Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Article: The War on Christmas

Every year we hear the battle cry, "Don't take Christ out of Christmas!" and we know the Christmas wars have begun once again. But here's an article that explores the battle fronts taking place in areas other than the hallowed manger in Bethlehem.

Here are a few quotes on a few different topics:


In his book, "Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays," [Joel] Waldfogel says gifts generate less satisfaction than things we buy ourselves. We don't really know what other people want, he says, but we do know what we want. Because of this, in his view, Christmas shopping is "an orgy of wealth destruction" as we spend on things people don't value as much as the money we pay for them.

"I'm not against spending, just sloppy spending," Waldfogel said on NPR's Tell Me More.


Last week, Australian public health expert Dr. Nathan Grills of Monash University was called a "killjoy" and a "scrooge" in the media for an article he wrote suggesting Santa Claus was promoting bad health habits. The article, called "Santa Claus: A public health pariah?" was published at bmj.com, a British medical journal, and suggested that Santa was sending the wrong message with his obesity, drunk sleigh-driving, speeding and generally bad lifestyle choices.

Grills also said Santa could easily become a vehicle for spreading disease because he allows so many children to sit on his lap. Factor in all the sugary products he helps sell, he added, and the man in red is clearly not pushing a healthy agenda.

Editor's note: Grills later said the article was a spoof he wrote in his spare time.


As Christmas trees went up and light displays started flashing around the world, some people cringed at the thought of the electricity required to light the season.

Many of these light detractors suggest swapping out traditional Christmas lights with LED (light-emitting diodes) strings, which can be 90 percent more efficient.

While using LED lights may be a step in the right direction, some point out that many of those lights still end up on carbon-eating trees that have been mercilessly chopped down.

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