Christmas Season Vs. Shark Season

by Jonah Goldberg

Remember a couple years ago when shark attacks became a huge media story even though there was no statistically significant rise in shark attacks?

I can’t shake the feeling that something similar is going on with all of these stories about the “disappearance” of Christmas and the dangers of saying Holiday instead of Christmas.

Now, I am completely in the Krauthammer camp in that I think it’s silly to try to secularize Christmas. By all means, call them Christmas trees. Say Merry Christmas. I can handle it, so can everyone else who doesn’t have serious self-esteem issues.

But where the similarity to the shark thing comes in is that this is a really old story. People talk about this every year. The purging of nativity scenes — and outrage over same — has been going on for decades. Maybe I missed a particularly outrageous incident this year, but I don’t think so. Rather, I think the tide is going the other way. Schwarzennegger renamed the state “Holiday Tree” to “Christmas Tree” to cheers. Could it be that we’ve reached a tipping point where we start complaining about something just as it’s starting to recede? This happens a lot. In America, for example, we didn’t complain about child labor until it was almost gone. I don’t think we’re there yet, but I think the semi-crisis hubub over the disappearance of Christmas might actually signal its return.

I might write a syndicated column about this so if I’m crazy someone should tell me soon.

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