Dec 23, 2010

The real war on Christmas

"One reason Washington attacked on Christmas was specifically because (English) American colonists didn't celebrate the holiday. The German Hessian mercenaries did, though, and so would be hung over and vulnerable when Washington and his army made their surprise attack. In other words, at the time of the Revolution Christmas was unAmerican. The people who fight back against the alleged War on Christmas by saying "Jesus is the reason for the season" know even less about Christian history than they do about American history. Christians celebrate Jesus' birth in late December (or early January, for the Eastern Orthodox) because there were already seasonal celebrations there that were thematically appropriate, especially the Birth of the Unconquered Sun. The season itself is the reason; Jesus became attached to it, not the other way around. The Christmas tree, the presents, the lights, the foods -- none of these are in origin Christian." — Obsidian Wings


  1. Deeply sympathetic as I am to anything debunking the War on Christmas silliness, I have to say that the Obsidian point on the Battle of Trenton strategy is, well, wrong, or at best only partly right. Some colonists didn’t celebrate Christmas, like the Quakers and I suppose whatever the rock-ribbed Puritans had morphed into at that point. Others most certainly did, although not with Santa and presents. Some went to church and sang hymns. In my ancestors’ part of the country, they usually got drunk, sang off-key off-color songs and shot off various firearms to demonstrate loudness and range, a tradition that still obtains in some quarters. And Washington himself once got a Christmas camel shipped to Mount Vernon for his guests to enjoy.

  2. Although, it does occur to me that the larger point is borne out here, in that clearly the colonists were able to surmount their holiday differences and go out and celebrate Christmas the way it should be, by soundly defeating the Hessians and, supervisors. Happy Yule!