Kudos to Fox News for its vigilance in monitoring the War on Christmas. Kudos, too, to Jon Stewart and the Daily Show for monitoring the monitors.
To its credit, Fox has kept a close eye on the small skirmishes which make up the War on Christmas. Here a Christmas display is removed. There, a drugstore chain returns the word Christmas to its stores. What do these little things mean?
And that's the point. Sometimes with wars, it's hard to tell when a conflict is won or lost. See Iraq and Afghanistan for examples. The War on Christmas, as with any other war, needs a set of metrics to guide policymakers on the severity of the conflict, and to let those on the sidelines know when it's all over, or just slightly over, or if the cause is lost.
Military strategy and logistics are complex subjects. Hundreds of years after wars have ended, authors still find ways to re-fight the conflicts, to evaluate strategies and micro-analyze tactics. But for this war, not so much. If someone with more training than I wishes to lend his or her knowledge and skill to the task of establishing metrics for the War on Christmas, I wish them well. Here is some work upon which they can build.
The War on Christmas will be determined successful when:
Radio stations no longer switch to Christmas-only music.
Caribou are called caribou all year round, and don't take on identities as reindeer for the last six weeks of the year. None of them, whatever they are called, has a red nose.
Outside lights on houses are for illumination only, not for decoration (whether synchronized to music or not.) Displays of snow men and sleds, however, are still appropriate.
Street lights are only for illumination. (See above.)
Trees are not artificially transplanted indoors, to be draped and adorned, only to die or be disposed of a few weeks later.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday will become known again as, simply, Friday and Monday.
Men will not put on weight or dye their hair white so they can sit in shopping centers wearing bright red suits and entertain small children and/or pets.
Jewish people can relax and return Hanukkah (or Chanukah, depending on your preference) to its former status as a minor holiday. Hanukkah bushes will no longer be needed.
Presents will be reserved for birthdays, weddings and similar occasions.
Everyone will go to work on Dec. 25 as a regular work day should it fall during the week.
Dec. 25 will be universally recognized as the birthday of Humphrey Bogart, Clara Barton, Sissy Spacek, Rod Serling, Rick Berman, Jimmy Buffet and Annie Lenox. (And me.)
Thanksgiving will become the premier holiday on the calendar. Knowing the U.S. business community, someone will start a Thanksgiving present craze, and Halloween night will replace Black Friday as the time for crazed mobs to storm stores.
- Year-round Christmas stores close up.
We will determine the success of the War on Christmas by these benchmark metrics. If 25 percent of the above are achieved, then Christmas will be deemed to be threatened. If 50 percent are achieved, Christmas will be deemed to be in jeopardy. If all of these things occur, then the War on Christmas will be successful and the Defenders of Christmas will have failed, epically. We trust Fox will let us know how it turns out.