Christmas tree pretzels. I love them, you love them, and they’re a longstanding UR tradition that we can all get and stay behind.

Well, if you haven’t been to the Common Market recently, I regret to inform you that the Christmas tree pretzels are no more. Instead, there are just regular-shaped pretzels with a white-candy coating that feature red and green sprinkles. Now, before you get your festive panties in a bunch, I implore you to simmer down. This change is not a crime against Christmas, but an unfortunate change in the Common Market’s manufacturing and supply processes.

Nowadays, Christmas is pretty tied up with manufacturing and supply, and by that I mean Christmas has taken on a life that has very little to do with Jesus. I know, I know, how dare I call out Christmas, but we need to rip off the Santa hat that has slipped down just far enough to cover our eyes and see the light. (Read: the beautiful light of mass-produced twinkly lights reflecting off our plastic Christmas trees.)

Christmas has become a cultural holiday, not just a religious one, so it’s easy to get caught up in all things holly-jolly whether you’re a devout Christian, a passive practitioner, or a member of an entirely separate faith when every mall in America has literally decked the halls.

When Christmas is everywhere it becomes really, really easy to start thinking Christmas is everything.

Here’s the truth: Christmas is not everything to everyone and that’s why we needn’t panic when the Christmas tree pretzels become holiday pretzels or when someone wishes us “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas.” There’s already plenty of Christmas to go around. I promise that no one is overlooking your religion and you’re not going to miss out on anything if someone offers up some “seasons greetings.” On the contrary, that someone is attempting to include all of the other holidays that we so often neglect, like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Mawlid, or Rohatsu. Oh, and Festivus for the rest of us; I’ve got a real problems with the “War on Christmas,” and now you’re going to hear about it.

The bottom line is that there is no war on Christmas as President Donald Trump or Bill O’Reilly would like you to think. In reality, there’s a war on ignorance, which includes blanketing the entire country in only red and green for the entirety of December every year. We need some nice accent colors if the American aesthetic is really going to pop.

For me, going to a Catholic church on Christmas Eve is intrinsic to my celebration of the holiday. With that being said, I would never be offended if I was wished a “happy holiday,” or even “happy Hanukkah.” I’d actually be quite flattered that someone from another religion was wishing me well in a way that means the most to them.

I love a good “merry Christmas” too. See, the “War on Christmas” calls for 100 percent Christmas and assumes anything less is a crime. In reality, we should all say what feels most authentic to us because ultimately your inflection and intention means a lot more than word choice. We, as Americans, have to stay true to ourselves and to our country, which just happens to be one of the most diverse in the world.

With all this being said, happy goddamn holidays and merry Christmas, everyone.

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