First, a funny (non-cutsie, no music, I know how some of you hate that) video to get you in the mood.


Merry Christmas!

Today is a special Christmas-flavored blog all about my favorite time of year, Christmas! Yuletide! Winter Solstice! The time of year when I get presents!  Yippee!

Of course, as I have observed elsewhere, it is also the time of years when my family goes crazy and Lena and I are forced to celebrate nearly a month early just to keep my mother from ruining our holiday too… but that really doesn’t matter. Things have been pretty quiet so far, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed hoping that we will get through this Most Joyous time without heartrending drama or broken crockery.

But getting to the point… I was standing in line at Publix yesterday and witnessed an old man nearly bite the head off of the cashier when she told him to have a “Happy Holiday.”

“I’m not a damn jew!” he snapped. “I’m a christian! And it’s not ‘Holiday,’ it’s Christmas!”

After the cranky old codger had tottered off, I observed to the slightly stricken cashier, “Good thing he was a religious man. I can’t imagine how much trouble you’d have been in if he weren’t a fucking christian.”

Say hi, Tink!

Which brings me around to this. Every year you see a push by the “Take Back Christmas” crowd to place their indelible stamp on Their Holiday. This group resents the intrusion of other people’s holidays into the same time frame as theirs, as well as attempts by others towards politeness by not assuming that everything is all about Christ. It is to these folks that I address the following: You can never, ever, Take Back Christmas. You’re too late, it’s already gone. I have it now — it’s mine, and I’m not giving it back. Worse yet, I’m an atheist, so for me the season is all about pretty lights, eggnog, presents, and half-price sales at Best Buy… with no religious connotations at all. There’s a Tinkerbell on top of my tree.

So give it up. Go home. Celebrate any day you like any way you like. Love your family. Eat fruitcake. Go to church.

But do not use everyone else’s holiday season as an excuse to publicly berate a poor girl behind a cash register who was just trying to be nice to you. That simply ain’t christian.

(P.S. Feel free to comment, but there’s no need to feel aggrieved if this doesn’t describe you. I know most christians don’t give a fig how anyone else might choose to celebrate Christmas. This isn’t about them, only a small, even sillier subset thereof.)

15 Responses to 387

  1. I suspect that if Yeshua bin-Yousef actually -did- come back, modern christians would quietly kill him and cover up the evidence. After all, wasn’t his big thing tolerance and love? “It’s not Holiday, it’s Christmas” would presumably appall him for more reasons than just because -he’d- be celebrating Hanukah… 🙂 A friend of mine told me today that the sermon at his former church tonight (to which he went because of familial guilt, mainly) was all about this “take back Christmas” concept, pushing it. It never fails to amaze me how many people can do this, take words of love and respect for one’s fellow man and use them to justify closed-minded intolerance. Of course, I suspect that if he did make a return appearance, they’ve probably got his character pegged pretty closely over at Stupidity In Magic.

    And people wonder why I’m steadily turning into a Scrooge…

    Oh, and before I forget…
    Whichever holiday or holidays you celebrate, may they be filled with happiness, peace, and love!

  2. ❗ I’m taking BACK happiness, peace, love, and joyous non-demoninational mid winter festival of choice. But, you can all still have a happy new year.

    Okay. Just teasing (cause that was hard to peg, right?). I hope everyone is having lots of peace and love and this season. Virtual hugs all around! :mrgreen:

  3. Personally, I think both groups are wackos — what’s the big deal about ‘Happy Holidays’ Vs. ‘Merry Christmas’? Sure, one of them is specifically Christian (and not everyone’s a Christian), but its not, I say again for possible penetration (just in case one of those wackos is around here), not that important. The sentiment behind the statement is more important than the words used to convey it. And the sentiment is (roughly) a “I wish you well!” or “enjoy this time of the year”!

  4. The problem is that there is no way to wish the “Merry Christmas” crowd well without saying “Merry Christmas.” If you were to say “I wish you well!” or “enjoy this time of the year,” they would be equally offended because you had not catered specifically to them. Their point is that their holiday supersedes everyone else’s, and that it can only be properly observed in the fashion that they approve.

    A more correct characterization of the Take Back Christmas view than ‘Merry Christmas’ Vs. ‘Happy Holidays’ would be ‘Merry Christmas’ Vs. ‘Everyone Else.’ To this I point and laugh for the ridiculous waste of time and energy it is.

    It’s like the joke about the new kid getting shown the cafeteria in heaven. He asks his guide why there appears to be two cafeterias and why the other one is completely walled off from the first. “Oh that’s for the Baptists,” the guide replies, “they think they’re the only ones here.”

  5. One of the most ironic things about the controversy is that most non-christians, when wished a “merry Christmas”, will thank you and return the sentiment.

    Of course the logical fallacy behind “taking back Christmas” is that Christmas was the Christian attempt to integrate the pagan celebration of winter solstice into their own religion. Add to that the fact that in the 19th and 20th centuries, the primary offenders when it came to taking advantage of the Christmas season and turning it into a non-religious festival of spending and corporate shilling were north American Christians.

  6. I know what you mean Jamie. It’s like they are trying to take back a holiday that was never really theirs to begin with.

  7. First, let me start by stating that I am a Christian. (Having done so, I might have just made you ignore everything else I will say, but I wanted to be upfront about it. Besides, this will show whether tolerance is extended towards Christians compared to expected from them.)

    In response to Jamie, that is only one suggestion as to why they chose the 25th. Another suggestion is based on an old tradition that a prophet started and ended his life on the same day. It was then suggested that Christ died on March 25th, and thus was also conceived on March 25th, which means that He was born nine months later, on December 25th.

    In response to the “take back Christmas” idea, I think that it is mainly in response to the fact that while people claim to celebrate the “holidays” the only holiday they often truly celebrate is Christmas, because that’s the one most associated with gifts. However, there has been a big push to erase the mention of Christmas, because it might “offend people” despite the fact that those people are celebrating it.

    That being said, I find it deplorable to yell at somebody for not saying “Merry Christmas.” Since I am a Christian and the holiday I celebrate is Christmas, when I greet people during this type of year I say, “Merry Christmas” but I don’t care if they respond the same way or not. I don’t like the fact that some stores forbid their customers from saying “Merry Christmas” because I think that hinders freedom of speech, but forcing them to say it would be the same thing.

    I wish people who celebrated Christmas celebrated it because of Christ, but I know most won’t, and that is their choice. I will not get mad at them for doing so, or yell at them, and I don’t think other Christians should, either. However, I also want to be able to wish people a “Merry Christmas” if I so choose with out getting yelled at for that.

    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to show that some Christians can care a lot about Christmas but still let others celebrate this season however they so choose. so, with that being said, I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas.

  8. Timothy, greetings of the season to you, I appreciate your attempt to show your faith in a better light and respect that you are not that guy, I must however bring to light the obvious fallacy of the timing of the virgin birth, as a scholar of Judaica and ancient history the census was in March, ending in June.
    I severely doubt that the Christian midwinter festival came about in simple reflection of pope Gregorie’s order to convert the pagans and assume their traditions into their own, midwinter festivals are necessary to help people face being right in the middle of the dark bit, with the hardest bit to come, a big party is good for that, especially if it coincides with the midwinter slaughter where there is fresh meat for the first and last time during that long cold snap, and all the birds are at their best, having worked off most of the autumn gorging but not started to shrink into the late winter fast .
    With all that in mind, have a wonderful Christmas Timothy.

  9. Sorry if I was not clear, but I don’t believe that Jesus was born on December 25th (I believe it was much earlier in the year). I was merely explaining why they originally picked that day. However, because they picked a day that was close to the solstice, as they “converted pagans” (though their method of doing that was not always very Christian) it was easy for a blending of the two traditions to take place, thus resulting in many thinking Christmas was only a Christian imitation of the solstice festivals.

  10. Good on ya Timothy. This space is available to anyone with an opinion, and I only delete asshats, not merely people with beliefs divergent to my own.

    Out of curiosity, what would you say if someone wished you a Happy Hanukkah? Would you politely tell them thanks but you’re a Christian, or would you just smile, nod, and say it back? What if this happened to you a hundred times? What if it happened a thousand?

    “Happy Holidays” is not for the benefit of people who celebrate Christmas but don’t do it in the name of Christ, it’s for the people who have their own, separate traditions that don’t really involve Christmas at all, and who get sick of having someone else’s religion assumed onto them.

    Maybe it wouldn’t bug you, but there are plenty of people who’s nose goes out of joint about it. Since none of it makes a fart in a whirlwind’s difference to me, I’d just as soon cater to the people I view as the oppressed minority. I guess it just agrees with my liberal sensibilities.

    On a slightly separate note, in case you might think I have a particular bug up my ass for christians, I really don’t. I make more fun of them because it’s so dominant here. All religion is silly and destructive, christianity is only the most immediate example.

  11. I maintain that it is STILL the time for the airing of grievances! And then, Kevin, I will pin your head to the floor.

  12. I would not be offended if somebody wished me a Happy Hanukkah and would probably wish them one as well. After all, since I appreciate my right to say, “Merry Christmas” I should also appreciate their right to say, “Happy Hanukkah,” especially since it shows that they have meaning behind what they are saying, not just being cliche (which, no matter what a person is saying, if it is a hollow statement it just doesn’t mean very much).

    I figured that you probably did mainly target Christians because Christianity is so prevalent, but that you didn’t see a point in any religion (after all, if you did you wouldn’t be an atheist). However, I am obviously very inclined to disagree with you about Christianity being silly and destructive (otherwise I wouldn’t be a Christian). However, I don’t plan on debating the issue, because neither of us would convince the other and the debate surely would end up being silly and destructive, so instead I will just enjoy your webcomic (and occasionally say something if I feel like it might be constructive).

  13. Nope, i stopped to read “order of the stick” a time ago. Don’t miss it. It’s always the same thing, with a more a more “soap” side.