Tuesday, November 17, 2009

everybody was ho-ho fighting

I loved it from the first time I saw it: catchy, flashy, fresh and joyous. A bunch of pretty kids energetically tossing themselves around a stylized white log cabin cheering in rhythmic upbeat:

2, 4, 6, 8..T'is the time to liberate!
Go Christmas, go Hanukkah, go Kwanzaa, go Solstice!
Go classic tree, go plastic tree, go plant a tree, go without a tree!

It just made me smile. How clever! How delightful! How inclusive! How...

Oh. Of course.
How offensive.

The Mississippi-based American Family Association has launched a call for a "two- month boycott (of Gap Inc.) over the company's failure to use the word 'Christmas' in its advertising to Christmas shoppers." On it's website, the AFA asserts that:

The Gap is censoring the word Christmas, pure and simple. Yet the company wants all the people who celebrate Christmas to do their shopping at its stores? Until Gap proves it recognizes Christmas by using it in their newspaper, radio, television advertising or in-store signage, the boycott will be promoted.

And yet there it is, right up front. Go Christmas! Right before Hanukkha, Kwanzaa and Solstice. Which is, one must assume, the real problem for the AFA; Christmas doesn't get sole billing but must share equally with it's brethren (and sistren) holidays.

Almost like, you know, in the spirit of Christmas.

In fact, Gap INC., with this year's Go Ho Ho advertising campaign, has taken the past complaints of the AFA and similar fundamentalist groups (as fueled by the opportunistic flames of all of Fox TV's rabblerousers ad nauseam) protesting an imagined War on Christmas and turned it on it's head.

, sing the happy Gap cherubs, t'is Christmas. T'is also Hanukkha, Kwanzaa and Solstice. And who knows what else? (Festivus comes to mind. Surely someone is out there celebrating Festivus.)

The point is, AFA, that you do not get to determine the message of my holiday. I won't tell you how to phrase your celebratory sentiments, and you won't dictate mine. Or anyone else's. The fact remains that until you achieve the theocracy that you so ardently desire, it's still a free country.

And if I have to go buy an overpriced, inappropriately youthful sweater and/or matching scarf to prove it, well, rock on.

You 86 the rules
You do what just feels right
Happy do Whatever You Wannukkah
and to all
a cheery night!