Right wing talk radio, Fox News and a lot of angry, foaming at the mouth people egged on by them would have you believe that there is a war on Christmas. They insist that the greeting, "Happy Holidays" is part of a plot to ban the observance from public life. One of the targets of their rage has been Starbucks. Apparently their cups in red and green, traditional Christmas colors, aren't catering enough to Christmas lovers. I decided to visit a Starbucks store myself. A real Starbucks store, not just the coffee aisle at a supermarket. Have a look at what I found!
To please the anti-Christmas conspiracy, they blatantly made a coffee called Holiday Blend. No, wait! They didn't at all. It is called Christmas blend. Maybe it's a double secret war on Christmas? Maybe the Jews, Muslims and Atheists conspiring with the Illuminati to oppress Christians have found a new way to trick you. The truth is that there is no war on Christmas.
There was a war on Christmas in the past. It was waged by Protestant Christians. From the beginning of the Reformation until the early 20th Century, many Protestant sects viewed Christmas as a papist excuse to continue a pagan observance of the Winter Solstice. Solstice happens on or around December 21 on the Gregorian Calendar, but was December 25 on the old Julian calendar. It is the shortest day of the year, the beginning of Winter, and the birth date of solar deities in many mythologies. Instead of going on forever about that, here is a link to an informative LA Times Article.
How did Christmas become such a big deal? Big business sold us the idea that nothing is more American than Having Christmas and exchanging gifts. They profit from people who think you have to buy the love of your family and esteem of your friends each December, or you will find yourself shunned and alone in January. Businesses never waged a war on Christmas, but a war for it and all its commercial trappings. Green is the color of money, as well as a Christmas color.
Originally, Happy Holidays only meant Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Now, people who are aware that there are other winter holidays, and don't place themselves at the center of the universe are just trying to be nice when they say it. Will you keep on railing at the "forces of political correctness" when it is really just people trying to be nice? Is someone saying "Happy Holidays" a reason to wage a crusade? Get over yourselves! You can't spread peace on earth and good will that way. Religious identity politics just spread hate and hurt. Isn't this a time of year to gather with friends and family and enjoy each other's company, no matter what religion or politics we subscribe to? If you can just do that you might find some joy in life, and actually have Happy Holidays.