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December 11, 2017

Here I stand—vigilant and ready—on the front lines of a war. But like all forms of modern warfare, the rules have changed and the battlelines are everywhere. I am a rabble-rouser. I am a crusader. I am fighting The War on The War on Christmas.

They say time is undefeated, but so, basically, is Christianity. There may be small battles lost along the way (remember when eligible bachelorette Jenna Elfman picked Rabbi Ben Stiller over Father Ed Norton in Keeping the Faith?), but for all intents and purposes, Christianity stays winning. Over 90 percent of the United States reports as Christian for a reason. But I’m not going down without a fight.

And maybe that’s why it is widely accepted that Christmas is now a month long holiday, celebrated from Black Friday until December 26th. If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk, and if you give Christmas a month, it’ll want us all to drink a glass of eggnog in October.

Look around you! REALLY, LOOK AROUND, SHEEPLE! You’ve already seen the war sneakily manifest in your daily life. Those cute but relentless car commercials with the excessively big red bows. Friends littering their homes with “Pine” and “Christmas cookie” Yankee Candles. At least two of your local radio stations pivoting completely to “holiday music.” The way stores immediately replace Halloween candy with Christmas candy. Your local shopping center extreme-home-makeovering in red and green.

For actual Christ’s sake, Mel Gibson is back, starring in Daddy’s Home 2, a story of white men meddling with each other’s luxury Christmas plans. Maybe you saw Gibson’s jolly face in one of the Gladwell-esque 10,000 hours of ads this month. This, just a mere handful of years since his racist, misogynist, and anti-Semitic rhetoric, also known as the Trump Triple-Double. Gibson, the Christmas hero, has also come back from rampant substance abuse arrests and a domestic abuse plea deal. So it looks like Christmas’ titular character isn’t the only one who can return after being cast out and crucified.

Meanwhile, the president promises we will all be saying “Merry Christmas” this year, instead of “Happy Holidays.” It is how he energizes his base, people with whom he has otherwise nothing in common, besides being worried of and or hateful towards everyone who doesn’t look like them. Why bother talking about opioids emergency or health care issues when millions of Americans aren’t getting the respect they deserve—a proper “Merry Christmas”?

Outside of New England Patriots fans, name another group of mostly white people who are so prevalent and yet so fragile, threatened by any and every person around them who dissents.

I am sure, when he finally gets a little time, the president will also declare that we must also say “Happy Hanukkah.” and then ask Ben Carson how to wish someone a pleasant Kwanzaa. I’m sure respecting all cultures equally is high on the agenda.

And can someone ask the president how he feels about “Feliz Navidad?”

I am game to re-incorporate Merry Christmas into my vernacular, to keep Christ in Christmas, but only if Christians do that same. As much as I love seeing your cute kids on the yearly holiday card, please only send me cards solely with depictions of Jesus Christ. And none of that cute, angelic, white, baby Jesus. We are America, so if we are doing Christmas, let’s do Christmas TO THE MAXXXX. I want your Christmas card to be a full manger scene and ethnic baby Christ—you know, make him look like a guy born in the Middle East 2,017 years ago.

You don’t get to pick and choose when we shoot full Merry Christmas into our veins, and when we water down and whitewash the players. It’s Merry Christmas, not Merry White Christmas!

In fact, tell me which mass you went to, because if I have to say “Merry Christmas” you have to go to mass. I am just going to assume that the president will tweet which mass he is attending, just like Jesus prophesied when he said “Blessed are the tweets, for they shall inherit the Earth.”

Do you want to know the dirtiest secret of them all? I love Christmas! But much like vacation days from school, people in public donning Santa outfits, and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” at some point, enough is enough! I, a crusader in the War on the War on Christmas, can only take so much Christmas reverence, before putting my state-issued jingle-bell-bedazzled foot down.

Remember when Apple put U2 on everyone’s iPhone? It’s like that. We like Christmas just as we like Bono, but we don’t need them with us everywhere we go.

I am not looking for a miracle, as the season is already too full of them. I am not looking for a Two-State solution. And I am definitely not trying to enlist Jared Kushner for another menial job he can’t complete.

My war will end when we have fit Christmas back into its month-sized box. This war is not against the Vatican, but Hallmark, and Lexus, and anyone who has turned a blind eye to the fact that advent calendars need extentions. Like Santa’s belly, we need to wrap a belt around to keep it from becoming even more disturbingly uncontained.

And that’s all we’re asking for: Just understand that not everyone is celebrating Christmas. Can you live comfortably in controlling almost everything?

Before the war deploys me to another town, spreading the anti-gospel, let me leave you with a timely sendoff… Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fight.

Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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