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Thread: Happy Holidays

  1. #16


    Happy New Year NYC!!

  2. #17


    Sorry I'm late......WaaaaaWhooooo Happy New Year!

    sorry, I just get the funny haha's when i see this pic ^_^

    okay I'm done.. cheers :wink:

  3. #18


    The New Yorker



    by Hendrik Hertzberg
    Issue of 2005-12-26 and 2006-01-02
    Posted 2005-12-19

    Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, with Jack Frost nipping at your nose and folks dressed up like Eskimos—or, to update the line for political correctness, with tots in boots just like Aleuts. It’s that magical season when lights twinkle and good will abounds. It’s time again for the thrill that comes but once a year: the War on Christmas.

    The War on Christmas is a little like Santa Claus, in that it (a) comes to us from the sky, beamed down by the satellites of cable news, and (b) does not, in the boringly empirical sense, exist. What does exist is the idea of the War on Christmas, which, though forever new, is a venerable tradition, older even than strip malls and plastic mistletoe. Christmas itself, in something like its recognizably modern form, with gifts and cards and elves, dates from the early nineteenth century. The War on Christmas seems to have come along around a hundred years later, with the publication of “The International Jew,” by Henry Ford, the automobile magnate, whom fate later punished by arranging to have his fortune diverted to the sappy, do-gooder Ford Foundation. “It is not religious tolerance in the midst of religious difference, but religious attack that they”—the Jews—“preach and practice,” he wrote. “The whole record of the Jewish opposition to Christmas, Easter and certain patriotic songs shows that.” Ford’s anti-Semitism has not aged well, thanks to the later excesses of its European adherents, but by drawing a connection between Christmasbashing and patriotism-scorning he pointed the way for future Christmas warriors.

    Over the next few decades, when the country was preoccupied with the Depression, the Second World War, and going to movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the W. on C. went into remission. But at the end of the placid nineteen-fifties the John Birch Society, a pioneering organization of the bug-eyed right, took up the Yuletide cudgels. As Michelle Goldberg recalled recently in Salon, a 1959 Birch pamphlet warned that “the Reds” and “the U.N. fanatics” had launched an “assault on Christmas” as “part of a much broader plan, not only to promote the U.N., but to destroy all religious beliefs and customs.” The enemy’s strategy, the Birchers warned, was to aim at the soft underbelly and shake it like a bowlful of jelly. “What they now want to put over on the American people is simply this: Department stores throughout the country are to utilize U.N. symbols and emblems as Christmas decorations.” The focus on department stores was a prophetic insight, but its full potential as a weapon in Christmas war-fighting was not realized until the next century.

    Today’s Christmas Pentagon is the Fox News Channel, which during a recent five-day period carried no fewer than fifty-eight different segments about the ongoing struggle, some of them labelled “Christmas under attack.” One of Fox’s on-air warriors is John Gibson, whose new book, “The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought,” presents itself as the definitive word. So one opens it eagerly with hopes of learning what this war actually consists of. These hopes are soon dashed—or, rather, fulfilled, since it turns out to consist of very little. Gibson provides a half-dozen or so anecdotes, padded out to stupefying length, in which a school board or a city hall renames its Christmas break a winter break or declines to rename its winter break a Christmas break, or removes Christmas trees from the lobbies of government buildings and then restores them after people complain. “The war on Christmas,” the author concludes triumphantly, “is joined.”

    Gibson is a mere grunt in Fox’s army. Bill O’Reilly, the network’s most prominent religio-political commentator, is its Patton. The shortage of anti-Christmas atrocities (plus the fact that the U.N. fanatics long ago switched to subverting Halloween) may explain why he has concentrated on department stores, many of which, in their ads or via their salespeople, wish people “Happy Holidays” instead of—or in addition to, or more frequently than—“Merry Christmas.” (In 1921, Henry Ford attacked from the opposite flank, sneering that “the strange inconsistency of it all is to see the great department stores of the Levys and the Isaacs and the Goldsteins and the Silvermans filled with brilliant Christmas cheer.”)

    O’Reilly sat out Vietnam. In the war on the War on Christmas, however, he not only has been in the trenches but has gone over the top. “I am not going to let oppressive, totalitarian, anti-Christian forces in this country diminish and denigrate the holiday!” he said the other day. And, “I’m going to use all the power that I have on radio and television to bring horror into the world of people who are trying to do that!” And, “There is no reason on this earth that all of us cannot celebrate a public holiday devoted to generosity, peace, and love together!” And, “And anyone who tries to stop us from doing it is gonna face me!”

    O’Reilly sees the War on Christmas as part of the “secular progressive agenda,” because “if you can get religion out, then you can pass secular progressive programs like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.” Just as Christmas itself evolved as a way to synthesize a variety of winter festivals, so the War on Christmas fantasy is a way of grouping together a variety of enemies, where they can all be rhetorically machine-gunned at once. But the suspicion remains that a truer explanation for Fox’s militancy may be, like so much else at Yuletide, business. Christmas is the big retail season. What Fox retails is resentment.

    In this war, no weapons of Christmas destruction have been found—just a few caches of linguistic oversensitivity and commercial caution. Christmas remains robust: even Gibson says in his book that in America Christmas celebrators (ninety-six per cent) outnumber Christians (eighty-four per cent). But the “Happy Holidays” contagion has probably spread too far to be wiped out. “President Bush and I wish everyone a very happy holiday,” Laura Bush says sweetly on a video posted on the White House Web site. And even the Fox News online store advertised, until a couple of weeks ago, “The O’Reilly Factor Holiday Ornament.” (“Put your holiday tree in ‘The No Spin Zone.’ ”)

    John Lennon, who died in this city, at this season, twenty-five years ago, didn’t bother with “Happy Holidays” and the like. In 1971, he and his wife, Yoko Ono, wrote and recorded a song that has become a classic. Here’s its final verse:

    A very Merry Christmas
    And a happy New Year
    Let’s hope it’s a good one
    Without any fear
    War is over, if you want it
    War is over now.

    That’s the spirit, John. You bet we want it. And Merry Christmas to all.

  4. #19
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    O'Reilley is just looking fro attension. He actually wished John Stewart a Merry Christmas.

    The guy is not stupid, he is just greedy.

    As for the whole War on Christmas, it is AMAZING that these guys will target the municipalities taking down the christmas tree, but not Target for having Christmas Sales in October or Kay Jewlers for showing Mrs. Claus to be a materialistic bling-seeker.

    Not only that, but the fact that Christmas is celebrated in different ways by different people is another thing. Maybe we should go back to the Puritan ethic and not celebrate anything? Maybe all holidays should be times of punishment, repentment and pennance!


    If people would just get off their high horses and stop trying to tie everything together so much, maybe they can see that the global de-secularization of Christmas may do more damage to the holiday than the refusal of decorations at City Hall.

    And that neither is going to legalize narcotics.

    Happy Winter Solstice!!!!

  5. #20


    Rhode Island Statehouse Christmas tree dead from flame retardant

    By Ray Henry, Associated Press Writer | December 22, 2005

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. --It's a Charlie Brown Christmas for Rhode Island's official Christmas tree.

    The 18-foot Colorado Blue Spruce lost its needles and died after Statehouse workers dried it with commercial fans and sprayed it with a fire-retardant chemical. The workers were following the stringent new fire code enacted after a deadly 2003 nightclub blaze.

    Decked in white lights beneath the rotunda just last week, the balding embarrassment was ignominiously hustled out of the building on Wednesday night.

    Gov. Donald Carcieri sheepishly explained the tree's demise -- and suggested the state might get an artificial replacement next year.

    "With the new fire code, we're supposed to spray it," he told WPRO-AM. "And apparently the spray killed it."

    Rhode Island law designates Christmas trees as "flammable vegetation" and regulates their display in public buildings. Until recently, Christmas trees in public buildings had to be doused with fire retardant, said Tom Coffey, executive director of the Fire Safety Code Board of Appeal and Review.

    The state lifted that requirement on Dec. 6, Coffey said, but that was too late for the Statehouse tree, which was put up Nov. 25.

    Lawmakers overhauled the state's fire code after a February 2003 blaze in a West Warwick nightclub killed 100 people and injured 200. At first, the code banned Christmas trees in public buildings. But tree farmers fought to have that section removed in exchange for safeguards that include posting the tree's watering schedule nearby.

    A properly watered tree is not a fire hazard, says Al Bettencourt, executive director of Rhode Island's Farm Bureau, who once tried proving the point during an appearance on a cable television show.

    "First we tried to light it with matches -- couldn't do it," he said. "Then we took out a 50,000 BTU blowtorch and we turned that onto the tree."

    The pine crackled, he said, but never caught fire.

    Bettencourt and a team of farmers rushed Thursday to get a replacement tree from a West Greenwich farm. The task proved complicated because the law also requires a fire marshal to be on hand when a tree destined for public display is cut down, to ensure freshness.

    "This one will not be sprayed," promised Steve Kass, a spokesman for the governor.

  6. #21
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Bureaucracy at work.

    Lovely, ain't it?

  7. #22


    Gov. Donald Carcieri sheepishly explained the tree's demise -- and suggested the state might get an artificial replacement next year
    They should put up a Festivus pole.

  8. #23
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    I thought it would be Paris Hilton.

    Without plastic surgery you can't get more artificial than that.....

  9. #24
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Nairobi Hilton

    Default Yuletide greetings -

    Everyone hop on a bus or train and thank the deity of your choice that we live in this town!

  10. #25


    Happy Holidays to All

  11. #26


    That's adorable.

    December 20, 2005

    Op-Ed Contributor

    Just Another Displaced New Yorker


    Bath, England

    A Cincinnati newspaper announced in 1844 that "the sterling old Dutchman, Santa Claus, has just arrived from the renowned regions of the Manhattoes," or Manhattan, "with his usual budget of knickknacks for the Christmas times."

    Manhattan is where Santa Claus, the secular re-imagining of St. Nicholas, first emerged care of canny cultural nostalgics among the city's lettered and business classes, most notably Clement Clarke Moore. But he later relocated to the North Pole or, in the European tradition, to Lapland in northern Scandinavia. Santa's migration north allows us a fascinating insight into the 19th century's preoccupation with the high latitudes, while period winter details furnish the man with many of his trappings.

    It's no surprise that wintry elements should have attached to Nicholas's iconography, given his Dec. 6 feast day and his popularity in Northern Europe, far from his Byzantine origins in what is now southern Turkey. Nicholas was closely associated with chimney and hearth long before Europeans first settled Manhattan Island in the early 17th century. But it was only with his rise in visibility in New York, primarily with Moore's 1822 poem, "A Visit From St. Nicholas," that he appeared against a backdrop of "new fallen snow," complete with sleigh and eight named reindeer.

    The poem's landscape mirrored the winter view from Moore's study window in Manhattan, and the sleigh was borrowed from the surrounding roads. One account of 1820 Broadway depicted painted sleighs, "with scarlet cloth and buffalo skins" that were "dashing along in all directions at a prodigious speed." Sleigh parties to outlying taverns were a popular pastime among young adults. Those who balk at such literal explanations for Santa's trappings should consider that sleighs were not only the transport of the North American winter but also were required to carry bells to warn pedestrians of their otherwise dangerously silent approach. "Jingle Bells" may be the very sound of Christmas whimsy, but its origins lie in a system for preventing traffic accidents.

    Not that American sleighs were ever drawn by reindeer. Although reindeer were familiar here, their habitat extending as far south as New Hampshire and Ohio until the late 19th century, they had never been used as draft animals beyond the European and Russian Arctic. Winter haulage instead fell to horses and, in the far northern wilderness, to huskies.

    So what was it about reindeer that appealed to the anonymous New York writer of "The Children's Friend" in 1821 when he wrote "Old Santeclaus with much delight/His reindeer drives this frosty night" - the first published reference to the partnership? Most probably it was the long European tradition of reindeer domestication, which endowed Santa with an instant patina of age, as well as the animal's mystical qualities, largely suggested by the Saami peoples of northern Scandinavia, who believed their own dead returned as reindeer.

    The Cincinnati newspaper report confirms that Santa's territory was rapidly expanding in the mid-19th century. But so was his home city. As New York's street grid pushed northward starting in the 1830's, the rural landscapes that had inspired Clement Clarke Moore's enchanted whimsy transformed into slum tenements where liquor dens and flophouses proliferated. The transcendent Santa could not be accommodated indefinitely by this increasingly urbanized space. A New York residency further required an actual address, entailing convoluted explanations to the children. It was time for Santa to leave the city, not for Brooklyn or the suburbs, but for the North Pole.

    It was a time when the frozen north pressed hard against the public imagination, with Coleridge's poetry and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" evoking the unearthly allure of the Arctic sublime. The preoccupation intensified in 1818, when the British government reiterated its offer of £20,000 for the discovery of the Northwest Passage, setting off a new age of American Arctic exploration just as Santa was emerging on the scene. That New York was an important staging post for many such expeditions, with the ill-fated Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin first passing through the city for Canada in the 1820's, perhaps made it inevitable that Santa and the far north, two topical cold-climate ideas, should eventually entangle.

    Of all the epithets coined for the Arctic regions, none was more common than the North Pole. Explorers heading for the Arctic were considered to have left for the North Pole, though the truth was that nobody at the time had come anywhere near the literal top of the world. So long as 90 degrees north remained beyond physical reach, the North Pole functioned instead as an evocative abstraction for the Arctic regions in general, free to serve the furthest flights of fancy. It served as home to Hans Christian Andersen's snow queen (1845), whose ice palace was situated "high up toward the North Pole."

    Two decades later, in 1866, a Christmas illustration in Harper's Weekly captioned "Santa Claussville, N.P.," confirmed that Santa had followed the snow queen north. Subsequent Christmas issues included a girl mailing a letter to "St. Claus, North Pole" in 1879, and two children tracing Santa's route on a map from the North Pole to the United States in 1885.

    Mankind would finally make this same journey, in reverse, when Robert Peary planted the American flag at the actual pole in April 1909. But conquering North Pole only confirmed that it was utterly uninhabitable and all but inaccessible. The British have since relocated Santa Claus to Lapland, with its appropriate backdrop of snow, trees and reindeer, and in doing so have turned the resorts of northern Finland and Sweden into December destinations.

    The Americans have persisted with the North Pole, but by name rather than by latitude. The creation from the late 1940's of settlements called North Pole near Fairbanks, Alaska, and in the Adirondacks of New York, complete with visitor attractions, means that Santa can be visited every year, though largely in the summer months. And though Santa's home may no longer be in Manhattan, his spirit remains here, in the city so influential in his creation.

    Jeremy Seal is the author of "Nicholas: The Epic Journey From Saint to Santa Claus."

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  12. #27
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS


    ^^ Thats cute ZippyTheChimp!

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  13. #28
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    Happy Christmahanukwanzaakkah, everyone.

    Though here in San Francisco, where I'm staying with relatives, it isn't yet the 25th.

  14. #29


    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays (for you PC folks)!

  15. #30


    Happy Holidaze from me & Bender!

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