Camel’s ‘War on Christmas,’ 1937

 

One of the more unnecessary fronts in the culture wars is the debate over “Happy Holidays” v. “Merry Christmas.” Liberals generally prefer the former because it’s inclusive, conservatives generally the latter because it reinforces their notion that the U.S. should be a Christian nation. It’s an absurd debate, and one that exists thanks to a surprising source: Camel cigarettes.

The company introduced the Christmas-themed “happy holidays” into American vernacular via an advertisement way back in 1937. Prior to that the word “holiday” was used solely overseas, initially in religious contexts but eventually in more secular utterances, as in “vacation.” Thanks to the power of tobacco marketing, “holiday” was henceforth synonymous with “Christmas.” It’s funny, though: holiday is essentially “holy day,” so doesn’t this fit well with the pro-Merry Christmas camps’ perspective? Again, it’s an absurd debate…

Anyway, that’s just an FYI that may come in handy one day, holy or otherwise.

For more potentially useful wordplay, click HERE.

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