Happy Holidays — The War on Christmas Edition

Happy December, Happy Holidays, and Happy War on Christmas! I’m sure, by now, you’ve heard of the supposed War on Christmas. It’s one of the biggest bugbears of so-called Conservatives. I say, “so-called” because the first people to declare War on Christmas were the Puritans who banned Christmas in the Massachusetts Colony in 1659 and who among us can claim to be more conservative than those humorless 17th-century religious zealots who banned Christmas because it has so little to do with Christianity? Let’s be real — Jesus isn’t the reason for the season. If you’ve actually read the Bible (as I have), you’ll know that Jesus was reportedly born when “there were shepherds residing in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night.” Hint — that’s not in December. No, it turns out that the “reason for the season” is the earth’s spin axis tilted with respect to its orbital plane… that, and a whole lot of heathen holidays.

It’s also the so-called “conservatives” who’ve tried to push Christmas celebrations earlier and earlier into new frontiers, overshadowing, in the process, those holidays we traditionally celebrated. That’s not, in any meaningful sense, conservative. In early October, I spied a parol hung from a home in the Philippine Village — a total affront to the beloved ancient commemoration of Samhain or Halloween. Is nothing sacred to these iconoclasts? First the Christmas-heads stole “Jingle Bells” from Thanksgiving. Then hey stole St. Nicholas from St. Nicholas Day and then perverted his image by using it to sell junkfood and drink. More recently they’ve attempted to defang Krampus and turn him into some sort of cosplay “Christmas Devil.”

Meanwhile — these “conservatives” have abandoned all of the best Christmas traditions? Where are the Räuchermänner and Weihnachtspyramide and Christmas nutcrackers? What happened to the ghost stories? When’s the last time Wassailers showed up at your door? When, for that matter, is the last time you drank wassail? or Why’d they stop selling mulling spices at Trader Joe’s? When did everyone start thinking that the Twelve Days of Christmas start twelve days before Christmas? There is a War on Christmas, actually — it just turns out that its being waged by the very people who claim to be defending it against “holiday season.” We’re through the looking glass. White is black. And black is white.

My personal view is that Christmas is a fine holiday… but just one of many fine holidays that occurs in December. That’s why I made a printable December holiday calendar for my use — and yours, if you want it. I realize I’m a few days late. When am I not… and isn’t everyone extra busy at Holiday season. Better late than never, I hope. And with that, I wish you again, Happy Holidays — all of them!

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Eric Brightwell is an adventurer, essayist, rambler, explorer, cartographer, and guerrilla gardener who is always seeking paid writing, speaking, traveling, and art opportunities. He is not interested in generating advertorials, cranking out clickbait, or laboring away in a listicle mill “for exposure.”
Brightwell has written for Angels Walk LAAmoeblogBoom: A Journal of CaliforniadiaCRITICSHidden Los Angeles, and KCET Departures. His art has been featured by the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture & Design Museum, the Craft ContemporaryForm Follows FunctionLos Angeles County Store, the book SidewalkingSkid Row Housing Trust, and 1650 Gallery.
Brightwell has been featured as subject in The Los Angeles TimesVICEHuffington PostLos Angeles MagazineLAistCurbedLASpectrum NewsEastsider LABoing BoingLos Angeles, I’m Yours, and on Notebook on Cities and Culture.
Brightwell has been a guest speaker on KCRW‘s Which Way, LA?, at Emerson Collegeand the University of Southern California.
Brightwell is currently writing a book about Los Angeles.

You can follow him on AmebaDuolingoFacebookGoodreadsiNaturalistInstagramMastodonMediumMubithe StoryGraph, and Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Happy Holidays — The War on Christmas Edition

  1. A belated “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia”! And as Jon Stewart once said, if there’s a war then Christmas is the aggressor nation, it’s invading other holidays – not just historically but in the sense that its’ ever-expanding season has placed Thanksgiving under brutal occupation and is coming for Halloween.


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