Merry Christmas, dammit!

Merry Christmas! That's right: I said "Merry Christmas." I'll forgive you if you're not sure what I mean. After all, the words "Merry" and "Christmas" aren't often found next to one another anymore, especially around December. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you had to look up "Christmas" in the dictionary just to be sure what the heck I was really talking about. But I'm saying it now, and I'm saying it loud and proud: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

So will my Jewish readers respond to my Christmas salutation by immediately unsubscribing? Will I get many emails of complaint from my Muslim readers? The answer is no. Because no sane person could possibly find offense in the phrase "Merry Christmas." Only the political correctness Nazis are offended by the thought of Christmas. And it's got to stop.

Of course, by now you know how I feel about the idiocy of political correctness. And Christmas time is the Super Bowl for the political correctness movement. Sadly, it's also where these morons have managed to have the most success and impact. Which is why you don't get Christmas cards any more-you get "holiday cards." You also wish people "season's greetings," and go to "holiday parties" at work.

I often refer to the George Orwell's 1984, and here I go again. Political correctness is the "newspeak" referenced in Orwell's classic: language deliberately constructed to distort its actual meaning. Like old-line Communists, the champions of political correctness seek to make everything the same for everyone. They wish to create a culture of the bland and generic where no one is offended or inflamed that way, no one has to think.

But I'm not the only one who sees the absurdity of the whitewashed non-Christmas that we now know as the "happy holidays." Other people have fought back against this nonsense. Back in 2001, an annual firefighters' Santa Claus parade was actually objected to by two of the families in the town. I don't know anything about the background of the people who complained but I'm guessing that they not only have incredible reserves of free time on the their hands, but are also likely not to be very fun at parties.

But that's beside the point. The key to this story is that because of TWO FAMILIES, Kensington's city council voted to ban the jolly old elf from the parade. Santa fans objected, and many townspeople besieged the city hall wearing Santa Claus suits in protest. Sanity prevailed, and Santa was restored to the parade.

Fighting for Christmas

Very gradually, some of the battles for Christmas staying Christmas are being won. After the retail giant Target announced a generic "holiday" message in their advertising recently, there was such a huge outcry that Target actually reversed their position and put "Christmas" back into their ad campaign. In Ohio, there was a widespread movement to "Just say 'Merry Christmas,'" that included bumper stickers and bracelets.

But here's my favorite: In Phoenix, a sheriff ordered that Christmas music be played all day long on December 25th, throughout the Maricopa County Jail. "We can't say 'Merry Christmas' in the U.S. any more. What are we coming to? Well, I'm saying it. I'm singing it. It's gonna be in this jail, and that's the way the ball bounces."

Imagine that: You'd have to go to jail to hear Christmas music.

The reality is that Elvis didn't sing "Blue Holiday," and Bing Crosby didn't wax sentimental dreaming of a "White Season." It's Christmas. I'm not sure why the political correctness people are offended by the cold, hard facts of this holiday: 96 percent of the population celebrates Christmas. Sowho's complaining?

I'm not sure exactly when Christmas became offensive or exclusionary, but it happened so gradually we hardly noticed. It's only when I look back to the Christmas times I remember from my youth do I realize how small and puckered up this once-glorious holiday has become.

Just watch Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life, or any of the hundreds of Christmas-themed movies of the 1940s and 1950s, and it's as if they're set on another planet, not just in a different era. Unfortunately, all the big, spectacular decorations and celebrations that came to define the Christmas of the past are likely to stay in the past.

If anything, Christmas is the most INCLUSIONARY of the non-secular holidays. The constant theme throughout Christmas is about the spirit of sharing, giving, being goodhearted and helpful toward your fellow man. What could possibly be wrong with that? The spirit of Christmas is all about appealing to what Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature." It's a clich, but it's true: If people were as nice to one another all year long as they are during the Christmas holidays, America would be a much happier place.

So this Christmas, do your best not only to spread the spirit of Christmas, but the WORD Christmas. I don't care what your race, color, or creed is. There's room on Santa's sleigh for all of us. So no matter who you are, I'm telling you this from the bottom of my heart: MERRY CHRISTMAS!