Like retailers who begin putting out Christmas decorations after Labor Day, the “War on Christmas” crowd is mobilizing earlier this year.
First out of the gate was Sarah Palin, who well before Thanksgiving (the traditional launch of the War on Christmas season) started promoting her “protecting Christmas” book. That opens with a recipe (Christmoose chili — get it?) that’s useless for anyone who lives south of northern Minnesota. And it will be increasingly useless as global warming continues to kill off the moose population in North America.
In other words, it’s got a devious meta-theme, with which she’s built increasing irrelevancy into her work — just the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from dear Sarah. By the way, she’ll be here in Roanoke in person promoting it (Barnes & Noble Valley View Mall) on Pearl Harbor Day, which is about a real war.
The other War on Christmas skirmish this week concerns the U.S. Postal Service and some holiday stamp advertising they have done recently. The Blaze, The Washington Times and of course Fox News are all in a tizzy.
It seems the ad promotes a Kwanza stamp, and a Hanukkah stamp, and a Gingerbread House stamp — but horrors! — not a Christmas stamp. The fact is, there are plenty of Christian religious-themed stamps available — the outrage is that they are not featured in the most recent ad. Thus, it’s part of the “War on Christmas.”
To understand how silly this is, let’s discuss it in terms advertising theory — specifically, in the fast food industry.
Have you ever noticed that McDonalds and Wendys and Hardees are always promoting their burgers, sandwiches, McNuggets and chicken tenders? And other new offerings?
And that hardly ever do those ads promote Coke, which they sell more of in dollar terms than anything else?
That’s because they know they’re going to sell Coke products to customers whether or not they advertise them. Thus, such ads would be a waste of money, and they don’t want to do that.
That’s why you didn’t see “Christmas” stamps promoted in the holiday stamp ad that got some hackles up this week.
In fact, had the Postal Service promoted “Christmas” stamps in that ad, some of the same people who are now complaining that they didn’t would be griping that the Postal Service was wasting its money promoting Christmas stamps in that ad.
Or they would be complaining that Hanukkah and Kwanza got equal billing in a country that’s at least 80 percent Christian.
And then they would blame it on Obama, somehow!