This is a blog post I should not be writing, but my brain needs to take a break.
I have really had less than no patience with this whole War On Christmas business for the last couple of years. Over on Facebook I have gotten a slap dozen requests asking me to join this or that Keep Christ In Christmas group. Like a Facebook group can dictate the comings and goings of Christ.
The whole thing has seemed to me to be yet another pool table situation where some folks are manufacturing outrage to sell books.
But then tonight I sat down to watch a movie on OnDemand with my fellows. While we were flipping through the offerings in search of something watchable (seriously, Cable, can’t you do better with the selection?) the nattering heads in the upper right hand corner were going on about the Holiday Movies on offer. And it suddenly struck me.
It would be nice to hear someone say “Christmas” once in awhile. Of course the movies themselves had “Christmas” in the title in many cases. But the wrap-around patter was all about Holidays. I know the writers are really just trying to be all-inclusive, and I do like the notion of this time of year being so festive that we acknowledge there are several holidays going on. I just wouldn’t mind if I could see signs in stores that actually said what the Holidays were. You know–“Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Good Kwanza”, that kind of thing.
And then there’s that GAP commercial, which is another story altogether. I didn’t realise until just now when I searched for a link that other people were ticked off about it, too. That’s what I get for having TiVo and not actually seeing the commercial until today.
It’s just rude. Downright smack-an-old-lady-in-the-face, kick-your-son-in-the-junk RUDE.
As a libertarian I actually get behind the basic message behind it, which is that everyone keeps the holidays in his own way, whether you’re Ebenezer, Fred or observing another holiday altogether.
But to many people–granted not all, but many–those holidays are sacred times. Regardless of its origins as a pagan festival, Christmas has become one of the most precious times in the life cycle of a Christian. It is when we acknowledge the awesome light and humbling humility of God’s sacrifice in the attempt to reclaim the soul of man.
The Gap Ad seemed to shout at me from the TV “Get out of here with your Christmas. It isn’t special. It isn’t anything. We don’t care about it any more than we care about plastic trees.”
The writers may not have meant that, but it’s hard to not have a visceral reaction when a bunch of people in clashy clothes are yelling “Go, Christmas” at you. They can claim it’s a version of “yay, Christmas” but to me it sounds an awful lot like “Christmas, Begone.”
Especially since the rest of the commercial talks about 86ing the rules and doing what you feel. Now don’t get me wrong. If you don’t want to be a Christian, then don’t. It’s your business. But Christianity is not about “doing what feels right” and “86ing the rules.” It’s really a slap in the face to talk about celebrating the birth of the man who said “turn the other cheek” by downtalking the essence of that message.
It’s kind of like bringing a ham to Hannukah or celebrating Kwanza with a mock slave auction.
And I’ve now written 577 words of this, which really should have been in my novel. I have 24 hours left. Why am I wasting it on Gap commercials?
UPDATE: We were talking about it in the comments. So I figured I’d put it here. I still think it’s a joke. It has to be. They can’t be serious. Can they?