I know, I know, just a couple of weeks ago I declared the end to the war on Christmas. Wal-Mart is greeting shoppers with “Merry Christmas,” the Seattle rabbi who threatened to sue unless the Seattle-Tacoma Airport put up a Hanukkah menorah next to its biggest Christmas Tree has backed down and (though I cannot confirm this) gone into rehab to find out why he is so enraged by tinsel-strewn trees. It seemed to me that America had finally come to accept the fact that it is a Christian Nation devoted enough to God to spend itself into debt hell singing “On the fourth day of Christmas my banker gave to me: four credit cards, three fixed loans, two dunning calls, and no chance to live debt free.”
So you can imagine my surprise that just when I thought it was safe to celebrate the birth of Christ by buying a plasma screen TV I discover that the true enemy of Christmas is not the Jews, humanists, and Muslims, but the nation’s founding Christians.
The Puritans fled England because (all right, partly because) they couldn’t stand Christmas. Christmas in merry old England was a cross between (pun intended, clever, no?) Deep Throat and Friday the 13th, Part Whatever with Brits cavorting in ways that would make Jack the Ripper cringe. And besides, the Puritans knew what every good Druid knows: Jesus wasn’t born in December, and Christmas is just a pagan holiday hiding behind a thin veneer of Christianity.
According to the myth as I remember it, Jesus was supposedly born shortly after the Great Pumpkin visited Linus and Snoopy which happens each year in October (usually on a Wednesday around 8pm ET, 7pm CT). The Bible, however, says that the birth of Jesus was announced by a star seen by shepherds. That would mean Jesus was born in springtime when shepherds are shepherding, not in December when most shepherds tend to take part-time jobs indoors at the local grog and gruel hall.
Celebrating Christmas was a crime in early America punishable by a fine. In fact the US Congress stayed in session over Christmas. While there is much evidence to prove this, the belief that they took the Fourth of October off as Deism Day, celebrating the day God finished winding the clockwork of the universe and moved into an assisted living facility in Miami, is much harder to prove.
The only reason America’s Christian leaders couldn’t crush Christmas was because the people just had an itch to party. Borrowing trees, Saint Nick (who was a Byzantine Christian saint and thus not really Christian at all), and eggnog from Europe America’s sinful masses turned their backs on their Christianity and made merry.
It wasn’t long before some enterprising capitalists realized that horny drunks are apt to buy things they don’t need at prices they cannot afford, and thus the true American Christmas was born. So what do we do? If we’re true to our founding faith we should do away with Christmas once again. If we want our Christmas we have to jettison our Christianity, or at least reinvent it to suit ourselves. Hey, let’s do that! It wouldn’t be the first time.