December 22, 2005

Dispatches From The Christmas Wars


A copy of A Blue's Clues Holiday made its way from the local library into the Llama-ette bedtime reading cycle last evening. The gels have never really been huge Blue's Clues fans, but from what I've seen of the show it seemed harmless enough. So I didn't expect the book to be anything more than a collection of simple cookies n' crafts projects.

Which it was, at first. But then it got bizarre. You see, once Blue and Steve get all their presents together, they go off to their neighbors to find out about their holidays. The first house they visit is celebrating Christmas. And what is Christmas? Well, according to the book, it's a celebration of "birth". Not a birth, not the birth, just birth. "Hey!" the five year old said, "They forgot about Jesus!"

So you see, kids, Christmas really is just a solstice thing. Happy Birthday to all of us!

The next house Blue and Steve visited was celebrating Hanukkah. And what is Hanukkah? Well, according to the book, it's a celebration of "light". Not a miracle of light, not a sign of covenant between God and the Jews, just light.

So you see, kids, anybody can celebrate Hanukkah - all you need is a candle! (But ask your caregiver first, of course.)

The last house Steve and Blue visited was celebrating - what? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? That's right, it was Kwanzaa! And what is Kwanzaa? Well, according to the book, it's a celebration of "togetherness". And oddly enough, that's the only accurate description in the book. But because there's really nothing more to Kwanzaa than that, the book had to work backwards to strip all the real meaning out of Christmas and Hanukkah in order to make them all appear equal.

Because after all, kids, there's really no difference between a couple of 2000 year old religious traditions and a piece of feel-good social engineering cobbled together by a guy in California in the late 60's! In the end, what you celebrate doesn't even really matter, so long as it's a nice thing - it's the fact that you're celebrating that counts.

Bah! Humbug!

Posted by Robert at December 22, 2005 10:09 AM | TrackBack