Tag Archives: Merry Christmas

No ‘war’ on Christmas

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Of all the phony, ridiculous and bogus campaign pledges that Donald J. Trump made on  his way to the White House, the one that sticks in my craw is his promise to restore the greeting “Merry Christmas” to our vernacular.

You recall that, right? Donald Trump fomented the phony conservative mantra that liberals/progressives were in cahoots with non-Christians to declare war on Christmas. He castigated business owners for requiring their employees to wish their customers a “happy holiday” after taking their money. I believe he actually promised to “make them” order their employees to offer Christmas greetings.

Stupid, yes? Yes! It is!

OK, so now Trump is about to leave office. We have to endure one more Christmas season with The Donald in the White House. Then it will be Joe and Jill Biden taking up residence in our house. They will populate the place with their children and grandchildren, along with a couple of rescue pooches and a cat.

And they will bring plenty of Christmas cheer with them.

What I do not expect President Biden to do will be to make a phony declaration of war against those who have sought a more expansive view of the holiday season than just what Christians around the world celebrate.

I want to make a quick point of personal privilege.

I celebrate Christmas with all its trappings. I celebrate its secular meaning as well as its spiritual significance. I grew up in the Orthodox Church and became a Presbyterian when I got married nearly 50 years ago. However, all that said, I never, ever have taken offense to someone wishing me a “happy holiday.” Indeed, I long have understood that the individual extending that greeting likely doesn’t know a thing about me or my background; he or she doesn’t know if I am a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist or a Wiccan.

So, when I hear politicians throw out the kind of political bull crap that Donald Trump did four years ago while he campaigned for president, I take it all for what it’s worth.

Which is … not a damn thing!

Where’s your Christmas spirit, Mr. POTUS?

Uh, Mr. President . . . you need to rediscover the Christmas spirit you say you possess.

I certainly remember during your winning presidential campaign how you pledged to bring “Merry Christmas” back into style. No more “Happy Holidays” for you. I believe you said that business employees would be required to wish their customers a Merry Christmas if you are elected president  — as if you have the authority to make ’em do such a thing.

Well, here we are. Christmas is practically upon us and your Christmas spirit has morphed into a prideful pledge to shut part of the federal government down by Friday if Congress doesn’t give you the money you want to build that “big, beautiful wall” along our southern border. Your right-wing hatchet man, Stephen Miller, has all but guaranteed you’re intent on following through with it.

I cannot believe you want to shut down the government on the eve of this holy holiday to make some kind of goofy political point. You keep telling us the wall will make us safer, more secure. You don’t seem to care that a wall flies in the face of our American values, that we longer would be a nation that opens its arms to those who seek to “breathe free.”

Don’t take this the wrong way, Mr. President. I do not favor unsecured borders. I do not favor “open borders,” which is your demagogic way of describing how your opponents feel about border security. Good grief, Mr. President, we have plenty of ways to make our border more secure without building that damn wall along the 2,000-mile boundary we share with Mexico.

This nutty notion, though, of shutting down the government at this time of year suggests to me that you didn’t really mean it in 2016 when  you declared your intention to restore “Merry Christmas” as the preferred holiday greeting. That ridiculous notion sought to convey a Christmas-centric idea that you and others declared falsely had been pushed aside in the name of some phony political correctness.

Which is it, Mr. President? Do you really intend to take exclusive ownership at Christmas time, throwing thousands of federal employees out of work when they are wrapping up their holiday shopping? Do you really mean to douse their Christmas spirit with the Grinch-like initiative of shutting down the government that puts beans on their table?

Mr. President, forgive me for saying this, but you, sir, are a phony advocate for Christmas. If you get your way, you’ll still be able to celebrate the holiday with your customary glitz and glitter down yonder in Mar-a-Lago. What about those who are out of work because of your tantrum over building that ridiculous wall?

Happy holidays, Mr. President.

Is POTUS going to spoil the holiday spirit again?

I’m sure you remember when Donald John Trump was campaigning for president and he said he would require business employees to wish their customers a “Merry Christmas.”

As if he had the authority to do such a thing.

If he’s elected president, the Republican nominee said, he would bring Christmas back into play. No more “Happy Holidays” for that guy. Swell. 

It’s as if Christmas ever disappeared. Which it didn’t. It never has. It never will in a society such as ours where we place so much emphasis on Christmas, whether in the secular, gift-buying, retail frenzy sense or in the spiritual, Christian-based celebration.

What is likely to annoy me in the extreme would be to hear the president make this Merry Christmas brouhaha — a figment of POTUS’s imagination — part of the myriad holiday events in which he will take part.

That would ruin the event. Tree lighting ceremonies well could become platforms for the president to make idiotic declarations about how he is bringing “Merry Christmas” back from the dead.

I am a baptized Christian, a believer in the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place. However, I never — ever! — have taken offense when someone wishes me a “Happy Holidays.” That individual is likely a stranger. He or she doesn’t know a thing about me. He or she might not want to offend me by wishing me a greeting aimed at those who worship a certain way. For that matter, that person might be a flaming atheist who cannot bring herself or himself to mentioning Christmas in any fashion. I would have no idea.

I am OK with that. Honest. It doesn’t matter one bit to me.

Therefore, I find all this Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays kerfuffle to be a made-up, phony, bogus, dubious controversy.

We likely will be able to rest assured that the president of the United States is intent on ensuring that it stays at the top of people’s minds.

Ready for the next ‘war on Christmas’?

Bill O’Reilly doesn’t have a national cable news network these days from which he can lambaste what he has labeled the phony “war on Christmas.”

The Fox News Channel kicked Bill-O off the air after he was accused of sexual harassment. But . . . his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of those who continue to suggest that the “liberal mainstream media” have declared “war on Christmas” by promoting the dreaded “happy holidays” greeting instead of “Merry Christmas.”

That’s all ridiculous.

The so-called war on Christmas has commenced. My wife and I took a gander this afternoon en route to a Thanksgiving dinner with our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter at the “troops” lining up outside a JC Penney store at the Fairview Town Center Mall.

There will be other such lineups occurring later tonight and throughout the next few weeks leading up to Christmas.

Yep, the war is being waged not by the media but by retailers who sucker people into stores to do battle with each other over the latest trendy toys, the latest video games, the latest gadget, outfit or . . .  whatever.

I’ve never bought into the bogus notion that the war on Christmas is the figment of the “mainstream media.” The reality lies in the minds of corporations seeking to parlay our lust for material goods into a Christmas frenzy that will play out in stores across the land.

I will not suit up for this war, thank you very much. It’s not that I am better than anyone else. It’s just that when I was much younger I had a brief encounter with a real war in a far away land. I don’t want to take part in any phony rendition of the term here at home.

So, let the real war on Christmas commence without me.

I’ll reserve my energy for the real thing in just a little more than month. Others of you can just knock yourselves out. Just don’t let me hear about fistfights — or worse — at the mall. Deal?

Trump has a Christmas chip on his shoulder

Donald J. Trump seems to be picking a fight during this season of joy, merriment and holy worship.

He is peppering his speeches with Christmas greetings, implying — falsely, in my view — that Americans have been inundated with politically correct “happy holidays” greetings that diminish the true significance of Christmas.

I want to invite the president to look around and listen carefully to television and other media’s treatment of the holiday season. I am hearing plenty of “Merry Christmas” greetings from TV hosts, journalists, merchants, children … you name ’em, they’re saying it.

The president, furthermore, keeps insisting that his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, diminished Christmas’s significance in our culture by saying “happy holidays” when, in Trump’s view, he should be wishing us Merry Christmas. Of course, he is mistaken. The president and Michelle Obama decked the White House halls of plenty of Christmas décor, just as George W. and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton did and, well, you can go back to George and Martha Washington if you wish.

No ‘war’ on Christmas

What I suspect is occurring here is that the president is continuing the ongoing phony “war on Christmas” narrative that many in the conservative media have declared was underway.

C’mon, Mr. President. Give it a rest. Enjoy the holiday and wish happiness for everyone, even those who don’t celebrate Christmas.

Nothing wrong with 'Happy Holidays'

This comes from a friend of mine in a Facebook post.

“Let’s get this straight right now. If you wish me Happy Holidays I’m going to tell you ‘thanks.’ I may even wish you Merry Christmas in return. I am certainly not going to get ticked off because someone might say happy holidays, the holidays are happy. So, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!”

There you have it.

I join my friend in refusing to take offense if someone wishes me a generic “Happy Holidays” greeting.

That someone likely is a stranger. He or she might be someone I see at the grocery store. We might meet at the gasoline pump as we fill our vehicles with fuel. I might see this person at my part-time job.

During this holiday season, it’s good to remember that next week is the start of Hanukkah, one of holiest of Jewish holidays, begins. What in the world is so terribly wrong with wishing a Jew a “happy holiday” season, even though you might not even know the person’s creed when you make that particular wish?

A Muslim woman walked into the auto dealership where I work part time. Were I to wish her a holiday greeting, I surely wouldn’t wish her a Merry Christmas. She might have offered a Christmas greeting to me, which would have suited me just fine.

My friend’s Facebook post puts all this holiday/Christmas nonsense in its proper perspective.

2014 is coming to an end. The next year will produce its own set of challenges.

Let’s not sweat the small stuff and enjoy this time of the year.