The war on Thanksgiving

Image: L Ruegger

Not wishing to sear my eyeballs and raise my blood pressure, I did not watch yesterday’s “Hannity” on Fox News. And apparently I picked a particularly good day to do it (although I do so every day).

Hannity’s guest was Sarah Palin, there to tout her new book about the war on Christmas, oddly titled A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas. (Typical Palin, conflating war on Christmas, Happy Holiday, and Merry Christmas). Fox News, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, and a Palin-authored treatise about the imaginary war on Christmas. That’s enough to give a mild-mannered liberal atheist both heartburn and a stroke.

First of all, Palin can’t write. That’s been well established. And as anyone with ears knows, she can barely speak coherently. So let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and hope she hired a really good ghostwriter for her latest “literary” endeavor.

Nothing, of course, can help her lame premise — that there’s a war on Christmas. Luckily Hannity was there to provide support, as reported by Media Matters:

While Hannity wrung his hands about the latest “unbridled and seemingly unprecedented” attacks on Christmas, Palin opined that “angry atheists” armed with attorneys “want to tell us, they want to tell patriots, they want to tell traditional Americans, that no longer can you acknowledge that Jesus is the reason for the season.”

Well, Mr. Hannity and Ms. Palin, I’ve got some complaints of my own when it comes to Christmas. Not only is there not a war on Christmas, there is a war by Christmas. Christmas, not content to have December 25th noted on every calendar in the world, has managed to turn most of December into one long holiday from work and school, and has now set its sights on November. The next big objective is the complete usurpation and obliteration of Thanksgiving. Christmas’s armies of retailers, its mercenaries, have conspired to extend Black Friday into Black Thursday Night and Friday — possibly even Black Thursday Afternoon — with their ever-earlier openings, chipping away at what used to be a quiet family evening filled with mellow conversation and tryptophanic haze.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Ms. Palin, Jesus hasn’t been the reason for the season for quite a few years. Retailing has become the reason. So save your wailing about “patriots” and “traditional Americans.” Thanksgiving is more patriotic and traditionally American than Christmas ever was, and you and your mercenaries are well on the way to destroying it.

There’s no war on Christmas and never has been. But Christmas is sure as hell waging war on Thanksgiving. Don’t talk to me about a war on Christmas when retailers everywhere have been hanging Christmas decorations since the first of November and advertisers have been talking about Christmas layaways since before Halloween.

No, there’s no war on Christmas. Maybe, Ms. Palin, just maybe, since you’re still feeling so defensive about all this, your problem might be something more … ahem … “fundamental” …


15 thoughts on “The war on Thanksgiving

  1. retailers everywhere have been hanging Christmas decorations since the first of November

    Been way before Halloween around here this year – I envy the restraint of your retailers

    Has been about giving ever bigger gifts for many years – what happened to the modest but very thoughtful gift?

    What about the thought behind the gift?

    Why are so many people brainwashed into thinking they can buy love from someone with some large expensive gift that makes the other person feel uncomfortable?

    1. The only local establishment I’ve been in this year is the supermarket. Walmart, Target, etc. have probably been in Christmas mode since mid-October. I know one year I wandered into Zale’s in early October and interrupted a clerk hanging Christmas decorations.

      I always try to find thoughtful, personal, carefully chosen gifts. It’s gotten really difficult on a retirement-sized budget. Even little things have gotten so expensive!

      And when was the last time you got a handmade gift from someone?

      1. Been a while since I have received handmade BUT many of my friends and relatives have received handmade for some years – one year everyone got very nice shopping bags (hold 6 x 2 liter pop bottles with a bit of space left over) in their college colors when I could find the colors – worked most of the time

        But there was the year I made a custom bag for a friend – gave it to her and she thought it was nice – I pointed out that the color was for one of the colleges she attended – at that point she started crying – seems the college was a very bad memory – I had known the 2nd college was a very bad memory – turned out both were real bad – she then got engaged and moved back to the town of the first college and was studying for the bar exam (different state than she was admitted in) – the class was filled with student from the 1st college – when they figured out the bag was their school colors, they all wanted the bag – so no she had something that was very desirable (a genuine custom one of a kind) – at that point she decided that she had been a bit hasty in judging the bag as bad and it became a valued possession!

        The bags were like the Red & Blue bag 2nd picture down (this was the most involved bag I have made –

      2. Those bags are awesome. My sister-in-law made a pair for me as reusable grocery bags 20 or 30 years ago. I used them for everything you can imagine, and actually still have one of them somewhere. I can’t think of a more versatile, useful gift.

  2. Christmas isn’t Christmas anymore – it’s marketing and sales events. It stoking the economy, people. Same as Valentines, Mother’s/Father’s dayHalloween, St Patrick’s Day, Cinco de mayo…and not some have discovered Dia de los muetos (which is not Mexican Halloween – if I calm down enough I’ll do a post about what I saw in DC concerning Dia de los muetos – in the land of the enlightened and the champions of diversity of culture…)
    Can’t watch the hyper-excitable people
    Although I do feel like anyone can say anything insulting or rude about Christians these days while all other faiths/philosophies are off limits and sheltered from similar – which really isn’t equality. Respect all around or equal insults and slams for all. (which is ok with me – people need to laugh at themselves and stop being so quick to take offense)
    Why are people so intolerant and unwilling to live and let live? All the extremists are annoying.
    Christmas? The more they blare and advertise, the more I ignore them and decide to downsize.
    Yeah, we exchanged homemade gifts until my brother married someone who HAD to receive jewelry – and expensive jewelry….raised their kids the same way…spoiled a lot of fun and family traditions.

    1. We’re a busier, more materialistic society. I get that. It’s just sad.

      As for the religion thing, you tend to reap what you sow. If you insult other religions, or try to force yours on other people, you will not be well thought of. If you disrespect others, you invite disrespect. Live and let live is a great rule, and so simple. Beats me why people can’t seem to understand how it works.

      I’ve been a bah humbugger for decades, thanks to a mother-in-law from hell. And every year I start humbugging a little earlier than the year before. But I verge on apoplexy when I see Thanksgiving threatened. Maybe we need a national law forbidding retailers to open before, say, 9 am on Black Friday. It’s a cinch that as long as retailers are free to do what they want, they’ll keep opening earlier. I figure Thanksgiving has maybe, at most, 10 more years. After that it will be Big Macs at the mall and turkey farmers will be out of business.

  3. Great post! Among other things, how dare Ms. Palin equate patriotism or traditional Americanism with Christianity? Apparently she knows nothing about the founding fathers and their vision for this country. It is a shame that some media continue to allow her to present her views about anything.

    1. She’s the biggest bubblehead to stumble into the political limelight in decades, thanks entirely to John McCain, and she’s an affront to intelligent, patriotic Americans everywhere who actually know their history. I hate that media continue to give her any attention at all; my only solace is telling myself it’s equivalent to the fascination of watching a slow-motion train wreck.

  4. Excellent essay on the “war on thanksgiving”, PT. You speak for me as well, including your comment on Christianity’s intolerance of other religions. [ Except for “tryptophanic”. Huh? 🙂 ]

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