Those poo-poo heads over at Faux News are at it again. They have been beating their War on Christmas drum for years. Now Billy “Stretch” O’Reilly says the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ is invalid this year.
Stretch’s claim is that since Hannacha ends on December 6th this year, there are no other holidays during December, so the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ is not necessary, and is therefore an affront on Christmas itself.
I guess he forgets that the Winter Solstice is December 21st. It marks the first day of winter, and the longest night, the shortest day. After the 21st the days begin to get longer. Frankly, the Solstice is the reason there are so many celebrations this time of year. It is from the realization that while winter is beginning, it will also end.
Has he forgotten about Saturnalia, the ancient Roman festival that ran from December 17th to the 25th. It was popular well into the 3rd and 4th centuries, AD. The Roman Empire celebrated the Dies Natalis Sol Invictus, the “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun,” on December 25th. Funny what can happen to names. Eventually the Christians co-opted those Roman solstice holidays.
Let’s not forget Germanic Paganism, which gave us the Yule Log and Twelfth Night, also co-opted by Christians, twisting other December traditions. Where else would the Twelve Days of Christmas come from? But that is all ancient history and beyond the capacity of a news organization like O’Lielly Factor.
I guess old Bill has forgotten about Advent, that’s a real Christian holiday. Or Kwanzaa. Oh wait, I guess that’s too dark for Faux News. There is Human Rights Day, Boxing Day, and countless others when you consider other nationalities and beliefs. Clearly there are other holidays in December. So let’s look at the phrase, ‘Happy Holidays.’ Do you remember this [song “(There is No Place like) Home for the Holidays?”]
That’s right. “There is No Place like Home for the Holidays.” Written by Robert Allen and Al Stillman, and sung by Perry Como in 1954. That tune will be 60 years old in 2014, next year.
Oh wait, how about this one, [song, “Happy Holiday?”]
“Happy Holiday,” composed by Irving Berlin and sung by Bing Crosby in the film “Holiday Inn” in 1942. That song is now a 71 year old tradition. Hell, Billo was probably singing those songs around the Christmas tree when he was a young lad.
Oh, and guess what. There is rather old bit of Americana, a little magazine you may have heard of, Good Housekeeping, that has been around since 1885. In 1890 they published an article called, “Preparations for the Holidays.” The phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ dates back at least that far. (Good Housekeeping – 1890)
As a little side note, there is an interesting article in that issue discussing “Woman’s Work and Wages.”
It seems to me that use of the term ‘Happy Holidays’ is not new. Give it up Faux News. Christmas is here to stay. Though you may be waging a war on other people’s holidays and beliefs, there is no war on Christmas.