Either way, one clear effect of the War on Christmas nonsense was and is to further aggravate the already overblown sense of victimization, isolation, and indeed entitlement on the part of those who are interpellated and hence flattered by Bill O’Reilly-standard propaganda.
And that’s depressing, because that’s kind of made Christmas suck, a bit. I’m not particularly sentimental by nature but I do have something of a soft spot for the Christmasy peace on earth, good will towards men stuff: we need more of that in this nation. But the War on Christmas baloney points in the other direction. Let us not feel charitable: let us feel aggrieved!
Thing is, it’s not just the crazy Christians who get off on feeling aggrieved this time of year. It’s everybody who feels vaguely pissed that their holiday isn’t what they want it to be, and so Christmas is too busy, too spendy, too … not what it was when they were children, and I swear to God I spend half of Christmas talking about how Christmas, like Disney World and the Old Neighborhood and That Corner Store and Baseball and Movies and Books and Music, used to be good back when we were young and beautiful and now sucks ass. And these kids today have long hair and listen to bad music.
There’s already too much out there to feel bad about this time of year. There’s plenty of evidence the world is fucking burning down, if you’re lucky enough to have joy, you don’t need to go searching for misery inside every brown paper package tied up with string, to guilt yourself about whatever it is that you do, that it’s not “authentic” enough, that CHRISTMAS UR DOING IT WRONG.
I’m a pagan at heart, this time of year especially: Come inside and celebrate our swing toward light again. Come inside and tell stories about hope in dark times, celebrations of warmth and plenty during days so short it seems like the mechanism might just stall this time. Come inside and know that the people here will help where they can, and do what they must, and take their rest where they can get it, even in the midst of a frantic American Christmas, even with too much to do, even with Christmas not being even a little what it used to be.
Tell me what you do at Christmas.