What a great an interesting article. I had never heard about the earlier, negative connotations associated with the Christmas holiday, although attempts to show Christianity as nothing more than an extension of pagan traditions is nothing new.
I will add, that when evangelicals were outraged years ago at the abbreviation of Christmas as “Xmas,” it was never mentioned that for the Romans, “X” was a symbol representative of Christ and the Cross. Also, the word “holiday” is nothing more than the synthesis of the words “holy” and “day.”
But the main difference between the examples in this piece and the current “War on Christmas” — however overblown — is that while earlier Christians might have poo-pooed the holiday because it was considered hedonistic or worse, today it is attacked precisely because it is Holy, or Christian, or represents the historic faith of the West and the United States.
There’s a huge difference between denying a tradition because one doesn’t believe it lives up to the faith of his ancestors — it’s quite another to deny it out of hatred for one’s ancestors, their customs and even the tradition itself.