If you're on Facebook or any other social media site these days, you're probably getting inundated with YouTube videos posted to your FunWall or SuperWall or getting hyperlinks in your e-group lists. What are they all about? The "true" meaning of Christmas.
Evidently the majority feel a little threatened these days. Unless you greet them this time of year with "Merry Christmas", they will take offence. Unless you decry retail outlets with banners or advertisements declaring "Happy Holidays", you're participating in a commercial fraud. Unless you rail against schools and public institutions who might avoid talking about "you know who", you're missing the point of this time of year and, God forbid, "politically correct".
If you can believe it, some people have even published books on the War on Christmas. If you are tempted to watch or listen to Bill O'Reilly on the Fox Network, you'll be told about the shocking way in which Christians are being persecuted everywhere at this time of year.
It's all a little melodramatic. And it all reeks of posturing by people insecure in their own religious traditions.
Evidently, it's not enough to live in a multiethnic, multicultural society that embraces diversity and privileges no established religion or denomination. Apparently only the traditions that have emerged in the last 150 years or so in English-speaking countries matter at this time of year.
It's a joke really. It's like the schoolyard bully who feels threatened when children don't volunteer their lunch money.
My wife and I did some shopping today for gifts for "you know what". We visited one of our favourite stores in downtown Waterloo, Ten Thousand Villages. It's a fun place, a place where you know you're supporting people in third-world countries to earn a decent living, a place to buy fair-trade coffee, and an absolutely wonderful gift shop. But as you walk around, there is no evidence that "you know what" has lost its place of primacy on the store shelves. Crèches, Noah's Arks, Bethlehem stars, angels - they're everywhere. No dreidels. No menorahs. Nothing of other religions except Christianity. It would appear that ten thousand villages around the world make a living catering to the festivities of the religious majority in North America at this time of year.
And that's just one store. Everywhere you go, Christmas carols on the PA systems. Sure, some of them are secular; some of them are about a jolly red elf and reindeer. But it's all about "you know what" - the "C" word.
Yet the claims continue unabated about the victimization of Christians. In 2006, for example, there were all kinds of news articles about Best Buy's decision to "ban" Christmas from its advertising. That's a little like saying Rolex bans lower and middle-class people.
Here's a little experiment for you - go to the Best Buy Canadian web site and search on "Christmas". You'll find 314 hits. I guess the "ban" isn't working very well. Try "Hanukkah" - 4 hits; or "Kwanzaa" - 0 hits. Yep, sounds like a war on Christmas to me.