“War on Christmas” an overreaching description

By Kevin Wilson

There are a few things that have been crossing my mind lately. Some thoughts are larger than others, but none were large enough to dedicate an entire 500 words to.

• Neither side is completely right in this “Happy Holidays” argument.

The reason merchants say “Happy Holidays” is because it’s easier than saying, “Have a merry Christmas, a happy Hannukah, a generous Boxing Day, a festive Kwanzaa and a joyous New Year.” Merchants aren’t giving equal weight to the other holidays, but are simply acknowledging their existence and wishing they are pleasant for customers.

Keep in mind that when you, or supposedly objective television news hosts, talk about a “war on Christmas,” you’re speaking of a holiday that is anticipated by Christians and non-Christians alike for nearly a month and is the only religion-based occasion designated as a federal holiday.

On the other side, the term “holiday tree” seems a little unnecessary, since a tree is required for no other holiday in December.

• As a stocking stuffer, McDonald’s is making an advertising push for its new Arch Card, a reloadable card worth money at the fast-food chain. It’s being marketed as a gift card like no other.

That is true. the Amazon.com gift card I got for my birthday probably won’t put me at risk for diabetes.

• Speaking of McDonald’s, there’s a user at blogspot.com called “mcchronicles.” And I thought I had nothing better to do online.

• I think with the holidays upon us, Congress or the Federal Trade Commission should look into deceptive advertising, particularly when companies advertise an item’s price “after rebates.”

A recent Business Week article absolutely nails the point that manufacturers avoid paying rebates because the process is so unnecessarily complicated that buyers either can’t figure it out or get the rebate voided on a technicality. Bausch and Lomb, for instance, offers a $30 rebate on disposable contact lenses, but requires the receipt, the original UPC code, and an “original slip case,” whatever that is.

If a manufacturer insists on advertising an after-rebate price, it should advertise with equal weight the hoops consumers must jump through to earn said rebate(s).

• If you haven’t seen Murderball yet, there’s not much of an excuse. It’s quite a piece of work.

• I don’t think Brett Favre is getting enough of the blame for the Packers’ awful season.

• I think Mel Gibson is getting a little too much positive press for the miniseries he’s producing for ABC based on the memories of Holocaust survivor Flory Van Beek. When asked for comment, Van Beek said, “I know his father doesn’t believe in the Holocaust — but maybe when there’s money involved, maybe they don’t care. His father will probably say this is not real, this is a novel.”

Defenders of Gibson are sure to say that his father’s opinions matter not, and that may be true. However, Van Beek’s words lead me to believe that Gibson is not doing this work with the creator’s best wishes in mind, and that’s what I have against it.

Kevin Wilson is a staff writer at the Portales News-Tribune. He can be reached at 356-4481, ext. 32, or by e-mail: