Is the Yule-Tide Turning?

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who has been outspoken in his criticism of holiday displays that drain the holidays of their religious meaning, writes on his website that the yuletide is turning. Citing retail chains from Macy's to Walgreens to Lowes Home Improvement Centers, plus public displays in Deerfield, New Hampshire and Wichita, Kansas, O'Reilly says that more and more businesses and communities are recognizing that it is insulting and wrong to separate religious holidays from their spiritual meanings. He says, "I am proud to be a part of the pro-Christmas movement. And things are moving our way, but eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

What Would Jesus Buy?

Blogger Cathy Young caught a moment on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" where the host continued his ongoing critique of those who would dilute religion out of the winter holidays. O'Reilly agreed with his guest, the Rev. Tim Bumgardner, about whether to include religious holiday displays in public areas. Bumgardner said, "I think they should put a Nativity scene -- be American! Hey, celebrate Christmas -- people spend more money! Jesus makes people want to spend money!"

In related Fox news, Young cites the Media Matters blog's report that the Fox News website had advertised "holiday ornaments", switching to "Christmas" merchandise December 1.

The Politics of the Dilemma

In its daily newsletter, the liberal organization American Progress Action Fund offers its take on the annual battle over religious holiday displays in public places: the so-called "war on Christmas" does not exist.

Instead, the newsletter identifies the insistence by conservative groups and media outlets that Christianity is under seige as little more than a "Christmas conspiracy theory" that aims to "falsely portray progressives as anti-religious."

Calling It Like They See It?

Is a 48-foot white spruce a Christmas tree? Yes, said Boston's commissioner of parks and recreation Antonia Pollak. But as Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby writes in this column, Pollak, as well as Boston's mayor, have been oscillating between calling it a Christmas tree and an all-inclusive holiday tree. Jacoby, who as a Jew does not celebrate Christmas, is disappointed by the mixed messages, and urges officials to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree, allowing Christians to fully enjoy their holiday symbols. Plus, he says, "It isn't only Christians for whom Christmas is a season of joy. And it isn't only Christians who should make a point of saying so."