December 9, 2011
I just heard a radio ad use the term “holiday elves”. People have been arguing for years about whether it’s OK reflexively to substitute “happy holidays” for “merry Christmas” everywhere out of some concern for “political correctness”, but when retailers or other big companies do that, at least I think I can understand where they’re coming from. If they go further and say “holiday elves”, it almost seems to me like unthinking self-parody at that point—what other holiday has any tradition of elves, or what elves are associated with “holidays” generically, outside of the Christmas traditions?
If I’m wrong and someone wants to tell me about the little-known tradition of, say, Hanukkah elves, I’m all ears.