Festivus Goes Commercial


Who needs a Christmas tree when you can buy a Festivus Pole? The website ChosenCulture.com offers a miniature pole that is being marketed as a way to celebrate the fictional holiday that was made famous by Jerry Stiller's character Frank Costanza in a 1997 episode of "Seinfeld.

" Fed up with the commercialism of Christmas--and the toy store battles he found himself embroiled in--Frank invented what he called "a Festivus for the rest of us." Marked by such rituals as the "Airing of Grievances," in which people tell loved ones how they've disappointed them over the past year, and "Feats of Strength," where the head of the household has to pin the other members of the family, Wikipedia.org explains that Festivus is in fact celebrated "in varying degrees of seriousness" nationwide. Lest you need more information--or even some good Festivus recipes--a new book chronicles the truth and fiction of the holiday.

News Organization: Remind People It's Christmas


The online Christian news organization WorldNetDaily.com is stocking its online store with items that will help its readers share with the world their celebration of Christmas. From Christmas tree-shaped car magnets that say, "It's the Reason for the Season" to wristbands bearing the message, "Just Say Merry Christmas," WorldNet says the merchandise is "the perfect and elegant way to show how you feel about Christmas."

Dear Jerry Falwell,


The Rev. Barry Lynn, head of Americans United for Church and State, has posted an angry open letter to the Rev. Jerry Falwell on his website. In it, he announces to Falwell that "there is no war on Christmas." Criticizing Falwell's "Friend or Foe" campaign, in which Falwell maintains a list of companies that are friendly or antithetical to Christmas, Lynn writes, "I am a friend of the Constitution and a foe of intolerance. You should be too."

Would Jesus Shop at Wal-Mart?


Not every boycott of Wal-Mart is about the company's substitution of "holidays" for "Christmas". The group "Wake Up Wal-Mart" has launched a television ad asking the question, "Should people of faith shop at Wal-Mart?" The ad, which opens with Luke 6:31 ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."), mentions the discrimination lawsuit brought against Wal-Mart by more than 1 million women, the lack of health insurance for 600,000 Wal-Mart workers, and the accusations that the company has broken child labor laws.

Is that Paris in a Manger?


Debates over nativity scenes displayed in front yards, public squares, and in front of government buildings are perennial December fare. But a Paris Hilton Christmas display? The Associated Press reports a story from a Cranston, Rhode Island home, where the owners have posted a brightly-lit Christmas display featuring the socialite heiress. Neighbors are up in arms, with one telling the reporter "he would be upset if his young grandchildren came to associate Christmas with a naked woman. He'd prefer the kids to think of Santa Claus. After all, [the neighbor] said, "He's been around longer."

The "Point" of Christmas


Listen to today's episode of NPR's "On Point" to hear a spirited debate over the "Happy Holidays"/"Merry Christmas" wars. Or, for some lighter fare, check out these politically correct Christmas cartoons from newspapers across the country.