Without a doubt, Christmas is one of the most special times of the year, if not the most special. Time with family and friends, parties, great food, movies and TV specials, and giving and receiving gifts all, in one way or another, add to the joyous celebration and festive spirit of the season. And, of course, it’s the time when billions of Christians around the world celebrate the birth of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A recent survey showed that 91% of Americans celebrate Christmas, regardless of their religious beliefs. Here’s how that survey breaks down:
A new study by LifeWay Research reveals that nine in 10 Americans (91 percent) personally celebrate Christmas, and those aren’t all self-identified Christians. A majority of agnostics or those claiming no preference (89 percent), individuals claiming other religions (62 percent), and even atheists (55 percent) celebrate Christmas along with 97 percent of Christians.
Yet, strangely enough, Christmas, which has been celebrated in one way or another since the 4th century, has been under increased attack in recent years. We see it most obviously in the statements of “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings” that have replaced “Merry Christmas” just about everywhere we go. Ad agencies and marketing professionals use the word “holiday” in place of “Christmas”, creating awkwardly written commercials that deny the obvious celebration that is right under all our noses.
As a Christian (and as an American), of course those word games are offensive to me and plenty of other folks, but it’s easy to dismiss the ads and the greetings as politically correct attempts to avoid offending people (even the mere 9% who don’t celebrate Christmas). But there’s something more pernicious here, and that is the series of attacks on the Christmas holiday by the Left. These salvos from the Left are no mere attempts at political correctness. Rather, they show an outright hostility toward a beloved holiday and the millions who celebrate it. And it’s not just the Christian symbols of Christmas that are being maligned. The non-sectarian Yuletide traditions are under attack as well.
There were so many unbelievable but true stories of assaults on Christmas this year that I found enough material from 2010 to make an entire list. Here are the ten most stupid attacks on Christmas this year. I hope that you’ll laugh along with me, even as you may shake your head in outrage.
10. “Reason” For The Season
In November, a group called the American Atheists paid $20,000 for a billboard on Route 495 outside the Lincoln Tunnel. The billboard caused a bit of a stir.
The billboard shows a silhouette of the Three Wise Men approaching the Nativity, with the words: “You KNOW it’s a Myth / This Season, Celebrate REASON!”
Reason? What is this, the 18th century?
The group says the billboard is not designed to convert Christians to atheism. Rather, Dave Silverman, a spokesman for the American Atheists, says the sign is designed to encourage existing atheists who are going through the motions of celebrating Christmas to stop.
Needless to say, the billboard has garnered some adverse reactions:
For example, Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.com writes:
It’s that snotty, oh-just-face-it-you-idiots attitude, that utter certainty, that’s just as belligerent coming from an atheist as it from an evangelical.
And Andrew Belonsky at Death and Taxes says:
[T]his latest campaign basically says Christians are a bunch of senseless twits. That’s no way to build good will, something in which everyone, even Atheists, should believe.
Thanks a lot, American Atheists, you not only fan the flames of politicized religion, you make everyone believe that those who don’t believe are just plain jerks.
For a group that’s not trying to lure people away from faith, the American Atheists sure are some angry people who really do wind up looking like jerks. Their website fires this little nugget across the bow:
Christians don’t own this holiday, and never did. Christianity is neither the first, nor the 5th, nor the 10th mythology to adopt the Winter Solstice as their major day. Mythra, Bel, Krishna, Horus, and even the Mayan Qetzalcoatl were all born on the Winter Solstice. Jesus, if you believe the Bible, was actually born in the Spring, but early Christians changed it to mesh with other mythos (look it up).
Indeed, none of the trappings of Christmas are Christian. All of it predates Christianity. Yuletide, and Yule logs come from the Pagan holiday of Yule (the pagans also took the Solstice for their own). Santa Claus is Nordic, Germanic, or Celtic, depending on who you ask, and there were no tinsel-covered evergreens in Bethlehem — that’s Pagan too.
Christians don’t deserve a monopoly on holiday cheer. We all own a piece of the Solstice (whatever you call it).
Take that, Christians! You don’t celebrate on Jesus’ real birthday! And your customs are pagan! (These are actually themes that we’ll see more than once in our look at the assault on Christmas.)
The funny thing is that, earlier on the same page of the website, the group says this:
Our goal is equality for atheists.
So, apparently for them, equality doesn’t find a home in the “live and let live” attitude that most Americans subscribe to. It’s more of a mindset of, “we’re pissed off and think we’re oppressed, so we want you to be as pissed off and oppressed as we are.” Ebenezer Scrooge was more pleasant that these people.
Merry Christmas, atheists!
9. Christmas Is Evil.
Much like the atheists here in the US, a group of Muslims in the United Kingdom has launched a campaign, this one called “Christmas Is Evil.” (Yep, I’m fully aware of the irony of Muslims calling anything “evil.”) And unlike the atheists, these adherents to the “religion of peace,” who are led by a member of the banned group ISLAM4UK, are up front about their desire to destroy Christmas – and Christianity. The Daily Mail reports it this way:
Fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group have launched a nationwide poster campaign denouncing Christmas as evil.
Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia.
They hope the campaign will help ‘destroy Christmas’ in this country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead.
The poster attributes all sorts of injustice to the Christmas season:
It reads: ‘On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me an STD (sexually transmitted disease).
‘On the second day debt, on the third rape, the fourth teenage pregnancies and then there was abortion.’
According to the posters, Christmas is also to responsible for paganism, domestic violence, homelessness, vandalism, alcohol and drugs.
Another offence of Christmas, it proclaims, is ‘claiming God has a son’.
And I always thought the worst thing that happened to me this time of year was that I gained a few pounds.
But it gets better. Get a load of this:
The bottom of the poster declares: ‘In Islam we are protected from all of these evils. We have marriage, family, honour, dignity, security, rights for man, woman and child.’
I love a great big dose of irony. It doesn’t take much research to tear down that myth. (Anyone who is interested in the truth about the “dignity” and “rights” found in Islam would do well to check out the writings of Phyllis Chesler on the subject.)
The organizer of the campaign told the Daily Mail that he isn’t worried about offending Christians, but one brave London nun (who , it is said, “doesn’t take offense lightly”) is calling it like it is:
Sister Christine Frost, founder of the East London Neighbours in Poplar charity, said: “The more posters I saw, the more angry I got.
“Someone is stirring hatred which leaves the road open to revenge attacks or petrol bombs through letter-boxes.
“I told the Mayor we are all scared.
“If we said such things about Muslims, we’d all be hanging from lamp-posts.”
Sister Christine is right. Unfortunately, it appears that, for Leftists and extremist Muslims, Christmas is fair game.
8. Hey Kids, Leave That Cheer At Home!
Even goofy, well-intentioned kids with too much time on their hands can be slammed these days for trying to spread a little Christmas cheer. At Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Virginia, a group of ten students who call themselves the “Christmas Sweater Club” because they wear the aforementioned laughable sweaters at Christmas and sing a lot of Christmas songs, got in trouble for passing out candy canes before school.
“They said, ‘maliciously maim students with the intent to injure.’ And I don’t think any of us here intentionally meant to injure anyone, or did,” said Zakk Rhine, a junior at Battlefield High School.
The boys say they were just tossing small two-inch candy canes to fellow students as they entered school. The ones in plastic wrap that are so small they often break apart.
Skylar Torbett, also a junior, said administrators told him, “They said the candy canes are weapons because you can sharpen them with your mouth and stab people with them.” He said neither he nor any of their friends did that.
Next thing they knew, they were all being punished with detention and at least two hours of cleaning. Their disciplinary notices say nothing about malicious wounding but about littering and creating a disturbance.
“It was at 7 in the morning, before school even starts, so I don’t what we’d be really disrupting,” said Cameron Gleason, also a junior.
It’s obvious that something had to be done to stop this rash of violence caused by sharpened-candy canes. The school had to take a stand against these sticky stabbings, and it’s admirable that they chose to make an example out of tough kids named Zakk and Skylar, so maybe more kids won’t engage in such dastardly deeds. I mean, just look at the video below to see what kind of thugs we’re dealing with here.
But seriously, folks, nothing compares to what the school system told the parents. First off, they couldn’t get their story straight:
Patti Gleason, the mother of Cameron Gleason says, “I am 100 percent sure they did nothing wrong. We’ve gotten so many different stories. It went from maiming kids with candy canes, to littering. And then when received the referral (disciplinary notice) it said ‘disruption.’ So nobody really knew what they were getting in trouble for, they were just making up a whole bunch of different things.”
Another mother was told something even stranger:
The boys’ parents think the school went overboard and maybe administrators were trying to stop their boys from spreading Christmas cheer.
Mother Kathleen Flannery said an administrator called her and explained “not everyone wants Christmas cheer. That suicide rates are up over Christmas, and that they should keep their cheer to themselves, perhaps.”
If by “cheer” they’re referring to those awful sweaters, then the school may be on to something.
7. Christmas Trees Depress Me Almost As Much As Taking Surveys Does.
Now we’ll travel north of the border to see what passes as scientific study these days. A Canadian university conducted a study, apparently to determine how people who don’t celebrate Christmas feel when they take surveys about their mood when there’s a miniature Christmas tree in the room. A story on LiveScience.com carries the headline: Christmas Trees Are Surprisingly Depressing for Some:
When people who did not celebrate Christmas or who did not identify as Christian filled out surveys about their moods while in the same room as a small Christmas tree, they reported less self-assurance and fewer positive feelings than if they hadn’t been reminded of the holiday, according to a new study.
The university students didn’t know the study was about Christmas, said study researcher Michael Schmitt, a social psychologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Nonetheless, he said, the presence of the tree caused non-celebrators and non-Christians to feel subtly excluded.
“Simply having this 12-inch Christmas tree in the room with them made them feel less included in the university as a whole, which to me is a pretty powerful effect from one 12-inch Christmas tree in one psychology lab,” Schmitt told LiveScience.
This is a baffling study. Schmitt and his team administered surveys about mood to groups of Christians, Sikhs, and Buddhists, and the subjects were interviewed in a room either with or without a Christmas tree. In nearly every case, the non-Christians felt “less self-assurance” with a Christmas tree in the room, but (get this) the Christians felt “more guilt when they were in the Christmas room.”
Oddly enough, after the interviews, the subjects were told of the purpose of the experiment, and even the non-celebrators of Christmas said that they believe that Christmas decorations make them happier.
In case you’re starting to wonder what to do with your Christmas decorations, just to get rid of that Christian guilt or non-Christian lack of self-assurance, don’t worry. Schmitt has some suggestions for us:
Schmitt emphasizes that he’s not interested in being the Grinch who stole Christmas. Still, he said, the majority should take a closer look at how its symbols affect minorities.
“I don’t think it’s really going to undermine anyone’s experience of Christmas to tone it down,” he said. “We’re not suggesting ‘no Christmas’ or ‘no Christmas displays at all,’ but in contexts where we really do value respecting and including diversity in terms of religion, the safest option is not to have these kinds of displays.”
Another option is to include other religious traditions in holiday displays, Schmitt said. The researchers didn’t investigate the effect of minority religious symbols on people in the majority; however, they wrote, previous research suggests that because these symbols are less frequent and less symbolic of the culture at large, the effect should be minimal.
Ummm…gee thanks. What we really need this Christmas is for some academic to tell us how to decorate.
6. The Only Green In The Banks These Days Is Money.
There are three different stories of controversy surrounding Christmas decorations at banks this year. First off, in Florida, several Wachovia branches were told to remove Christmas trees and replace them with poinsettias in order to “respect diversity”:
Wachovia spokesperson Christina Kolbjornsen confirmed to Fox 13 that they do not allow Christmas trees in their branches. As an alternative, the banks are allowed to put up a poinsettia.
“We respect the diversity of our customers and our team members and we’re decorating our stores with poinsettia plants so everyone can be included,” Kolbjornsen told Fox. “We recognize and understand that people celebrate the holiday season differently and we love to embrace diversity.”
In a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, a spokesperson from the home office of Wells Fargo, parent company of Wachovia, said that the ban was less about Christmas than about achieving a uniform look throughout the company. The spokesperson also noted that the corporate office used Christmas trees and menorahs in its decorating.
In Texas, Antonio Morales, a local businessman put up an elaborate Christmas tree in the lobby of his local Chase branch, only to be told to take it down less than two weeks later:
The tree remained in the lobby from the Monday before Thanksgiving until Tuesday [November 30]. Morales said his friend called him Wednesday [December 1] to tell him the tree had to go.
Greg Hassell, a JPMorgan Chase spokesman, said that the company’s policy isn’t anti-Christmas. “People wish their customers merry Christmas when it’s appropriate,” he said.
However, to ensure that everyone who visits Chase branches feels welcome and comfortable, the bank’s policy is to use only decorations supplied by the company.
“We appreciate the thoughtful gesture from Mr. Morales,” Hassell said. “Unfortunately, we’re unable to keep it [the tree] on display for the remainder of the holiday season.” JPMorgan Chase ensures that decorations are “something everyone is comfortable with, regardless of how they celebrate the season,” Hassell said.
So if Chase’s policy isn’t anti-Christmas, what is it meant to guard against? Ugly decorations?
Finally, the Payne County Bank in Perkins, Oklahoma was told by Federal Reserve auditors that they couldn’t display religious Christmas decorations or crosses and Bible verses:
Federal Reserve examiners come every four years to make sure banks are complying with a long list of regulations. The examiners came to Perkins last week. And the team from Kansas City deemed a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say “Merry Christmas, God With Us.” were inappropriate. The Bible verse of the day on the bank’s Internet site also had to be taken down.
5. Oh, Atheist Tree! Oh, Atheist Tree!
Only on the West Coast could a story like this one take place. On the state capitol grounds in Olympia, Washington, a group called the Seattle Atheists has erected its own tree. The local paper covered the story with enough snark to make me happy:
With little fanfare or complaints, Seattle Atheists have erected a decorated tree and a sign on the Capitol campus in honor of not-Christmas.
A tree? As in, a Christmas Tree?
Not exactly. The group calls it “A Tree of Knowledge” — although it’s unclear if they’re unaware of the Biblical implications of such a title, or co-opting it.
There’s a sign next to the tree that reads:
Seattle Atheists Tree of Knowledge
At this winter Solstice, as people embrace light and hope, Seattle Atheists celebrates human knowledge:
Inquiry and discovery, invention and exploration, the investigation of mysteries subatomic to astronomic ever growing, ever reaching, ever striving.
The paper describes the decorations on the tree better than I ever could:
[I]t’s about a 6-foot conifer with decorations hanging from the boughs. No toys or angels or smiley snowmen for the atheists, however. Their decorations consist of pictures of famous scientists like Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, covers for books like “Cosmos” and a small copy of the Periodic Table of Elements. (I know what you’re thinking: These atheists sure know how to trim a tree!)
There haven’t been any complaints about the tree. Why? Because it’s actually inoffensive and non-intrusive…you know, just like Christmas decorations are.
The article goes on to tell that the state has a nativity scene in storage, but no one has filled out the proper permits yet to display it.
What’s most telling about the story is in the few comments about the article on the website. Among them, two commenters go way out of their way to make sure the author knows that Christmas trees stem from pagan celebrations and that scholars don’t believe Jesus was born in December. That’ll show those Christians!
4. Welcome To The Red Cross, Your Getaway From All That Offensive Christmas Stuff.
Back in the United Kingdom, where one can still say the word “Christmas” without being treated like a pariah, the “war on Christmas” continues to creep in, as evidenced by this shot across the bow, fired by the British Red Cross:
Christmas has been banned by the Red Cross in over 400 of its stores. The reason being given is that the trappings of Christmas might offend Muslims.
According to reports, staff have been ordered to take down decorations and to remove any other signs of the Christian festival.
One volunteer spoke out:
Christine Banks, a volunteer at a Red Cross shop in New Romney, Kent, said: “We put up a nativity scene in the window and were told to take it out. It seems we can’t have anything that means Christmas. We’re allowed to have some tinsel but that’s it.
“When we send cards they have to say season’s greetings or best wishes. They must not be linked directly to Christmas.
“When we asked we were told it is because we must not upset Moslems.”
Mrs Banks added: “We have been instructed that we can’t say anything about Christmas and we certainly can’t have a Christmas tree.
“I think the policy is offensive to Moslems as well as to us. No reasonable person can object to Christians celebrating Christmas. But we are not supposed to show any sign of Christianity at all.”
Britain’s highest ranking Muslim politician, Lord Ahmed, weighed in as well:
“It is stupid to think Moslems would be offended. The Moslem community has been talking to Christians for the past 1,400 years. The teachings from Islam are that you should respect other faiths.”
He added: “In my business all my staff celebrate Christmas and I celebrate with them. It is absolutely not the case that Christmas could damage the Red Cross reputation for neutrality – I think their people have gone a little bit over the top.”
3. Those Offensive Christmas Villages
Back in the States, we’ll now turn to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, except when it comes to Christmas. Apparently, one of the city’s newest traditions was the Christmas Village near City Hall — that is, until recently. Now it’s the Holiday Village.
It’s that season again, which means that for the third year in a row, the German Christmas Village has set up a cozy collection of wooden booths and tree vendors in Dilworth Plaza on the west side of City Hall.
But a few shoppers noticed something amiss yesterday on the tall metal archways signaling the entrances to the shops. The archways had just one word on top – “Village.” Sounds festive, eh?
It turns out that the letters spelling “Christmas” were removed yesterday afternoon from the archways on the north and west sides of the plaza, at the request of Managing Director Richard Negrin. They will be replaced with the word “Holiday.”
It seems a few government employees (they’re probably union) and a handful of residents complained, so the city requested the change.
Refreshingly, there was some backlash.
But word of the sign change left Negrin this morning with a new headache as new complaints reached the mayor’s office…
“This is not about taking Christmas out of the holiday. It’s about being more inclusive,” Negrin told reporters outside the mayor’s office this afternoon. “I expected some complaints. Sometimes you have to make tough choices.”
He added that the sign’s removal was not a move in the name of political correctness, but rather one of “common sense.”
So that’s what we’re calling it these days? It used to be called “political correctness,” but now kowtowing to a minuscule, yet vocal, minority is referred to as “common sense.” These says, avoiding offense is more important to these spineless bureaucrats than years of tradition and freedom of expression.
By the way, the Managing Director had no problems with the city’s Christmas tree:
The lighting of the City Hall Christmas Tree will go on as planned tomorrow at 5 p.m., Negrin said, because the tree is “not a discreet religious symbol. It’s a pagan symbol.”
2. Guidelines For A Non-Christmas Christmas
Our next battleground in the “war on Christmas” is in Ashland, Oregon. The school system there decided to address what they call the “December dilemma,” and their solution is to water down the Christmas season by adding symbols of other religions to Christmas decorations and programs:
Ashland public schools can display a decorated pine tree if it is surrounded by symbols from other religious holidays, but they should not display a Christmas tree alone, in order to remain religiously neutral, Superintendent Juli Di Chiro told the School Board Monday.
District officials have implemented new holiday guidelines this year, after a controversy erupted at Bellview Elementary School last December over Principal Michelle Zundel’s removal of a holiday tree, because a family complained that it was a religious symbol.
Wait a second. Haven’t we been told (multiple times) that Christmas trees are pagan symbols? Leftists, you can’t have it both ways.
Nevertheless, the policy lays out just how to neutralize Christmas in the schools:
Teachers should be inclusive, including all relevant holidays in classroom instruction, and should focus instruction around a theme, such as light, to explore winter holidays, the guidelines state. Teachers can also encourage families to explain their religious traditions to the class.
In public areas, displays should “represent the diversity of the season, and should avoid symbols with patently religious meanings,” such as the manger scene, menorahs, angels or the Star of David, according to the guidelines. If a tree is displayed, it should be surrounded “with symbols from various religious backgrounds, along with secular symbols,” the guidelines state.
Students may sing or perform religious songs or plays in a school assembly as long as the program also includes numbers from different religious practices and secular sources. The performance should avoid emphasizing one religion over another, according to the guidelines.
It’s one thing to try to honor both Jewish and Christian traditions this time of year, but it’s completely another to try to amalgamate them into a meaningless celebration of “winter holidays” that have no significance for anyone. A watered-down celebration of vague holidays is no celebration at all. And wouldn’t “representing diversity” call for the inclusion of religious symbols as well as secular ones?
1. Poor Santa!
Nowadays, the Yuletide assault is so nefarious that even Santa Claus is under attack. There have been two instances this year in which children’s organizations made the decision to replace Santa as a part of their Christmas (I mean, holiday) celebrations — or get rid of him all together.
From the New York Post:
A politically correct West Village YMCA has fired Ol’ St. Nick in favor of Frosty.
Kids who once thrilled at sitting on Santa’s lap at the 14th Street McBurney YMCA’s wildly popular annual holiday luncheon will now suffer the icy embrace of a talking snowman and his sidekick, an anonymous penguin, at today’s event.
Forget about bringing a list or checking it twice — Frosty doesn’t take gift requests, and doesn’t care if you’re naughty or nice.
“It wasn’t replacing; it was transitioning,” said John Rappaport, executive director of the McBurney YMCA. “We realized that change is sometimes good, and that Frosty is a great winter character who would appeal to a broader number of kids.”
Change may be good in some instances, but some changes, or “transitions,” shouldn’t be made. The decision caused an uproar from Christians and Jews alike, including many YMCA members. Still, the Y stood behind it’s decision, which was made locally, rather than at the institutional level.
And in Minnesota, it appears that decisions on Christmas celebrations at Head Start are now being made by a vocal minority.
Santa Claus, as portrayed by Dennis Jackson, won’t be visiting students at the Head Start classes in St. Peter this year.
Jackson has made appearances the past four years at the classes for students who need help preparing for school, but this year officials said, “No, no, no.”
The official explanation from Chris Marben, who coordinates regional Head Start programs through Mankato-based Minnesota Valley Action Council: “We have Somali families in the program. We’re respecting the wishes of families in the program.”
“The simple truth is that southern Minnesota has become a much more culturally diverse society than it was a few decades ago,” she told the paper. “Part of our challenge in Head Start is providing an environment where young children from many different cultures can all feel comfortable.”
But don’t worry. In this case, Santa’s speaking out.
Santa’s a little frosted, the paper says.
“It kind of burnt me up,” he said.
Jackson said rather than depriving the rest of the group of the Santa experience, parents who object should take their kids out of the class during the half hour he spends talking to the kids and giving them candy.
It’s thoughtful of Santa to suggest an alternative, but if there’s anything he should know by now, it’s that the bureaucrats will placate a small minority at the expense of everybody else. The small squeaky wheel will get greased by the Left no matter what, and the timeless traditions of Christmas will once again be thrown by the wayside.
As I noted at the beginning of this post, a recent survey showed that 9 in 10 Americans celebrate Christmas, regardless of their beliefs. So these assaults on Christmas this year (and they’re just the tip of the iceberg, as the attacks have been going on for years) are a true tyranny of the minority.
This minority – whether they be Leftists in the halls of government, on the airwaves, or just in groups of their own kind – are not just going after Christmas and what that holiday stands for. They’re attempting, in just one way among many, to tear down the Judeo-Christian values upon which this country was founded.
The Left thinks that if its members can chip away at the fabric of our society long enough, they can replace our values with those of their own making — belief in the state and the collective, rather than in the individual. It’s no stretch whatsoever to see that the battle over Christmas is but a small part of a battle over what this nation, what our families, what our society, and what our belief system as a whole is.
Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t be afraid to say “Merry Christmas.” Don’t be afraid to celebrate Christmas with your family and friends in whatever way you see fit. Don’t be afraid to exercise your freedom to worship or speak or assemble this Christmas season.
So, my dear readers and friends, I’ll leave you with a Christmas greeting my brother-in-law sent me this week:
To my friends on the Left: Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2011 but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only nation in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.
To my friends on the Right: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!