The Supposed War on Christmas…is it Real?

Liam VanBuren and Jan Sleska

Is there a “War on Christmas?” We asked multiple staff members and took some of the best and most in depth responses to see just where we stand as a community. A little background-The more conservative side of the world believes the push to say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” is pushing for a so-called destruction of tradition and is a war on Christmas. Although maybe it’s just society wanting to be more diverse and accepting of other religions?

Anonymous Student:

“I would say calling it a war is a little extreme, I think there is definitely a push in our society for being politically correct, and not wanting to offend anyone. On the other hand, I do think some people take it too far; I think being offended by someone saying “Merry Christmas” to you is a little extreme, because you’re wishing them the same thing as saying “Happy Holidays,” just to me it’s Christmas, if you said “Happy Hanukkah,” [or] “Merry Kwanza,” anything like that to me, I wouldn’t be offended because I would understand that you’re just wishing me good wishes, health, happiness to your family; this is what this time of year is all about, regardless of denomination, religion, beliefs, or anything like that. It’s just a time to come together. So, the fact that they’re making it so divided kinda goes against what the whole point of the holidays is about, regardless of what holiday you’re celebrating. So, I wouldn’t call it necessarily a war, but I think it has gotten a lot more attention in our society, this idea of being politically correct about it and not wanting to offend anybody.”

Mr. Lloyd, Chorus Teacher:

“I think for there to be a war on Christmas we have to first understand the value of Christmas that is held in this country. So first, you have to think about, has Christmas become a cultural thing, where its now ingrained in American culture as a time for sharing presents and hugging and laughing and y’know, buying stock Hallmark cards? Or, is it a religious tradition, in which people gather and praise the birth of Christ and et cetera et cetera. There are a lot of things that go into that, as far as how it’s been incorporated into our school; so for example, I’ve been told I need to have a Christmas concert in December because that’s just what we do, but I’ve also been told I need to separate church and state. So how do I do both, and in that case, is Christmas a religious context or a cultural context? I think there are too many factors that determine whether or not there is a war on Christmas to even begin with. I would also say not everybody celebrates Christmas, so for you to impose your religious views on others, especially in a time when there are other religious holidays happening in December, is egocentric and I think it is starting a hegemonic process in the country where everyone has to conform to the major tradition that has happened. There are people who are Jewish who don’t celebrate Christmas who don’t need to hear “Merry Christmas”, right? Just because you’ve established something as a standard doesn’t mean that it’s always correct, doesn’t mean that it always needs to be pushed onto everybody else, and we’re starting to see that in massive trends with other things in the US, like gender equality and marriage equality and all that jazz, So, is there a war on Christmas?: No. If you think there’s a war on Christmas, then you’re crazy and you need to get over it.”

Gathered, Transcribed, and edited by Jan Slezka and Liam Van Buren.