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‘Tis the season for Xmas punditry

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‘Tis the season for journalists to pseudo-philosophize about the meaning of Christmas.

Some journalists have an affection for iconoclastic punditry. Christmas is all bunk they say. It’s a pagan holiday, Saturnalia or Yule, usurped by the Church in medieval times. Or if it not that, then it’s a marketing scam got up by Coca Cola at the turn of the century. And besides, who’d ever heard of Christmas before Dickens wrote a Christmas Carol? Before that, Christmas was an ordinary working day. (That’s telling it like it is, pundit-style.)

Other journalists discover a sudden call to proselytize. We’ve lost the true meaning of the holiday. It’s not about eggnog and reindeer or – gasp! – buying gifts. It’s about Jesus Christ. Well, not exactly Christ. That’s too definite, too Christian, too exclusionary. But it’s about God. Well, maybe not God, but something vaguely spiritual. And if not that, shouldn’t we all just get along. (Journalists tend to get a bit weak in the knees and lose their convictions when talking about religion.)

Christmas is also a time, at least for journalists, to celebrate partisan politics. As they see it, the modern celebration of Christmas represents everything that is wrong with globalization. Or maybe it’s a laudable expression of American democracy. In either case, we can’t let Christmas go by without considering the War on Terrorism. Christmas is a time to call for an end to the occupation of Iraq. Or if not that, then it’s a time to support the troops. One or the other.

Every newspaper reporter, every broadcaster, and every… um… blogger has an angle on Christmas.

It’s a brave and original pundit who can let Christmas Day pass without a comment.

Merry Christmas and God bless us everyone.

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