Read 'n Rant: And a Merry Whatever to You, Too!

As this holiest of holy seasons approaches for 94 percent of Americans who say they believe in Christ (that's what the AP polls say), we are reminded by the Fundamentalist Ghosts of Christmas Present that there's no end to cashing in on Jesus' birth. Or to the vast intrepretations of the real meaning of Christmas: www.savemerrychristmas.org.

Now, speaking solely for herself, the LitKit has no desire to remove the C-word from the holiday season. We say: Bring on the babe wrapped in swaddling!

But to organize a boycott against department stores for not displaying Merry Christmas banners? Bah, humbug!

Oh, we sympathize. Christmas shopping just isn't the same without 20-foot vinyl green banners proudly proclaiming: "Merry Christmas! And save 20% on bath beads!" We need to be reminded that the reason we are purchasing Game Boys and Barbie Dolls and edible underwear is because the Lord was born unto us. In a stinky old manger. Without one person caring whether or not He would develop a hay allergy. All to save our miserable souls from eternal damnation (although, we observe, it didn't keep us from having to listen to Robert Novak). Well, when you put it that way: It makes the whole consumer experience pretty darn holy.

But...it isn't enough to boycott shops that don't take the Lord's name in vain. That's just a mere raindrop in the vast unholy ocean of atheism. Let's bring back the true meaning of Christmas. Like resting on the Sabbath. That means, no fair using credit cards on Sundays. Even during the holiday season. Even if you work full-time and have to drive Biff to soccer on Saturdays. Jesus would really like Sundays to be about reading The New York Times and eating blinis and sleeping in the middle of the afternoon. With some sort of church service squeezed in there.

While we're at it, why not wipe out every secular sign connected with Christmas Day? Yes, let's get rid of every smarmy smack of commercial consumerism associated with the blessed birth of Our Savior. Ban all radio stations that play any seasonal music that only addresses Santa and sleigh bells and grandmothers getting run over by reindeer! Ban cookies (particularly Pfeffernusse, which sounds fascist to us) and trees and lights and tinsel and Frosty the Snowman! And Rudolph (who not only sounds German but probably drinks). Above all, get rid of Santa Claus. Yup, let's give the boot to old Kris Kringle, Jolly Old St. Nick, Father Christmas. He has been demoted from a saint to a fat old pedophile in red jammies and must not be allowed to detract from the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Let us keep only that which invokes the Lord's birthday. Like cake and ice cream and a rousing game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey-in-the-manger.

Conversely, why not support any institution promoting Christ, or has tithing gone the way of the Latin mass? What an example it would be for Joe Bob Jr. or Little Sissy if their share of Christmas presents was donated to their favorite house of worship! What a spiritual message it would send to the world if families gave money to the Church instead of buying season's tickets to the Dallas Cowboys' games! It would fight terrorism too. Don't ask us how, but terrorism and the lack of Christmas spirit are all wrapped up in the same thing: non-Christian values.

Or we could, you know, go back to wishing for peace on earth and good will toward mankind.


A Daily Dose

Much crap is immortalized in ink, both online and in print. Some of it, we realize, is unavoidable.(We hope The Literate Kitten is not adding to the pile of stinky word-doo.) For a whiff of clean and unpolluted prose, check out this instead of (or at least in addition to) your daily horoscope: