What people are saying about Order of St. Nick cards:

"Un-American." - Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's The Colbert Report


Monday
Nov122007

"Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" vs. "Winter Solstice" vs. "Bah Humbug"

I think that atheists are split into four different camps:

- Those that celebrate Christmas as a non-religious holiday
- Those that celebrate an alternate winter holiday such as Winter Solstice
- Those that celebrate "the holidays" without using the term "Christmas"
- Those that don't celebrate any winter holiday at all

How could Christmas be "non-religious"? Well, Christmas is an official federal holiday in the United States. While some consider this to be a violation of the separation of church and state, courts have ruled that "the establishment of Christmas Day as a legal public holiday does not violate the Establishment Clause because it has a valid secular purpose" (Ganulin v. United States, 1999). Therefore, it seems perfectly reasonable that Christmas, as celebrated in 21st century America, has become secularized...yet many atheists are uncomfortable with this arrangement. Hence the explosion in popularity of the Winter Solstice.

The use of the phrase "happy holidays" is also popular with not only atheists but many other diverse groups seeking to acknowledge all fall/winter celebrations, including Christmas, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Diwali, etc.

For the atheist that doesn't celebrate any winter holiday, though? Bah humbug.

Friday
Nov092007

Is It Too Early to Send Holiday Cards?

Pilgrims Celebrating Christmas Before Thanksgiving by Artist Andrew Shaffer

Is it too early to send holiday greeting cards? Yes, unless you have a terminal disease or are very old and may not make it all the way through December.

But is it too early to buy your cards? Not with Order of St. Nick's spectacular pre-Thanksgiving sale!

To celebrate the Web site's official launch, all single greeting cards are $1 off the regular price of $3.99 through Wednesday, November 21. Holiday cards are also available in packs of 10 for $18.99.

Wednesday
Nov072007

The Evolution of Santa Claus

The Evolution of Santa Claus by Artist Andrew ShafferThe name "Santa Claus" evolved from the Dutch "Sinter Klaas," a shortened form of St. Nicholas. Born around 280 A.D. near modern day Turkey, St. Nicholas is said to have traveled the countryside helping the sick and poor...much like a certain other religious icon.

Although St. Nicholas and the birth of Christ are now intertwined in American culture, this wasn't always the case. A feast in his honor was originally celebrated by the Dutch on December 6th, the anniversary of his death. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as the modern Christmas celebration began to take shape in the New World, the legend of the gift-bearing St. Nicholas spread across the North American continent.

Santa Claus and Christmas became officially wed in the public mind when Clement Clark Moore penned "An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas" for his three daughters in 1822. Most people know the poem by another name: "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." According to the History Channel, "political cartoonist Thomas Nast drew on Moore's poem to create the first likeness that matches our modern image of Santa Claus[...]a rotund, cheerful man with a full, white beard, holding a sack laden with toys for lucky children. It is Nast who gave Santa his bright red suit trimmed with white fur, North Pole workshop, elves, and his wife, Mrs. Claus."