Christmas Around the Military

In a summary of how Christmas was treated around the military this year:

Air Force leadership wished their Airmen “Happy Holidays“, without expressly saying to what holidays they were referring.

Fort Stewart had an actual Christmas tree with Christmas carols, though the quotation about the meaning of the season — “a time to grow and reflect” — was a bit off.

Schofield Barracks managed to only light a “Holiday Tree,” though seeming to tacitly acknowledge there was only one holiday that was celebrated with a lit tree in December.

The US Air Force continued its annual tradition of supporting Operation Christmas Drop.

Fairchild AFB managed to use the word “holiday” five times in a single caption — and didn’t use “Christmas” once, despite referring to songs, trees, and Santa Claus, all on the base chapel lawn.

Anniston Army Depot participated in their annual “Christmas toy giveaway” as part of the “Christmas Cheer program” — as described by the local paper, not an official military release.

The Idaho Guard’s annual “Holiday Assistance Program” helped stock Christmas presents for local families.

Sailors at Pax River supported an Angel Tree for their “Holiday Gift Basket” program.

The military postal service is supporting the delivery of Christmas packages, even in the Middle East.

Troops at Okinawa brought “Christmas cheer” (as opposed to the “holiday cheer” in other places) to a local elderly community.

Kids at the Aliamanu Military Reservation in Hawaii were able to experience a “Winter Wonderland” that included “Christmas” characters like Santa, The Grinch, and Disney’s Elsa and Anna (really?).

The 128th Air Refueling Wing acknowledged that many servicemembers wouldn’t “be home for Christmas.”

In an interesting journalistic twist, a story about US troops bringing “holiday cheer” to a local Japanese orphanage, the Air Force story was “tagged” with Christmas, though it never actually mentioned it.

Despite prior attacks from Michael “Mikey” Weinstein over Christianity, the 136th Airlift Wing publicized how it supported Operation Christmas Child, filling 75 boxes for Samaritan’s Purse.



  • I am sure those bases who mentioned Christmas will soon get a letter or reprimand from Mikey.

  • There are several holidays that fall during December including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and something new called HumanLight.

    Saying “Happy Holidays” is not an insult or a denigration of Christmas, or any other tradition. It is an appropriate and inclusive salutation that recognizes that there are many ways that people are observing the season and you don’t know enough to be specific.

    And when the troop at the gate says “Have a blessed day”, just say thank you and move along.

    • @Delta One
      You appear to have missed the point in favor of a more clichéd argument.

      Saying, for example, a base erected a “holiday tree” is no more appropriate than saying they lit the “holiday candelabrum.” It’s a Christmas tree. It’s a Menorah. To intentionally avoid the religious connection is an asinine and unnecessary exercise in political semantics.

      To your other points, Hanukkah ended three weeks ago. The winter solstice is a celestial event. It’s no more a holiday than sunrise and sunset. Kwanzaa is a celebration of ethnicity, not faith. And the recent attempt to create something called “humanlight” isn’t actually new. It’s just the latest way for non-theists to try to fill the hole they feel when everyone else is celebrating their faith. (See the movement for an “atheist church” on Sunday, for example.) It can’t even be a holiday — if you know the meaning of the word “holiday.”

  • A more clichéd argument JD? No one I know says “holiday tree” if its really a “christmas tree”, likewise, some people know its a Menorah, although the “holiday candelabrum” is a pretty funny name that even my jewish friend got a kick out of. Funny how people of faith still see the humor in things.

    THE point is, saying “Happy Holidays” is nothing more than just wishing someone a happy holiday, regardless of political semantics or religious connotations of the more clichéd argument of the past.

    I did lookup humanlight on wiki and seems like a nice way for non-theists to celebrate the way they wish to as well.

    Happy New 365 days!! :-]

    • @Delta One

      No one I know says “holiday tree” if its really a “christmas tree”,

      Fair enough. But some of those cited above did precisely that, making the point valid.