Delicious irony of 'war on Christmas'

To the editor:

The holiday season officially began on Nov. 18. That's when the first "war on Christmas" letter appeared in the Eagle. The letter complained about a reference to a "holiday" tree in Pittsfield.

What's fascinating about the supposed "war" is the inherent irony. The decision to downplay the religious aspect and emphasize a more secular, inclusive approach is primarily a business decision. Businesses abhor conflict and controversy. It's bad for business. So, since it's so-called "conservatives" who are up in arms over this issue, and conservatives are nothing if not "pro-business," how can they criticize businesses for doing all they can to protect their bottom line?

You can't have it both ways. You can't claim America is the greatest country in the history of the world because of free-enterprise capitalism, and then turn around and criticize those very capitalists for maximizing their profits.

You don't like the fact that Starbucks has plain red cups? Fine. Don't buy their coffee. But don't expect your hissy fit to change their policy, because the fact is the vast majority of Americans couldn't care less.

Of course, there certainly is a "war on Christmas", and it's been going on for decades. But it hasn't been perpetrated by liberal atheists bent on "political correctness." No, this war has been waged by good, old-fashioned free-enterprise capitalism. The relentless commercialization of Christmas — indeed, of all holidays — has succeeded beyond Ebenezer Scrooge's wildest dreams.


Conservatives should be cheering the triumph of capitalism over religion, not whining about it. The spiritual aspect of Christmas has been sucked dry by an orgy of materialism. Nowadays, people are supposed to feel downright ashamed if they don't run up a big credit card bill in "support of the economy."

When I was little, I was taught that making a gift by hand for someone was the ultimate show of love or affection. Today, you are liable to be labeled some sort of commie traitor for doing that instead of blowing a bunch of money!

Actually, the "war on Christmas" has been just great for one particular group: the conservative blowhards who have made a ton of money spouting hot air over this bogus issue.

Arne Waldstein, Housatonic