Fear not, as the angel said to the shepherds. Your U.S. Congress is on the case.
Well, some of Congress, anyway. A move is on once again to formally defend Christmas. It’s in the form of a resolution sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado and signed by 36 other House Republicans, including Vicky Hartzler of Missouri and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas.
It resolves that the U.S. House of Representatives (1) recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas, (2) strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas and (3) expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions by those who celebrate Christmas.
Well, this is certainly good news. It may be difficult to turn a corner these days without impaling oneself on an artificial Christmas tree, but those of us who have gotten into the spirit will be happy to know that at least a small contingent of Congress is prepared to defend our right to decorate.
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I do wish the authors of House Resolution 564 had been more specific about exactly which symbols and traditions of Christmas we are to be supporting.
Mangers and nativity scenes, absolutely. Angels, stars and snowflakes, sure. And reindeer, because they’ve been around for a while. Also Santa and the elves, because they represent the spirit of giving, even if it’s gotten completely out of hand.
But how about a leering blob of a snowman casting an eerie glow over your neighbor’s lawn? Or an inflatable alligator in an elf’s hat? Or a penguin that resembles a bowling pin? Or a yard full of electrified, writhing candy canes?
Google “worst inflatable Christmas decorations” or just drive around the neighborhoods for a while and you’ll find all of these and more.
The signs of the season get more outlandish every year, but nevertheless the defenders of Christmas are forever on their guard. Just ask Starbucks, which caused a holiday incident by opting for symbol-less red to-go cups this year.
Our elected representatives are often ridiculed for fighting the so-called war on Christmas. Critics say they should have more important things to do. But I am fine with them adopting this as a priority.
Hartzler’s last big project was an ill-fated attempt to get the money used for wildflowers and other landscaping projects removed from the latest highway bill. Now she’s on a House committee that has a $300,000 budget to investigate Planned Parenthood. You know me: I’d much prefer she focus on affirming the legitimacy of Christmas.
The same goes for Huelskamp, a loose cannon if ever there was one, and for Lamborn, who may be best known outside his congressional district for saying in a 2011 radio interview that being associated with President Barack Obama would be like “touching a tar baby.” He apologized.
I only wish the signers of House Resolution 564 had gone further in their quest to defend Christmas.
Could they not have resolved that the U.S. House should support a moratorium on political campaign activity for at least the two weeks preceding the day itself? There is a TV screen on the wall where I work. It is tuned to a cable news channel and every time I turn around I see a raving Donald Trump. I’m thinking of concealing him with garlands, but that won’t really solve the problem. High-stakes politics and Christmas are not a good mix.
I propose to the Christmas caucus that you amend part one of your resolution ever so slightly to affirm that you recognize the importance of the symbols and traditions and spirit of Christmas. You know, the part where we treat one another with civility and kindness and welcome the stranger, who just might be of a different faith and from a different land.
Do that and you’ve definitely got my vote.