Two iconic figures are trying to put the "Christ" back in "Christmas," but in two very different ways.
According to the AP, Pope "Eggs" Benedict said today that Christmas is polluted by consumerism (which it is). His solution: bring the Nativity scene back.
"Assembling the Nativity scene in the home can turn out to be a simple but effective way of presenting the faith to pass it on to one's children," Benedict said.
Bill O'Reilly, on the other hand, recognizes that:
- Christmas is already lost to consumerism
- American's economy needs Christmas to be recognized as a consumer holiday
O'Reilly is now asking stores to promote "Christmas sales," rather than "holiday sales," to place the Christmas brand back on the sales floor. After all, O'Reilly doesn't want Christmas to become a secular holiday, just like Benedict (except the Pope doesn't want to sell-out Christmas either).
O'Reilly's shenanigans aren't really about Christmas. He's waging a war against political correctness. While many politically correct terms are over-the-top, O'Reilly's missing the logic behind the language here.
The terms "holiday sales" or "happy holidays" aren't bashing Christmas. Kwanzaa, Chanukah and New Year's Day are also celebrated this time of year and need to be marketed for sales. Thus, instead of saying "Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, New Year's Day Sale" we say "holiday sale." It rolls off the tongue a bit faster.
And here's the real kicker: While O'Reilly called out Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears and Costco for not using "Christmas" in their sales language, the Fox Shop offered the following "holiday" ornament:
The language was later changed to "The O'Reilly Factor Christmas Ornament." That reminds me, I need to go out a chop down a holiday tree. While I'm away, be sure to watch Jon Stewart's response to O'Reilly's criticism this week about a Daily Show Christmas spoof that aired last year.