen segments about the evil plot — “liberal,” of course — complete with lavish plugs for the book or for the Christmas baubles peddled on the website of the network’s premiere anchor at the time, Bill O’Reilly.

Others quickly began ringing their cash registers. Christian enthusiasts bought buttons, bumper stickers, trinkets and other trifles from groups like the Mississippi-based American Family Association, a Christian legal aid group then known as the Alliance Defense Fund, and the Liberty Counsel, a conservative law firm affiliated with the late Jerry Falwell. The Liberty Counsel’s “Help Save Christmas Action Pack,” likely costing just pennies to make, sold for $25 — a suggested donation, no doubt.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never did so many get so much out of so little.

This so-called war has to be one of the most laughable campaigns on record, right up there with “Obama will take away all your guns!” We never did get those death panels, did we? Still got your guns, don’tcha?

Face it: If you bought into the war-on-Christmas narrative, you were hoodwinked. The question is whether you can finally admit it. More importantly, will you learn not to trust the same hucksters who continue to peddle fear, who distort to manipulate, who lie to you to gain for themselves? It’s a con as old as dirt, with the grifters still lurking on cable, podcasts, blogs and social media. Caveat emptor.

From where I sit, Christmas looks just fine. The “war” was nothing but a farce. Christmas won. Easily.

Christmas always wins. Every year, it approaches, it arrives and it ends. It returns whether there’s a tree or not, no matter how they greet you in the stores, no matter the design of the coffee cups, no matter the rants of the grievance groomers, self-righteous cranks, or self-proclaimed culture warriors.

Just look around. It’s still Christmastime. Amen.

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