Last night as I was watching a History Channel special titled, The Real Story of Christmas, and saw how the holiday changed over the years (mostly negatively), I began to wonder about some of America’s oldest traditions in storytelling, such as Santa Claus and Frostie the Snowman. Being the cynical person that I am, always quick to point out how easily people overreact to the smallest matter, and in today’s world, where everything we create and advertise is driven by political correctness, I pointed out that a lot of the famous pictures of Santa that we recognize today consisted of him smoking a pipe (Pall Mall cigarettes even went so far as to use the jolly old elf to market their brand in the 1920’s) and of course, you cannot complete the Frostie the Snowman rhyme without saying, “…with a corncob pipe and a button nose.”
So there we had two staples of Christmastime promoting tobacco use. I thought it was pretty funny and was almost amazed that the lyrics of Frostie had not yet been changed because the youth of America may see his pipe as a sign that it is okay for them to smoke, thus creating an entire generation of little children addicted to pipe tobacco. As for Santa’s pipe, cartoons drawn of him today seem to omit the tool that he always use to light up after he sat down from a long, tiring journey of spanning the world to drop presents off to little children.
Political correctness has gone way too far in this country, and to write about that would require enough space fitting of a doctorate thesis, but I just hate the fact that everything is “Happy Holidays” now. You can’t say the word Christmas, or even Hanukkah or Kwanzaa for that matter, because you may offend someone who does not celebrate that holiday. Where this mentality came from, I have no idea. I’ve said “Merry Christmas” to Jewish people, and maybe you’ll be surprised to find out that they did not punch me in the face for doing so. Furthermore, Jewish people have said “Happy Hanukkah” to me, and that just gets me so angry that I want to say it in return to them.
Nevertheless, last night I decided to post on Facebook what I was thinking about Frostie: “How long before politically correct America lambasts Frostie the Snowman for having a corncob pipe, because it promotes tobacco use in children?”
I expected a few laughs, but nowhere near the twenty comments this simple status received. It was hilarious what people wanted to change about Frostie in order to fit him into today’s society. I enjoyed what my friends had to say so much, that I doctored up this Photoshop to get the idea across at how silly being politically correct is.
Warning: If you are allergic to snow, do not click to enlarge. I can’t afford to have a lawsuit from the ACLU on my hands.
Isn’t this world we live in today great? I would like to know where it all started to go downhill for the
Christmas Holiday season. Watching that documentary last night, and seeing clips of people’s home movies of Christmas morning from the 1950’s and 60’s almost made me sad, because life (and the toys children were receiving) were so much more simple back then, and everyone made due with what they had, and had a lot of fun doing so as well. Today, I look at children and see mostly spoiled brats, who don’t deserve nearly a quarter of what expensive, electronic gifts they receive. So I’ll propose the question to you again, and feel free to leave a comment or send me an email: Just where did it all go wrong?
This is Volume 1 of what I hope will be an ongoing series. As more ideas arise, I will jot them down. As always, if you have any comments or suggestions, please send them to me. One more thing: lost in all of this was how much I thoroughly enjoyed watching that History Channel special. Hats off to them, because for the first time since the late 1990’s, they have redone all of their holiday shows, including ones on the origins of Halloween and Thanksgiving. The old ones, hosted by Harry Smith, were excellent, and I have them saved on DVD, but for a general history lesson, these new one needed to be made. I highly recommend giving it a view.