The Most Hysterical Time Of The Year

Reading through the American Family Association’s annual Naughty Or Nice list, Alyssa rings in the War on Christmas. She calls the yearly panic “an opportunity to revisit how quick conservative organizations are to sell out their own purported values when the opportunity arises for them to get some publicity by doing so”:

First, the measure of whether a company is pro-Christmas is hilariously divorced from any theoretical Christian values or expression of the Christmas spirit, and determined solely by marketing. “BLUE: An [American Family Association] AFA ’5-Star’ rated company that promotes and celebrates Christmas on an exceptional basis,” the list’s key explains. “GREEN: Company uses the term “Christmas” on a regular basis, we consider that company Christmas-friendly. YELLOW: Company refers to Christmas infrequently, or in a single advertising medium, but not in others. RED: Company may use “Christmas” sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it.”

The only stated value, in other words, is how much retailers talk about Christmas. By this metric, a porn company, or one that kills Bengladeshi child laborers it’s stolen from their families as part of its production process, could issue a statement declaring its belief that Christmas is the most important holiday of the year, slap the term “Christmas” on all of its products, and earn at least a Green rating (though in the former case, the AFA would certainly step in to intervene). …

I’d respect the AFA if it actually went after companies who tried to further the secularization of a fundamentally religious holiday by using it as an occasion to encourage people to consume, and sometimes, to consume beyond their means. I’d respect the organization if it acknowledged that Christmas has become a holiday celebrated even by non-Christians, and used the rituals around it as an opportunity to encourage members to buy trees, gifts, and decorations that are sustainable, or locally made, or sourced in a way such that income goes to support desperately poor or historically disadvantaged people. Instead, the organization’s rating reveals just how divorced its own worship of Christmas is from any sort of articulated Christian values, or any responsible values whatsoever. It’s just another marketing scheme.