None Dare Call it Christmas

November 29, 2002

Trevor Matich


In "None Dare Call Them Redskins," we took a light-hearted look at the argument put forth by some who would ban team mascots that they deem offensive.

Well, like the gift that keeps on giving, the same ilk are turning their attention to another terribly offensive public manifestation--the term "Christmas."

It seems that since Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, and atheist Americans aren't Christians, naming our nation's preeminent holiday after that faith's icon is exclusionary.  The argument being made is:  How we celebrate Christmas in our own homes is up to us, but we ought to change the holiday's name so as to make it more representative of all Americans.

After all, Americans of all faiths are equally deluged with the word "Christmas" this time of year, right?

So let's do it.  But let's be sure to include all of our holidays to be consistent...

Take Valentine's Day for example.  The very name represents the togetherness and love we share with our significant other.  But what about me?  I'm so single my head hurts.  Some people have no one with whom to share the deepest meaning of Valentine's Day.

So let's do like they want to do with Christmas.  Let lovers celebrate Valentine's Day any way they choose.   But let's change the public name so as to not constantly remind single people that they're left out.

How about we call it "Humans' Day?"  That way we include everybody.

Same with New Year's Day.  Chinese New Year certainly isn't on January first.  We can still celebrate it, but let's not confuse schoolchildren of great heritages that may have a different calendar.  Let's see, what shall we call it?

Well, how about we call it "Humans' Day" too?  That seems pretty safe.

Of course there's Saint Patrick's Day.  But I'm not Irish; are you?  Let's change the name so Serbs like me aren't constantly reminded we're not Irish.  Let's see, what shall we call it...

We have room in our hearts for another "Humans' Day," right?  Hey, we're on a roll.

If this seems a little ridiculous, you need to wake up and realize you're not very humanistic.  What do you have against humans, anyway?  After all, we can still assign to these holidays whatever personal meaning we wish.  But let's not force others to read from every headline and hear from every broadcast holiday titles that they may not relate to.   

Or, at least, that seems to be the argument of those who would change the name of "Christmas."

Now, for those who think this whole argument is silly, you're right.  Each of our holidays--from Mother's Day to Memorial Day to Independence Day--celebrates something, but in so doing doesn't celebrate everything.  The only way around that is to celebrate all things on each and every holiday.  Which is, of course, absurd.

Maybe a good compromise would be the creation of an entirely new holiday:  "Owie My Feelings Might Get Hurt Sometimes Day."  It's a bit cumbersome, but we could call it "Owie Day" for short.

So let's close with the last stanza of our proposed new, politically correct version of Major Henry Livingston Jr.'s classic, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

"He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
'Merry Humans' Day to all, and to all a good night!'"




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