I love Christmas. Frosty the Snowman, peace on Earth and mangers, Salvation Army bell ringers and reindeer, the movie "Meet Me in St. Louis," office parties and cookies. Christmas is a stocking stuffed with sugary goodness.
I love the excess of Christmas. The shopping season that begins in September, the bad pop star recordings of Christmas carols, the decorations that don't know when to come down. One Christmas my father kept our tree up till March. He hated to see it go. I loved that.
Christmas is a big, garish, sprawling, devour-everything-in-its-path monster of a holiday. And thank goodness.
People are nicer to each other around Christmas (except maybe when they're trampling each other for the Playstation 3). They invite each other to parties and give each other presents. What's not to love?
I don't love the Christmas scolds — the ones who say it's too commercial. Or the ones who won't use the word "Christmas." Or the ones who get offended by the greeting "Happy Holidays."
"Happy Holidays" doesn't offend me. It just sounds lame.
By the way, there is no War on Christmas, no soldiers slogging through the Nog of War. Christmas is too big to take on.
It's a big tent holiday. You can celebrate it religiously as the birth of Christ. Or as the one time your whole family gathers in one place each year. Or as an excuse to buy yourself that plasma 58-inch.
When I was growing up the family up the street had the best Christmas decorations on their lawn: A full manger with a baby Jesus and animals, a larger than life Santa, a brightly lit tree, and a team of reindeer including Rudolph ... two parts Christianity, one part paganism, one part Rankin/Bass TV special.
They understood the true meanings of Christmas.
I'm a libertarian when it comes to Christmas. Let everyone celebrate it the way they want. Just one thing: no "tasteful" display of lights — you know, the tree with just white lights. I hate that.