“I was listening to – forgive the expression – an NPR reporter”

Apparently Ms. Deathmountain had a conniption when she realized that, in doing her reporterly duty by calling a spade a spade, she was going to have to use the “c-word” (and no, not the one that gives normal women conniptions).

People talk about this “war on Christmas”. It’s not a war; if it were, there’d be fighting back, and casualties on both sides.  It’s not a war; it’s an edit. The term slowly and thoughtlessly leaves our vocabulary. Much of everyday speech is a parroting back of what we hear. We tend not to speak the same big words that we use when writing, because nobody else does. We pick up a little of the accent when speaking with somebody who speaks accented English. And mindlessly, even if we’re Christians, we say “happy holidays”, because that’s what anyone else says, anymore. The only difference with Totenberg’s crowd is that they think the words are important enough to give offense, and to apologize for. Most of us don’t care even that much.

Y’all want to fight a war for Christmas? Quit wishing people “Merry Christmas” when it’s not December 25. Wish them “Happy Advent”. That’s what it is, and they need to be reminded. If God is going to come to earth, they’d better be ready — especially when it happens again. If they don’t have a concept of Advent (and even many Christians don’t), they’ll have to think about it, which is a Good Thing. If they take Advent seriously, they will take Christmas seriously. Afterwards, you can use “Happy Christmastide” for the Twelve Days. Yes, there are other times to remember in there, but “Happy St. Stephen’s Day” or “Happy Holy Innocents” or “Happy Bris of Jesus Holy Name” is too much too soon, and might tend to harsh their seasonal mellow. Being hit the day after with gift returns at your retail job and being hit with rocks until you die are not exactly the same thing.

And to all of you, happy Holy Days and a merry Christ Mass. (though what Mass isn’t a Christ Mass?)


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