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Festivus for the rest of us

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Merry Christmas!Happy Holidays! Happy End of Year (Fiscal) Party!

Not making this up. And as much as it sounds like it should be a parody, I think it's deadly serious:

Texas Woman’s University is advising students and faculty not to use the word “holiday” when describing parties in December because it “connotes religious tradition,” and that might be offensive to non-religious people.

Yep. The word “holiday” — previously considered the politically correct substitute for that problematic term “Christmas” — is now also too triggering:

“For educational institutions, a December gathering may instead be called an ‘end of semester’ party,” advises a guide released by the school titled, “A ‘Festivus for the Rest of Us’: Tips to plan an all-inclusive, multicultural holiday party at the office.”

“For a business office, an ‘end of (fiscal) year’ party may be more appropriate,” it continues.

The guide also advises party planners to “avoid religious symbolism, such as Santa Claus, evergreen trees or a red nosed reindeer, which are associated with Christmas traditions, when sending out announcements or decorating for the party.”

Pretty silly. This kind of "please, let's never offend anyone over anything" stuff used to irritate the hell out of me. But, following the advice of the great philosopher Elvis Costello, "I used to be disgusted, now I try to bet amused." This is a majority Christian nation, which means there are going to be plenty of Christian observances and gestures and celebrations, and some of them just might be occasionally visible to non-Christians, as painful as that might be. Get over it.

So if I want to express my deeply religious side and pay homage to that great Christian icon Santa Claus by riding up to him on my red-nosed reindeer and presenting him with a Christmas End of (Fiscal) Year tree, that's my business.

Heh.

In other War on Christmas news, the ACLU sued the little Indiana town of Knightstown because of a very small cross on top of a very tall Christmas tree that had been displayed on town property for years, apparently without causing any lasting damge to anybody's psyche. But Joseph Tompkins, on whos behalf the ACLU acted, couldn't take it anymore:

The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday, says he has been “forced to come into unwelcome contact” with the display, causing him “irreparable harm.”

Wow. Irreparable harm.

The town couldn't afford to fight the lawsuit, so it took the cross off the tree. But then the residents of Knightstown had their say:

A federal lawsuit forced an Indiana town to remove a cross from atop their Christmas tree. Now residents are putting up crosses everywhere. They're appearing in businesses, neighborhoods and places they've never been seen before in Knightstown.

The cross frenzy started on Tuesday night, when a couple of pick-up trucks with homemade crosses standing in their beds drove around the town square.

Another story I read said there were hundreds of crosses everywhere. I wonder what Tompkins feels now. Was it really in his thoughts every time he saw the cross that it was on public property and that was the idea that was causing him irreparable harm? But if it was just the sight of the cross itself, seeing hundreds must be really freaking him out.

In case you're still squeamish about saying Christamas out loud, President-elect Donald Trump has given us permission:

While on the campaign trail, Trump railed against the politically correct, including the use of "happy holidays" over "merry Christmas."

Trump shared a similar message in Michigan a few days ago.

"Merry Christmas, everybody, merry Christmas!" he said. "Right? Merry Christmas."

We’re gonna start saying ‘merry Christmas’ again," Trump told the Michigan audience. "

Some of us never stopped.

But before you get too worked uop over all this, consider that the "war on Christmas" has already been waged, and Christmas won;:

In the original War on Christmas, it was the celebrating itself that was seen as the cultural breakdown. In the war Lewandowski imagines — and I do mean imagines — his side is all that stands between us and the breakdown of our traditions and values. Except there’s never been a time in our lives devoid of Christmas shopping, music, trees, cards or greetings. The First Amendment guarantees our right to observe it. And our right, if we choose, not to. We’ve never not been free to say “Merry Christmas,” and saying “Happy Holidays” at the mall won’t change that.

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