Before the 2013 Thanksgiving turkey was carved, Bill O’Reilly, the endlessly yammering Sarah Palin, and Fox news rolled out the old “Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas” fight. This year, we were treated to a new chapter in the annual War on Christmas when the GOP’s favorite Wasilla warrior wrote a book on the subject.
You might be interested to know that the John Birch Society was front and center in manufacturing the whole idea of this war on Christmas.
My parents were John Birch Society members #1 and #2 in Chicago and they’d embraced the new organization with everything they had—including their 14-year-old daughter (me). Along with the rest of the new Birch army of super-patriots, I signed petitions, wrote letters, and attended Birch meetings. My father was a Birch leader, so meetings went on in our living room at least five nights a week. One of the first projects the fledgling John Birch Society took on was a national effort to stop the planned summit meeting between President Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet premier Nikita Krushchev. This was our main focus, but in the fall we took a detour to save Christmas. In 1959, the evil perpetrator of the War on Christmas was the United Nations.
Here’s a snippet from “Moving Up,” Chapter 7 of my book, Wrapped in the Flag. In it, you’ll get a taste of the original War on Christmas.
In the fall of 1959, right in the middle of the summit project, Mother called me into the dining room. On the table, piles of pamphlet, letters, envelopes, and stamps waited. Mother scurried around checking the supplies. She stopped for a sip of cold tea and looked at me.
“You’re on deck,” she said.
“The summit?” I asked.
“No,” she answered. “Today we’re saving Christmas.”
“Saving Christmas . . . from what?”
“The United Nations,” she told me.
The John Birch Society, she explained, had uncovered a plot to replace the Baby Jesus with an international celebration of brotherhood. Before anyone was the wiser, traditional Christmas ornaments and trees would be replaced with United Nations insignias and flags.
“The Christmas tree at Marshall Fields will be no more,” Mother said.
To thwart this assault on our Savior’s birthday, the Birch Society had published “There Goes Christmas.”
“All the Communist plans are exposed, right here,” Mother said, tapping the booklet’s cover.
I was put to work on the booklet assembly line and stuffed “There Goes Christmas” into envelopes addressed to a slew of folks. Everyone from our family Christmas-card list to the members of the local country club was sent a copy. By the time the project was over, I swore everyone in Chicago must have received one.
“This is a war on Christmas,” Mother said. “You watch. Before long, they’ll write it like this: XMAS. That’s the clue. They’re x-ing Christ out of his own birthday.”
The John Birch Society has been fighting this War on Christmas for 55 years.
Now, adding to the cacophony, we have a new cadre of Christmas protectors who insist that the left-wing Grinch will most certainly steal Christmas this year–whatever year it is. Every December, the right goes crazy because a public school did not include “Silent Night” in the Christmas program or a city decided not to have a nativity scene in front of city hall.
Meanwhile, the real Grinches stealing Christmas (and Thanksgiving) go merrily along fueled by their Christmas profits. For two months, America is consumed by shopping and shopping and more shopping. And just to be sure that not a penny was missed, December 26th ushers in the After Christmas shopping.
Let’s be honest: any relationship between our Christmas gift-o-rama and the birth of Jesus is strictly coincidental.
But, never mind all of that. Next December we’ll be treated to another battle in the endless fight to protect our favorite holiday. Once again, you will be able to tell that the forces of evil are winning. Just listen to the nasty store clerk shouting the Christmas-killers’ battle cry. “Happy Holidays.”
Crossposted from ClaireConner.com