The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, responsible for “ensuring the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce,” according to its Web site, has a list of Federal holidays. There is only one holiday listed for the month of December. And it’s not “The Holidays.” No, it’s Dec. 25, the day chosen by most Christian denominations to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
A quick glance at the rest of the holidays recognized by the government reveals two things: one, that Americans really don’t get many days off, and two, that Christmas is the only religious holiday on the list.
Despite this, a number of fliers distributed by the College Republicans appeared in residence halls inviting students to a Christmas party. While this in itself is innocuos, many residents have said they were offended by the posters.
In particular, the posters take a jab at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) by inviting students to come to a Christmas, not holiday, party where they can “Thank the ACLU for messing up our holiday” by making and sending it Christmas cards.
The problem here is not that members of the College Republicans want to have a Christmas party or even that they took a playful jab at the ACLU.
Rather, it is that this type of in-your-face advertising seems unnecessary when it comes to Christmas. The College Republicans admitted that the fliers were meant to be “controversial,” but is it really necessary to advertise an event in a controversial manner for a holiday most of the American, and College, population celebrates anyway?
In our society, Christmas is inescapable, regardless of what your feelings regarding the holiday are. There are tree lightings, town-sponsored Christmas tea parties, Christmas specials on broadcast television, parades featuring the fat man himself – and that’s before we start talking about television advertisements. The moment Thanksgiving ends, we are doused in red and green, whether we want to be or not.
In light of this, it seems pointless for the College Republicans or any other group to put up “controversial” advertisements to draw students to a Christmas party.
Those who don’t celebrate Christmas for any reason, religious or otherwise, are drenched in Christmas spirit, sometimes against their will.
Even some of those who do celebrate the holiday may feel overwhelmed by the amount of attention this single event receives every year. And it doesn’t look like it’ll get anytime soon.
Is it really necessary to add fuel to that fire?
Christmas is already overwhelming, overadvertised and perhaps overcelebrated. Is it really necessary, or wise, to add a “controversial” flier to the mix?
The College Republicans could have advertised its event just as effectively without relying on shock value.
That’s not to say we disagree with the event. They should be allowed to say “Merry Christmas.” They should be allowed to send Christmas cards to the ACLU. They should be allowed to celebrate Christmas how they wish to and they should be allowed to advertise their events.
But the advertising style they utilized was unnecessarily controversial and came at a time when Christmas is already frustratingly inescapable.