Friday, December 02, 2011
Christmas in the stores, Christmas out of the stores
[Reprint of a 2005 article I wrote on another blog; reposted here to make it easier to access.]
In 1935, Charles Darrow was awarded the patent for the board game, 'Monopoly,' which he later sold to Parker Brothers. In those old games, the houses and hotels were made of wood, but much has stayed the same as when Darrow was making the sets by hand. That includes this Community Chest card.
Now today, you will hear some right wing 'Christians' claim that there is suddenly a 'war on Christmas.' They claim that secular America is out to get rid of Christmas, all in the name of political correctness.
Well, as we see from the card above, the idea of separating the holiday aspect from the religious aspect (Christ) was alive and well decades ago. So it is certainly nothing new.
Besides, wasn't it until a year or two ago that the same people were bemoaning the 'commercialization' of Christmas? They were worried about how the 'true meaning of Christmas' was being swallowed up in a giant rush to the malls. But let a mall store greet you with 'Happy Holidays,' now they will rush to a microphone and tell you that the store in question is part of some giant conspiracy to do away with Christmas.
Maybe this will placate them in their new obsession: How about a mall that features a nativity display, sponsored by Visa (It's everywhere you want to be). Joseph will be dressed in a very nice suit by Ralph Lauren (shoes by Bruno Magli). Mary will be dressed in a very sharp outfit from Pendleton (plus sizes available), with solid wood platform shoes by Steve Madden, exclusively available at Nine West. The three kings will be modeling Patagonia sportswear, with Nike tennis shoes. The infant will be modeling swaddling clothes from Baby Gap. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh will be on loan from Bank of America. Animals will be wearing collars that read, ILoveAlpacas.com.
Get commercialism out of Christmas. Put Christmas into commercialism. But only the way we tell you to. No wonder these people are never happy. They get their way, and they aren't satisfied with the results. And I bet some of them will grumble about it all the way to the Department store and buy something that hearkens back to the 'good old days' when nobody thought twice about saying, 'Christmas.' Something that brings back pleasant memories from when they were kids. Maybe even a game of Monopoly.