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lingin

I was waiting for my order at a Starbucks in NYC a couple of Saturdays ago when I spotted a button on the backpack of a man standing next to me. "It's okay to wish me a Merry Christmas."

Lance

Linda,

Any chance the guy was Jewish?

Or Muslim, Hindu, Shinto, or Buddhist?

Rana

Thank you! I love the holiday of the food, lights, greenery, song, and family.

Increasingly, though, I am forgoing the commercial holiday - if I can get through the 25th without entering a mall or loading down my family with more useless stuff to store, I feel I'm doing well. We always waited until the 24th to get a tree anyway (half price!), and that's now carried over into shopping in January, after the fact. Too much stuff, too little money, and too little time to waste fighting mall traffic and crowds when we could be together going for a walk, playing board games, or making cookies.

PurpleGirl

Good post, Lance. I want to buy a pine tree today or tomorrow to have in the house for the solstice.

I saw a woman on the bus with same button.

I remember a Keep Christ in Christmas campaign back in the 1970s at least. Many people have been concerned about the commercialization for a long time. I'd need more time to do a proper historical search, though; a quick Google got me only recent and current blog posts.

Rana

Have you seen the incredibly mean-spirited dog-in-Jesus'-manger screed that Garrison Keillor recently posted on this?

El Jefe

As a Unitarian heretic who hangs out with those "other sorts of Christians" (an American [read Rhode Island] Baptist congregation that's been the denomination's only gay-rights church in OR for almost thirty years, small-town locale but our pastor knows McKinley) I'm a big AC fan too. Not surprised to see you talk it up in this context, Lance, but cheered.

You've been on a roll with your political-economy posts since about late summer when you said clearly what lots of other people talk around or choose dogmatically to ignore: ninety percent of it all is a hundred percent feudalism, whether the formal feudalism of the Soviet commissariats or the ruthless bastard feudalism of corporate capital. Give 'em a big enough engine to make money and the icy call of lordship grips their hearts. Fusty as he was Schultz could see that too, which is why he put those words in Lucy's mouth and almost single-handedly killed the aluminum Christmas tree in the bargain, bless him (goes right up there with Jack Parr taking out Walter Winchell and Stewart/Colbert taking on, well, every damn body.)

As to the actual sermon content for the tag, storing up treasures on earth indeed. My father, who fled his Southern Baptist childhood quick as he could, can tell you almost to the Sunday in the late 1950s when admonitions about camels and needles dropped out of the sermonizing. The Advent Conspiracy folks may just be packing enough irony in their holster to make something happen.

El Jefe

P.S. to Lance and Linda,

I'm betting Animist. Or maybe a follower of the Nameless Ones; you know, like those bumper stickers that read "Cthulhu/Dagon '08: Why Vote For the Lesser Evil?"

El Jefe

Two last things:

Rana, I'm with you on holiday contents, particularly the food. Since our youngest daughter was born punctually on Jan. 6th we do the twelve days which makes a glorious feast cycle and loads cheaper on the giving of gifts where appropriate.

Also for Lance's source a mitzvah from Steve and Eydie who do not seem to have consumerism so much on their minds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D1I79mUdTQ

actor212

Jesus would spin in his grave if he knew the enormous gobs of money we handed to the corporate Sanhedrin and Pharisees each December in His name. If He knew we not only rendered unto Caesar that which was Caesar's, but gave to Caesar that which is God, our worship, He would storm FOX studios and smite the crew until they agreed to a Fairness Doctrine-like rebuttal.

And then He'd ask us why we spend when we should give.

lingin

Lance -- I couldn't tell if the guy with the button was being passive-aggressive of just being considerate of other people who wanted to give a holiday greeting.

You got it right about the nastiness and meanness that underlies this "War on Christmas" crap. I'm Jewish and it has never bothered me if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas or sends me a Christmas card. But the demands of the O'Reillys and Becks and their ilk to insist on Merry Christmas being THE greeting. However, I haven't run into anybody that takes issue with Happy Holidays so I guess this is the usual Village idiots trying to make something out of nothing.

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