This Christ­mas sea­son was dif­fer­ent

Don­ald Trump brought ‘Merry Christ­mas’ back, leav­ing the cry­ba­bies at the door

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. is ed­i­tor in chief of The Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor. He is au­thor of “The Death of Lib­er­al­ism,” pub­lished by Thomas Nel­son Inc.

Ino­ticed por­tents that this Christ­mas sea­son would be dif­fer­ent around Thanks­giv­ing time. I no­ticed it when peo­ple un­bid­den would wish me “Happy Thanks­giv­ing.” There seemed to be a note of ex­ul­tancy in their greet­ing. Not ev­ery­one would say “Happy Thanks­giv­ing,” but enough did that it got me to won­der­ing. Was this Thanks­giv­ing dif­fer­ent, and if so would Christ­mas this year be any dif­fer­ent? In­creas­ingly over the years ex­tend­ing wishes of Merry Christ­mas to some­one has seemed vaguely con­fronta­tional, es­pe­cially to a stranger. It is some­what like hold­ing the door for a woman. One holds the door and won­ders. What comes next? A re­buke? A tip? A smile of grat­i­tude?

The same goes for Merry Christ­mas. It opens one on oc­ca­sion to hos­til­ity, and who has time for hos­til­ity? Bet­ter it is to wish an ac­quain­tance — even an un­ac­quain­tance — with the ever pop­u­lar, and some­what cor­po­rate, “Happy Hol­i­days.”

That way one could be in­clud­ing Kwanza, Hanukkah, New Year’s, who knows even Hal­loween? Maybe there is an Is­lamic hol­i­day that can be thrown in. I guess you could say “Happy Hol­i­days” is “non-judg­men­tal,” even mean­ing­less. Who could ar­gue with mak­ing a mean­ing­less ges­ture at Christ­mas­time? Even a sour athe­ist might ap­plaud. But as I have said this year was dif­fer­ent, and I no­ticed por­tents of it about the time we sat down to de­vour our Thanks­giv­ing bird. Peo­ple — even peo­ple on the street — seemed ea­ger to wish me “Happy Thanks­giv­ing” and then came Christ­mas. Peo­ple were ex­ul­tant. The old greet­ing was back. “Merry Christ­mas,” said whites to blacks and blacks to ev­ery­one. You know that black Amer­i­cans are par­tic­u­larly Chris­tian, and I was wished “Merry Christ­mas” from the black TSA guy, a taxi driver, ev­ery­one. Even a Pak­istani, I think, wished me “Merry Christ­mas.”

I blame it all on Don­ald Trump. I stand with Hil­lary — wher­ever she has fled — and John Podesta, and the whole Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee, and all the other cry­ba­bies. Don­ald brought back Merry Christ­mas. But un­like the cry­ba­bies I am thank­ful that he did. I think he started it dur­ing a cam­paign stop in Burling­ton, Iowa. “I’m a great Chris­tian,” he said to a roar­ing crowd. Then he went on to add, “If I be­come pres­i­dent, they’re go­ing to be say­ing Merry Christ­mas at ev­ery store…you can leave Happy Hol­i­days at the door.” Well he is go­ing to be­come pres­i­dent, and Merry Christ­mas is no longer con­tro­ver­sial.

Some of us in the hot air busi­ness came to be­lieve that the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion had come to “hate Amer­ica.” I think that at some level that is true. “Lead­ing from be­hind” and de­sert­ing our al­lies were symp­to­matic. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama did that just last week. Adopt­ing terms such as Happy Hol­i­days and mak­ing Merry Christ­mas a mar­ginal term was another ex­am­ple. Re­call if you will Michelle Obama say­ing, not un­til her hus­band’s first pres­i­den­tial cam­paign did she “feel proud” of her coun­try. I can­not think of another per­son hop­ing to re­side in the White House say­ing such a thing.

Now we have a very dif­fer­ent kind of fam­ily set­ting up shop at 1600 Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue. Al­ready Don­ald has changed the tenor of dis­cus­sion not just on im­por­tant things like our re­la­tions with Is­rael and our pos­si­ble re­la­tions with Rus­sia but on mat­ters closer to home, such as the way we talk about a ma­jor holy day for the ma­jor­ity of the Amer­i­can peo­ple. Christ­mas never should have be­come a cel­e­bra­tion that all Amer­i­cans could fail to ac­knowl­edge. Once the anti-Amer­i­cans had elim­i­nated Christ­mas what would they put in its place, Black Fri­day? Is that a happy day?

Some of us in the hot air busi­ness came to be­lieve that the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion had come to “hate Amer­ica.” I think that at some level that is true. “Lead­ing from be­hind” and de­sert­ing our al­lies were symp­to­matic.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY GREG GROESCH

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