Just like the swallows returning to Capistrano, or the first lilacs of spring, once a year you can count on a few pundits at Fox to resuscitate their complaints about the “war on Christmas.” Once again, they claim their beloved holiday is under attack because a handful of atheists in Santa Monica lobby to remove a nativity scene from a city hall, or a suburban school changes its Christmas concert to a holiday concert. Come on, O’Reilly – for several weeks, starting on Thanksgiving and often before, this entire country is covered in an avalanche of lit-up candy canes, giant inflated Santas, and dogs barking Jingle Bells. You can’t go anywhere without being bombarded by Christmas – if it’s under attack, it’s doing pretty darn well. (As Jon Stewart pointed out, since this year “Black Friday” started on Thanksgiving, Christmas is now eating other holidays!)
Of course there are a few loonies out there, fighting the fact that a vast majority of this country celebrates Christmas. But for most of us non-Christians, we have nothing against the holiday and even accept that there will be tinsel, Christmas lights, and dogs barking Jingle Bells everywhere we go. We simply would prefer not to be bombarded with the more religious aspects of the holiday – sparkling lights and metallic ornaments are a lot more inclusive than crosses or baby Jesuses. And wishing people “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” makes us feel less left out, without taking anything away from Christmas. In fact, we hope you have a lovely holiday (while we eat Chinese food and go to the movies). And I hope it’s clear that I respect Christmas – heck, half my gigs this month are thanks to this holiday and the music is gorgeous (other than the dogs barking) – but in this video I’ve tried to explain why your non-Christian friends might be getting a little cranky this time of year. I hope it amuses you, and inspires you to cut them (and me) a little slack!