BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- War On Christmas combatants concerned with keeping Christ in Xmas and heartbroken over the regular use of "Happy holidays" by retailers, officials and the general public alike may want to watch their flank.
Christmas is being assailed, but not by those accused of starting a "War On Christmas." There will still be Midnight Mass after the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. A version of O Holy Night will be played somewhere in this country on Christmas night whether people put words in Jesus' mouth on a billboard or not. Even The Daily Show host Jon Stewart's declared "War On Christmas" stands little chance of nuking the meaning out of the holiday, if only because he and Fox News (NWS) commentator Bill O'Reilly seem to have reached a stalemate based on the promise of mutually assured destruction.
Unless North Korea lobs some artillery over the Demilitarized Zone because the South Koreans lit a Christmas Tree-style tower near the border -- and we're not joking about this -- there's not going to be any culture-fueled "War on Christmas" this year. What there will be, however, is plenty of commercial encroachment on Christmas Day as celebrated by Christians and secular celebrants alike.Why? Because it pays. The National Retail Federation is already predicting a 2.8% uptick in holiday spending this season and believes shoppers will leave $465.6 billion by the time it's over. By the looks of online shopping totals alone, someone's been very good this year. ComScore (SCOR - Get Report) says online spending from the beginning of November through Dec. 9 has already reached more than $24.6 billion. That's up 15% from the $21.4 billion hauled in at this time last year. >>Can Retail Sales Momentum Carry Through Holiday 2011? That's more people buying into Christmas, New Year's and the various other happy holidays in December, but does it necessarily mean people have the time to celebrate Christmas? In a self-perpetuating problem, when employer demands mean parents have to be working the Kohl's (KSS) checkout or serving at Denny's and the kids are on shift tearing tickets at the multiplex, there's less family togetherness and more reason for everyone else to head out to shop or catch a movie themselves. We made a five-item list, checked it twice and came up with a handful of fronts where Christmas is under attack. It's not a religious war and it's not a cultural war: It's a battle for time and happiness. We'll leave it up to you to decide who's winning after these assaults: