Monday, December 7, 2009

Have Yourself a Merry Little Guilt Trip

As if religious freakdom hasn’t already gotten to the point that banshees are getting out of the business, along comes a site called Stand For Christmas that guarantees you can shop in an environment that is “Christmas-friendly” and warns you against the “Christmas-negligent” or — brace yourself — the “Christmas-offensive.”

I suppose it all depends on your point of view, but I think that any store that goes out of its way to suck up to the Christmas trade and garner more business by telling its workers to dress like happy little non-union elves and wish you a “Merry Christmas” is more offensive than the retailer that realizes that not everyone who comes into their store between Hallowe’en and Boxing Day is a worshiper of the Baby Jesus. As DougJ points out at Balloon Juice, it’s both troubling and ironic that many of the major retail department stores, including Macy’s, were founded by Jewish Americans, so trying to shame them into pushing the keep-Christ-in-Christmas line is a bit much. And as one commenter noted, “Where is Neiman Marcus? too Jew from the get-go?”

I don’t mind if a store says Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, or nothing at all, and even if I was going to spend a lot of money on Christmas presents this year, I don’t really give a flying reindeer’s ass how the retailer rates with the Keepers of the Sacred Creche. In fact, I am wholly turned off by the excessive Christmas wrapping. Excuse my cynicism, but they really don’t care about the Baby Jesus; they are just trying to guilt me into spending money, and as we all know, guilt is the ultimate ecumenical gift that keeps on giving.