Dreaming of a Red, white and green Christmas?

Call me a cynic if you like — I will plead guilty although to lesser charges — but I have discovered the real truth about the “Faux War on Christmas.”

Each year around this time you hear the stories. This school banned decking the halls with boughs of holly. That city council cancelled the Nativity scene. It is all, of course, because a school or government body decides after getting some heat from one group or the other that the celebration of Christmas crosses the forbidden line between church and state. One will find the stories, perhaps, with some truth while other times the state-mandated Grinchdom may have some totally different reason behind such actions. Those reasons, in such case, will be conveniently left out by those who seek to perpetuate yet another great American myth.

You want specific instances? I don’t need no stinkin’ specific instances, or double negatives either! You all know what I am talking about.

For all the years I have heard such stories, I wondered what was behind this “War on Christmas” which finds such ire from right-wing pundits like Bill O’Reilly. I saw some figures that got me thinking. Now, it should come as no surprise what is most important to conservatives (and many, many liberals alike.) That would be money.

Yes, dear friends. Are you dreaming of a “white Christmas” or a “green” one? And even worse, it isn’t just the American 1 percenters who are raking in the dough. Consider these interesting facts from the U.S. Census Bureau:

–$983 million was the value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and September 2011. China was also the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees shipped to the United States ($79.7 million worth) during the same period. Holy chop sticks, Batman!

–$27.2 billion, yes, billion, was  the amount in retail sales by the nation’s department stores in December 2010 alone.  This represented a 44 percent jump from the previous month (when retail sales, many holiday-related, registered $18.8 billion). And what does the Santa outside the store receive? Maybe minimum wage plus a kick in the shins by some “cute” little tyke.

–$34 billion was the value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2010 — the highest total for any month last year. Want to buy a Grecian urn? And just what does a Grecian earn? Not much these days.

–$2.5 billion was the amount of U.S. toy imports including stuffed toys (including dolls), puzzles and electric trains from China between January and September 2011. China was the leading country of origin for stuffed toys coming into this country, as well as for a number of other popular holiday gifts. These include roller skates ($24.6 million), sports footwear ($253.8 million) and basketballs ($38.9 million).

Need I go on? I need not, indeed.

Between those wily Reds and those humble folks at Spendalottamoney-Mart and Shoptillyourfingersfalloff-World, Christmas means a whole lot of moohlah! Good grief! Will we let the Chinese become the world basketball-making power? And skates? Who’d have thought?

Would it not make sense that a common enemy helps ensure that folks go out and spend, spend, spend before all those schools and governments require that everyone celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa (during which many candles are lit that were among the $1.5 billion in shipments of candles in 2009)?

No, you say?

Oh well. It was just a theory, like E = mc2 or perhaps like E=mcdonalds. Big Mac anyone?