In Defense of Saying “Happy Holidays”

Fox News’ greatest holiday tradition and perhaps its greatest ongoing bullshit dissemination is its annual reminder that we are in the middle of a war — a “War on Christmas.”

Fox News’ greatest holiday tradition and perhaps its greatest ongoing bullshit dissemination is its annual reminder that we are in the middle of a war — a “War on Christmas.” It’s the channel’s A Charlie Brown Christmas special, but way more devious and occasionally funnier.

The newshounds at Fox’s primary evidence for this imaginary war is that some people now say, “Happy holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas,” when the holiday season (which includes everything from Hanukkah and the Winter Solstice to Bodhi Day, Lohri and Kwanzaa) rolls around. Not only do people have the nerve to be sensitive to other cultures on their own accord, some businesses (mostly retailers) have decided to force their employees to say, “Happy holidays,” instead of giving praise to one particular set of religious beliefs with a “Merry Christmas” greeting. That they do it mostly to not offend customers and make more money doesn’t matter to Fox. They’ve got a war to promote!

Offensively religious (and mostly older) people who can’t fathom that the world doesn’t revolve around their beliefs are a big part of Fox’s audience. The stupid people who bite the channel’s “War on Christmas” bait find cultural sensitivity outrageously offensive. These same people would have a brain aneurysm if a Target cashier were to greet them with, “Assalamu alaikum.”

Along with the misguided “This country was founded on Christian principles!” reasoning (pretty sure religious freedom was more important to the Founding Fathers), people who are upset by non-denominational well wishes seem mostly angered because saying “Merry Christmas” is how it has always been for them. “I’ve said this/heard this for my whole life and now the PC police are taking it away!” This is the same argument people use in defense of using a racial slur in the name of a pro football team.

Essentially, Fox News is trying to make pariahs out of people who are not “attacking Christianity,” but simply trying to be kind and thoughtful. I assume that the millions of Jewish people in America get over hearing “Merry Christmas” at a young age; it would be debilitatingly stressful if that greeting upset them, because during the holidays it’s probably a daily occurrence. Refusing to consider that some people simply do not celebrate Christmas is basically saying, “Fuck you, I’m a Christian and this is America, so I’m saying ‘Merry Christmas’ and you are, too.”

Fox’s “War on Christmas” is made up, but it has resulted in a different war … one on everyone who’s not a practicing Christian. This absurd response has the potential to hurt the religion more than any holiday greeting. There are good, righteous Christians out there who certainly see this fake war for what it is — using religion to scare and attract a dedicated part of Fox’s viewership. In other words, they’re using Christianity purely to make more money.

That doesn’t seem very Christian (nor in the spirit of Christmas). Along with the current Pope, I bet Jesus himself would be offended by the outright hostility Fox Christians extend to those who do not believe in the same things they do.

Happy holidays!


The Cincinnati Museum Center hosts a WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION WEEKEND noon-3 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21, with hands-on activities about Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, Diwali and Kwanzaa. More info: cincymuseum.org. Friends of Serpent Mound hold their annual LIGHTING THE SERPENT candle-lighting ceremony for the Winter Solstice 4-8 p.m. Dec. 21. More info: serpentmound.org. LIGHT UP FOUNTAIN SQUARE features a menorah lighting, food and ice skating set to Hanukkah music 5:30 p.m. Dec. 17. More info: myfountainsquare.com.