The Thin Red and Green Line: Letters from the War on Christmas

In case you haven't yet heard the call to arms echoing across the country, it's back: the War on Christmas™, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fox News. Every year it returns and, much like the Christmas shopping season, every year it seems to begin earlier and earlier.
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In case you haven't yet heard the call to arms echoing across the country, it's back: the War on Christmas™, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fox News. Every year it returns and, much like the Christmas shopping season, every year it seems to begin earlier and earlier.
Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 11.12.51 AM

In case you haven't yet heard the call to arms echoing across the country, it's back: the War on Christmas™, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fox News. Every year it returns and, much like the Christmas shopping season, every year it seems to begin earlier and earlier.

Way back in 2007, I wrote a piece for Deus Ex Malcontent that's become something of a holiday tradition. Sure, the dates described have now, for the most part, come and gone, but hopefully that doesn't take much away from the general idea -- which is to mercilessly mock the ridiculous conceit of there being a war on Christmas by taking the whole thing to its logical conclusion.

The following e-mail correspondence was released to the public on December 16th, 2011 via the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (Amd. Public Law 104-231) and was collected at an undisclosed time via the U.S.A. Patriot Act (Public Law 107-56). It includes content which will remain classified by the United States government due to its sensitive nature regarding matters of national security until the following date: January 1st, 2050. Please be advised that despite FOIA provisions, the publication or broadcast of this communication may be subject to restriction or amendment as dictated by the Fox News "First Look" Act of 2009 (Public Law 134-793).

Communication Intercept #XX,XXX,XXX (USAPA)
Transmitted on: December 10th, 2008
TC: 13:21:06
From: PFC Granville Sawyer, 57th Overlanders (Tactical Infantry)
To: Mrs. Myrna Sawyer, Seattle, WA

Dear Mom,

I didn't think it would be this cold in Kansas, but the truth is it feels an awful lot like home right about now, except for all the unfriendlies.

My platoon's dug in far behind enemy lines. We have been for quite a while now, just how long I don't want to say -- long enough that I've seen some things that will haunt me forever.

I keep going back to the same questions, Mom: How did it get this far? How did we get into this mess? How did this bloodbath start?

The first time I heard somebody say that there was a "War on Christmas" I laughed. I figured it was just bunch of overblown garbage used to sell an idiot's books. I thought it was a scare tactic.

Then came all the court cases, the lawsuits against any businesses that used "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." The threats, the intimidation. Christians saying that they were being persecuted. Forcing their beliefs on so many until finally somebody decided to force back. I guess that's when I stopped laughing.

I can't even remember when war was officially declared.

We don't get much information out here and I'm worried that our transmissions are being monitored by electronic surveillance. XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXX What we hear are mostly rumors. Is it true they nuked New York City? The last I heard, the Army was moving in to crush some kind of uprising that torched the Rockefeller Center tree and destroyed all the Christmas windows at Saks. If it's true, man, all those people. It wouldn't surprise me if it is though. After the 103rd Irregulars took out John Gibson live on the air back in March, and Fox News decided to relocate from New York to Orlando, it was only a matter of time before the religious nuts in the military finally leveled that city. They've been looking an excuse for years.

I don't know if communcation's been cut off from California, but our new captain says that after we captured Santa Cruz and Santa Monica and renamed them (although I understand the decision, I kinda think Odin Cruz and Odin Monica sound a little silly), the Army's 1st Air Cav launched an assault on San Francisco. He says they came in off the horizon in a fleet of low-flying gunships, blasting Burl Ives's Holly Jolly Christmas as they opened fire. Cap was there and says it was the most terrifying thing he'd ever experienced, the smell of flaming egg nog in the morning. Scared the hell out of the locals.

I hope you're safe, Mom. There's a big mission coming up for us, maybe I'll be able to tell you about it next time I write.

Love,

Gran

Communication Intercept #XX,XXX,XXX (USAPA)
Transmitted on: December 15th, 2008
TC: 9:17:54
From: PFC Granville Sawyer, 57th Overlanders (Tactical Infantry)
To: Mrs. Myrna Sawyer, Seattle, WA

Dear Mom,

Last night, the Marines' 101st Airborne Crusaders -- they're nicknamed O'Reilly's Raiders -- dropped on our position. It was a violent fight. We lost thirty men, including one of my best friends, a guy named Muhammed. Thing is, the Raiders don't just kill you. No, Mom, they want to make damn sure you know that Jesus is the reason for the season. After the battle, we found out that they'd taken a bunch of our guys, tied them up with strings of Christmas lights, then forced them to eat mistletoe and myrrh. It's a poisonous concoction. A terrible way to die, from what I hear. Another reason to hate Christmas.

But I'm still not sure all of this is worth it. We hit them and then they hit back, then we hit back harder. I don't even know if the brutality of the Raiders is a response to our own "Special Ops" unit. They're known as the Season's Reapers. There are rumors going around that they've been kidnapping carollers and tacking their Santa hats to trees... with the heads still in them.

This morning we torched a Christmas tree farm near the Colorado border. The cloud of smoke from the inferno blotted out the sun. It was like hell on earth.

Give my love to Dad.

Love,

Gran

Communcation Intercept #XX,XXX,XXX (USAPA)
Transmitted on: December 19th, 2008
TC: 21:06:33
From: PFC Granville Sawyer, 57th Overlanders (Tactical Infantry)
To: Mrs. Myrna Sawyer, Seattle, WA

Dear Mom,

We're XXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXX XX and I'm not sure what sort of weapon they've got, but it's XXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX. I've never seen anything like it. All of a sudden there was this bright flash of white and XXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXX garland and pine needles raining down...

Communication Intercept #XX,XXX,XXX (USAPA)
Transmitted on: December 19th, 2008
TC: 05:45:21
From: PFC Granville Sawyer, 57th Overlanders (Tactical Infantry)
To: Mrs. Myrna Sawyer, Seattle, WA

Dear Mom,

Things are bad here. Word is the military's moving reinforcements into our position. It's conscripting the Kwanzaa Regiments into service by promising them freedom after the war. The only ones still standing with us now are the Jewish Brigades. They're known as Zion's Lions. Strong fighters, but they make these fire bombs they call Mazel Tov cocktails using bottles of Manischewitz -- problem is that the stuff doesn't light very well.

It's now turned into a guerilla fight on both sides. Our best weapons right now are IEDs: Improvised Explosive Decorations. We plant them on the side of the road, and their guys just can't help but stop to take a look at them -- since they love Christmas and all. We fill the ornaments with explosives and BOOM! ... that's the "Last Noel" for them.

What's the word on the net from the front?

They say there've been some major victories for our side on the ground, but I'm hearing some rumors that really scare me.

Is it true we're putting dwarves into internment camps?

Love,

Gran

Communcation Intercept #XX,XXX,XXX (USAPA)
Transmitted on: December 24th, 2008
TC: 16:03:50
From: PFC Granville Sawyer, 57th Overlanders (Tactical Infantry)
To: Mrs. Myrna Sawyer, Seattle, WA

Dear Mom,

So this is it, the final offensive, the one that could finish this war once and for all. After the American Family Council -- those crackpots out in Mississippi -- firebombed the Supreme Court, we knew we needed to make a statement. We needed to do something big and public.

That's what will happen in a few hours.

It ends tonight.

Wish us luck.

Your loving son,

Gran

Communication Intercept #XX,XXX,XXX (USAPA)
Transmitted on: December 26th, 2008
TC: 11:20:04
From: PFC Granville Sawyer, 57th Overlanders (Tactical Infantry)
To: Mrs. Myrna Sawyer, Seattle, WA

Dear Mom,

How will history remember this war? How will it remember those who fought against Christian fundamentalist terrorism, or those who fought to preserve a beloved tradition? Who will judge all of us?

After the capture of NORAD two nights ago, and the live feed that was beamed to every home in America, after the retaliatory annihilation of the entire coast of California, after the truce that finally followed -- after the bloodbath, what's left?

Now I can tell you, I was part of the team that seized NORAD. We took Cheyenne Mountain and just as the facility was about to go live with its traditional "Tracking Santa" broadcast, we cut in and rolled our own pre-recorded phony news report to stations throughout America. It showed NORAD following "Santa's sleigh" as a blip on a radar. It showed NORAD firing missiles at Santa, and destroying him high above the North Pole. It showed the end of Santa -- the end of a Christian icon and the end of Christmas.

It was nothing but theater, but it served its purpose.

The nuclear launch that followed, from the military's Washington, DC, bunker was devastating. Millions were killed in California.

Which is why both sides realized it was time to end the nightmare.

Hopefully this armistice will mean that I'll be coming home to you, Mom.

Although I finally have access to a TV, and while flipping through cable channels this morning, I came across Fox News, and there was Bill O'Reilly...

...saying something about a War on Easter.

End of Correspondence