‘Tis the season for argument

It doesn’t surprise me anymore that Christmas has not only become commercialized, but politicized. Our friend from the other side, DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee, sent out his message and it landed in my mailbox the other day:

The official organization charged with electing Republicans to the House — the national Republican Party! — thinks that telling people “Happy Holidays” is something that only liberals do. They’re even selling coffee mugs and t-shirts with that claim and using the proceeds to elect more Republicans. It isn’t just divisive. It’s offensive. As Democrats (and Americans) we want everyone to enjoy whatever holiday it is that they’re celebrating this time of year. And that goes for our Republican friends, too.

They link to a space where you can Tweet greetings to Republican friends from the DNC. I guess my question for Mo is who’s really offended by being told Merry Christmas? Those Scrooges would probably sneer back if you told them to have a nice day.

Dan Bongino was one to fire back:

Too often we stand down when confronted with the dismissal of long-standing traditions in order to appease those who would use feigned offense for political gain. There is no reason to shy away from the words “Merry Christmas”. So as we begin to celebrate this joyous season, I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

So who did Dan offend? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? The whole thing started when the National Republican Congressional Committee placed in their gift shop a T-shirt which said “‘Happy Holidays’ is what liberals say” on the front and “Merry Christmas” on the back. A few days later it was pulled, but only because the shirt sold out.

I understand there are a few people who don’t celebrate Christmas, but the greeting has become shorthand for the sentiment expressed in the term “happy holidays.” So Merry Christmas to you, and make sure to put coal in the stockings of those few liberals who are offended. Not only is that a good sentiment, but environmentally incorrect as well – a great twofer!

Wishes for a Merry Christmas 2012

As always, I will take Christmas Day off to spend with my loved ones which are around, but as you’ll see tomorrow I broke my tradition and added a little stocking stuffer you can read.

Many of you know that I work on a peripheral basis with the retail industry, since writing and book sales don’t pay all my bills. That is what it is, but once again as last year I noticed many stores weren’t busy. However, it seemed this year like shoppers rallied at just about the last minute in certain popular stores – no, it wasn’t wall-to-wall but there appeared to be a little added incentive to get good gifts. Perhaps people seem to have just a little confidence things will improve.

Naturally we still have family and the original reason we celebrated the holiday to begin with as items to fall back on. I’ve noticed over the years that the stuff we buy is generally of a fleeting amusement – things which may eventually find their way to the back of the closet, break down, or otherwise fall from usefulness in a short time. But family is hopefully much more long-lasting.

This year, though, I write in the aftermath of tragedy in Connecticut, a sad occasion for dozens of families affected by the incidents at Sandy Hook. It creates a little bit more depression in the midst of a time which is supposed to be joyous for all, but one which studies have shown is among the most stressful for certain people due to the very short daytime period around the winter solstice. Soon enough, though, we will see the rebirth of hope which comes with a new year.

But there was a time a couple thousand years ago where we all had a reason for hope, and that’s really what the celebration should be about. To that end, once again for your holiday listening pleasure I bring you my friends from Semiblind doing  ‘O Holy Night’. (You may have to goose the file and start Windows Media Player to get it to play, but it’s worth it.)

Merry Christmas to all of my friends and readers.