Despite what some people want you to believe, there is no war on Christmas.
If the past is any guide, there will be media reports of this mythical conflict in coming days. Such stories abound at this time of year. What happens is something like this: In an attempt to be more inclusive, one of the big retail chains will ask its employees to bid shoppers "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."
Political pundits will be consulted. The man on the street will be interviewed. Everyone will get worked up. If that isn't enough to start a media frenzy, then some minor government official south of the border will set up a Christmas display on public property, a practice restricted by the separation of church and state enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
A lot of hot air will be generated by the ensuing media coverage, then things will calm down until a year from now - when we'll do it all over again. Year after year, we're told Christmas is under siege. Somehow, seemingly at the last minute, Christmas is saved every time. Why is that?
Because the truth is there is no war on Christmas. It doesn't exist. Just look at the numbers. In the U.S., about 80 per cent of the population identifies itself as Christian — but about 96 per cent of Americans celebrate Christmas (let's assume similar statistics for Canada).
You read those numbers right. In a country so sharply divided along political lines, almost everyone celebrates Christmas. Do you know how hard it is to get that kind of unanimous agreement about anything in America in the year 2007?
What this means is the vast majority of non-believers also celebrates the birth of Christ. Rather than wanting to destroy yule, they have made the holiday part of their own annual traditions. Christmas has such widespread appeal even the non-Christians want in on it. It's that irresistible.
The truth is the so-called "war on Christmas" is the product of a sick imagination. It's a term thrown around by narrow-minded gasbags who want to create a siege mentality for their own selfish purposes, to spread fear at a time when there should be nothing but joy.
Heck, one of them even wrote a book on the topic. That's a nice way to cash in on the "war on Christmas." For the sake of argument, let's assume the remaining four per cent of society is rabidly anti-Christmas. They must be doing a helluva job if such a small group has the power to threaten a hallowed tradition that has endured for centuries.
The truth is Christmas is doing just fine. Christmas will be around long after all of us are dust. And as some very smart people have pointed out, if there really is a war on Christmas — then Christmas is winning. In fact, Christmas isn't just winning. It's kicking ass and taking numbers. This is why in recent years we have seen the advent of Festivus and Chrismukkah — because even ardent non-Christians want to incorporate Christmas into their own traditions.
Any army foolhardy enough to declare war on Christmas hasn't been paying attention. Like the war on terror, the war on drugs and the war on poverty, it can't be won. Christmas is way too powerful to ever be stopped.