Friend or Foe of Christmas?

You may remember that I said on Friday that a Sears' sales mailer in the form of a children's story book appeared to me to be changing the Christmas tree to something called a "Wishes Come True Tree."

The Sears P.R. guy looked into the situation and got back to me Monday saying the following:

"Actually, the tree itself ("the Wishes Come True Tree") has been a re-occurring story-line feature throughout the entire "Adventures on Enchanted Lane" storybook series and was introduced in the very first story mailed spring '04 "Lost and Found." The tree continued to play a central story role in the fall '04 "Autumn Treats," and summer '05 "Ladybug for Luck" issues. The children in the series have interactions with this tree from season to season, and the tree is not an isolated figure in the holiday '05 issue.

OK — fair enough. Sears says it is not trying to replace the Christmas tree with some weirdly neutered "Wishes Come True Tree" — though iImust say that it seems it would be a better story line at times of the year other than Christmas.

On another front in the "War on Christmas," Jerry Falwell's Liberty Counsel, a 24,000-member evangelical group, has announced its own Merry Christmas say-it-loud-say-it-proud campaign. It's called "Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign" and promises to file suit against anyone who spreads what it sees as misinformation about how Christmas can be celebrated in schools and public spaces.

Falwell's group says it has 750 lawyers ready to pounce on the first school administrator who tries to stop a teacher from leading kids in "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."

This is what is called "backlash." It's what I wrote about in "The War on Christmas," in which I describe the efforts of secularists to suppress or shunt aside symbols of Christmas that most of us recognize as secular, but which are being declared religious so that they must then be banned.

This is how you get bans of Christmas trees and Santa and — in Plano, Texas — even the colors red and green.

None of that is required under the U.S. Constitution. So, in that sense, Falwell's group is right and when they challenge these bans, they will win.

That's My Word.

Check out my book "The War on Christmas" and write to me about Christmas outrages at

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