Merry, merry, meltdown! Wal-mart is under the yulelog fire because one of its employees— a young visionary named Kirby— dared to argue with a Fundamentalist customer that the meaning of Christmas is more magical than she might think.
It all started in email. The lady's complaint is part of a now-annual Grinchy church campaign. The Christian Crusaders send mass mailings, to all the department stores and local newspapers, to bitch about how the slogan "Happy Holidays" defiles the true meaning of Christmas.
The retailers need to sell-sell-sell to everyone this season. They use the catch-all "Holiday" slogan to appeal to every religious and material interest.
No, that would be old hat! Instead, Kirby took the time to reach out to this protester with a more careful explanation of winter rituals:
"The colors associated with Christmas red-and-white are actually a representation of the amanita muscaria mushroom," he wrote her. "Santa is borrowed from the Caucuses, mistletoe from the Celts, yule log from the Goths, the time from the Visigoth and the tree from the worship of Baal. It is a wide, wide world."
Kirby has been canned. The nameless female complainer has been elevated to a martyr. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has called for a boycott of Wal-Mart, and the other fundies are piling on. Gosh, those labor-law violators just can't get a break!
I love Kirby. I think Kirby is Santy Claus! I'm going to go make a Buche Noel with a little red mushroom on top, right now!
St. Nick painting by James Bursenos