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War on Christmas starts now

In the War on Christmas, I am but a soldier — won't you join me?

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to November, or as I like to call it: Christmas.

As soon as the last trick-or-treater walked away on Halloween — after I confiscated his candy and shamed him for participating in a pagan ritual — I hauled out the Christmas decorations and commenced Operation Yuletide Bunker. The entire Huppke compound had to be transformed into an impenetrable "Christmas safe zone," complete with tinsel mines surrounding the perimeter, peppermint trenches and a roof-mounted garland cannon.

As I was inflating the traditional front-yard display — Santa Claus in a helicopter landing on the roof of a manger — I shook my head and thought wistfully of the good old days, before the War on Christmas had transformed America into a cheerless land.

What's that you say? There is no War on Christmas? We shouldn't even be talking about Christmas yet because it's nearly two months away?

Sure, that's what the liberal Scroogestream media want you to think. But don't you believe it for a minute. There is a War on Christmas, and the signs are everywhere.

Walk into a Home Depot and you'll notice there are only two full aisles dedicated to Christmas decorations. It should be ALL of the aisles, because what home improvement materials could anyone possibly need this time of year other than Christmas lights, Christmas trees, Christmas-scented aerosol sprays and giant metal statues of reindeer?

Some stores haven't even started playing Christmas music, clearly discriminating against shoppers of good cheer. Worse yet, some are playing "The Nutcracker Suite," which is just dreary classical music that liberal "Happy Holidays" hippies try to pawn off as an actual Christmas song.

And Starbucks … don't get me started on Starbucks. The coffee chain's website on Monday carried this headline: "Red cups of cheer are here. Celebrate the holidays with a Chestnut Praline Latte, Peppermint Mocha or Caramel Brulee Latte."

What in the name of Santa, Frosty and Rudolph is wrong with these over-caffeinated, anti-Christmas barbarians? If Starbucks hadn't already surrendered to the War on Christmas, the company's website would say: "Festive Christmas-red cups of Christmas cheer are here. Celebrate Christmas — the only holiday that matters — with a Merry Christmas Peppermint Mocha, and THAT'S IT because there are no other stupid coffee drinks that taste like Christmas!!"

Good grief. It's like people don't even understand the history of this long-running battle for the soul of the greatest holiday in the world.

Most think it started at Fox News about a decade ago when leading Christmas patriot Bill O'Reilly had the courage to point out something that wasn't actually happening. He declared that Christmas was "under siege" because some people were rudely respecting other religious beliefs by saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

But the fear that Christmas might be done away with stretches back to the 1920s, when Henry Ford suggested that Jews were coming for our Christmas. Around 1960, the John Birch Society stoked fears that the Communists were out to ruin Christmas. Since the late 1990s, others have claimed Christmas is being attacked by everything from "cultural Marxists" to multiculturalism and the U.S. Postal Service.

But the War on Christmas is worse now than ever because the real enemy has finally been identified: political correctness.

The PC crowd wants nothing more than to transform the Christmas season into one night of gluten-free treats and non-denominational tree hugging. But if there's one thing the spirit of the Christmas season has taught me it's that you never let a bunch of long-haired peace-and-love types tell you how to celebrate the birth of your savior.

So, to paraphrase the festive words of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.: "Whatcha think all the nog is for? All-purpose war, got the candy canes by the door."

If you're ready for battle, here are a few quick tips:

1) ABC. Always Be Caroling. To take back our grossly underexposed holiday, we must have Christmas carols on our lips at all times. The classics are preferable, tunes like "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and "Last Christmas" by Wham!. Carol during meetings, in job interviews, and while a police officer is writing you a ticket. Start your day caroling, carol in the break room and lean over the cubicle wall and carol at your co-worker who, if he or she isn't caroling, probably hates Christmas.

2) Scream a lot. Any time you hear someone use a phrase like "happy holidays," "holiday party" or "holiday tree," simply scream at the top of your lungs. This will alert other War on Christmas soldiers to the situation and allow them to intervene and loudly say, "I think you mean, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!"

3) Make sure your home is properly festooned. Protect your family and make sure friends and neighbors know exactly where you stand on Christmas by decorating your house with: no fewer than 30,000 twinkling lights; at least one inflatable Christmas character, the larger and more imposing the better; a digital clock counting down the hours until Christmas; a fully outfitted manger at each corner of your property; and, of course, a large neon sign that says, "Keep the War in 'War on Christmas.' "

Because if there's one Christmas tradition we Americans must preserve, it's the unfailing and suspiciously unsubstantiated belief that Christmas is under attack.

rhuppke@tribpub.com

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