THERE’S NO “WAR ON CHRISTMAS,” YOU JUST GAVE THE FUN STUFF TO THE DEVIL
Did you know crazies have been doing the “War on Christmas” thing for more than 500 years?
In 1487, two German inquisitors wrote in their witch hunter’s manual:
“Bad Christians imitate corruptions when they run about at carnival with masks and jests and other superstitions. Witches use these revelries of the devil for their own advantage and work their spells about Christmas.”
And this “War on Christmas” crap persists. As we discussed last week, some folks seem to have a psychological need for persecution by a Satanic conspiracy.
Despite its occasional religious overtones, I like Christmas. But these crazies have been trying to ruin it for me even since I was a kid.
I was eight the first time I heard the old “Santa is Satan” schtick, for example.
The argument there seems to hinge entirely on the spelling. Which is odd, since “Santa” is just a mangled version of various words that mostly mean “saint.”
It’s really not surprising that Santa Claus overshadows Jesus in pop culture. Santa is fun. He’s avuncular. He pays in Legos. What’s not to love?
If the “War on Christmas” crowd really wants to trade Santa to our team, we’ll take him. But why do they want to? Don’t they see this is a bad deal for them?
Krampus, on the other hand, is clearly the devil. I mean, just look at him.
And yet, he’s an ages old Christmas tradition in some countries, predating the stockings and the carols.
(Next year I’m printing Krampus on some Starbucks cups. You want Christmas imagery, you got it…)
As some fundamentalists note in woebegone tones, Krampus is becoming quite popular even in non-European countries. No surprises why: He’s fun too.
It seems most of the fun and gratifying things about the holidays are sinful, secular, and heretical: eating, drinking, toys, trees (a pagan tradition, of course), and even Santa.
Rather than a War on Christmas, I’d say the devil has been saving Christmas all of these years. Who would have bothered with it all if not for the fun stuff?
And when the luster starts to come off of the manger story, the fun stuff endures.
But it’s not our fault: If you give all the good bits away to the devil, you can’t be surprised when he ends up throwing the best party.
Originally published December 2016.