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I've got some bad news, guys. People are trying to take our Christmas away. I don't know who or where they are, but they want to strip us of our Christmas and leave us naked on the side of the holiday road.

Thankfully, several big businesses have decided to aid me in my War On The War On Christmas by making their stores as Christmas as possible. So, a few days ago, to the dismay of my wife, who begged me to not make this an issue, I drove around to inspect their efforts. This is my report from the battlefront.

8
Family Dollar

It's a good sign when I walk into a store and suddenly get the biggest, most Christmasy erection that I've ever had.

Daniel Dockery
Get ready for some tinsel, Family Dollar.

I could immediately locate where the Christmas was and how much Christmas there was to be had, since Family Dollar put it smack dab in the middle of the room. They're clearly not ashamed to love Christmas in a Christmas-hating world, and that's an admirable trait for any soldier to have.

And they definitely didn't skimp on the red. Red is the true color of Christmas, because it was the color of Santa's jacket, and because if you ever find yourself in a knife fight with a non-believer over whether or not Rudolph was a true story, there will be no trace that he ever leaked out.

Feeling satisfied by Family Dollar's efforts, I texted a picture of my Christmas erection to my wife. Strangely, she didn't reply. Oh well, on to the next store!

7
Dillard's And Belk

Are you kidding me, Dillhole and B-word? Putting trees on top of things that are unrelated to Christmas does not suddenly make it a Christmas display.

Daniel Dockery
No one brought Jesus modestly discounted blush, you damn heathens.

Your lack of effort is a disgrace to every eggnog-sipping soldier of Christmas that came to the mall to be bombarded with reminders that they need to start feeling enthusiasm fast. Otherwise, their kids are going to grow up resentful and agnostic.

Daniel Dockery
A sparse menagerie of trees goes really well with child tears.

Get it together. I'm so mad right now that I ate the whole gingerbread cookie that I was holding, and I didn't have anything to wash it down. My throat hasn't felt this dry since the Clarence High School 20-year reunion, where I nervously asked Donna Bart to make out with me while my wife, Sarah, was getting something out of the car. For the record, Donna said no, which is fine because I totally wasn't going to do it anyway. I'm a good husband, and I just need to feel appreciated sometimes, Belk. It's like you don't even consider that other people have feelings.

I texted my wife a picture of my disappointed, flaccid penis and drove on.

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6
Lowe's

One tree.

Daniel Dockery
It's somehow infinitely sadder than if they hadn't tried at all.

I have that many trees on the side of the sink in the motel that I'm staying at while Sarah "reconsiders major life decisions" -- whatever the hell that means. That's a pitiful display for a place that prides itself on "home improvement." If they really wanted to improve homes, they'd give a free treetop angel to every customer who spent more than $75 on treetop angels. But I may be biased in saying that, because I could use five free treetop angels. I'm starting to think that Lowe's isn't doing its part in this war.

But to find redemption, all I had to do was look up toward the heavens and gaze at the wonder that they had placed, halo-like, at the upper reaches of the store.

Daniel Dockery
We must pay tribute to the Lowe's deities: inner-tube bear and snow globe.

Resembling the gargoyles of Notre Dame, these inflatable titans cast their cruel gaze on everyone that just wants to "get what they came for." I don't normally promote intimidation. To influence any man, all you need is a good argument and a convincing portrait of the afterlife. But I'd be lying if I said that these lawn giants didn't make me want to rip my shirt off to reveal the North Pole-themed sweater underneath. The sweat that poured out of me was a sweat of intense respect.

And then I saw it ...

Daniel Dockery
"DON'T WORRY. BE HAPPY. DON'T WORRY. BE HAPPY."

Is there anything that represents the holiday season better than a six-foot mounted singing bass that billows on your property like Old Glory herself? I've cried three times since I plugged it in and set it on the other bed in my motel room, because it lets me know that, even in the darkest of times, you can count on Lowe's to improve not just your home but your spirit. I'm gonna text that to Sarah, along with a picture of my spiritually rejuvenated penis.

5
Target

The whole thing is slathered in crimson, as if it was pulled from the burst heart of the Earth to deliver good cheer to all. I knew that Target, even if it didn't give me what I specifically wanted (enough decorations to make me feel whole), would at least put me in the mood to go to Family Dollar again.

If you're going to go with a theme, you have to go all the way with it. You have to ride that rocket until it goes over the moon or hits the ground. When I first saw a little robot dog butt sticking out of a little robot dog box, I was sold on the concept.

Daniel Dockery
How much for both halves? I swear I'll leave the premises if you give me each for a reasonable price.

Target was also sold on the concept, because they put this dog everywhere. And what started off as a little butt sticking out of a package erupted into a parade of fantastical personification. Look at him shooting a rabbit and clothes out of some kind of cannon.

Daniel Dockery
It's important that, when a dog first walks on his hind legs, he learns how to operate weaponry.

Dogs can't do that in real life, I'm almost certain. But, like Frosty, Trigger The Target Dog has been brought to life and seems intent on trying out all of the holiday customs that we humans take for granted. Customs like assembling makeshift artillery meant to fire household items and small herbivores. Then he'll go back to being a regular dog, I imagine, since magic was invented by J.K. Rowling to get kids interested in having premarital, homosexual relations. Magic will do nothing but disappoint and leave you, younglings.

He skied ...

Daniel Dockery
Mobility training is also important, to help you reach your targets.

... and he shot presents at a reindeer that had apparently been caught in a vulnerable position.

Daniel Dockery
After the lessons are finished, the hunt begins.

He defied the laws of gravity to go snowboarding ...

Daniel Dockery
This dog does not give a shit about any secular "science."

... and he flew in an airplane!

Daniel Dockery
Fuck you, Snoopy!

Finally, I saw him riding in a creamy mug on a display that was meant to look like it had come out of the ceiling.

Daniel Dockery
Fuck you, Starbucks! Where are your red cups now?

I couldn't be more proud of how far Target had come from the simple red walls of eight minutes before. Slicing through the man-made constructs of the roof like the goddamn rapture, here was a dog enjoying a pet-sized gallon of hot cocoa. I caroled for half an hour before I was removed from the building. Not for caroling, but for taking pictures of my pride-swollen penis.

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4
Walmart

All roads lead to you, Walmart. You're a shining symbol of progress, and your deli hams are underrated. When I entered and saw this ...

Daniel Dockery
Ideally it would have space for three digits, but still.

... I knew that I was right to pick your parking lot to nap in. Christmas is a thing that should be counted down to. Like doomsday, it should be feared as an inevitable climax. All those who didn't spread warmth or buy their loved ones gourmet cheese sets will feel the cold backhand of Christmas and know that they deserved it. "I repent! I repent!" they'll shout as the man in the sleigh ignores their roof, but all they'll be getting the next morning is heathen-brand despair.

I've never been to the big tree in New York PITY, but I imagine that this one is pretty close in terms of general majesty:

Daniel Dockery
The eyeliner section makes a fine stand-in for Rockefeller Center.

If I ever need a reminder that it's the most wonderful time of the year, I can just look back toward the front of the store and see Walmart's glorious tree. To not erect one in the middle of a business would be an affront on par with child molestation.

Everywhere I looked, Walmart had constant reminders that they were leading the charge in this war. And there was nothing subtle about it. They even used a military Santa to remind people that opposing our views is not an option. We will have our Christmas, no matter the cost.

Daniel Dockery
Ho Ho Ho-pen Carry.

I texted Sarah the above picture, along with a five-inch salute.

3
My Porch

Daniel Dockery

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2
Big Lots

When I came back home to find the house deserted, I was in rough shape. I poured three hot cider packets into a fifth of brandy and sped to my next location, which greeted me with "JOY."

Daniel Dockery
I can't feel unless I'm told how to in bright, multicolored letters.

I don't usually give Big Lots much credit, because it looks like Kmart's afterbirth, but man, I was inspired. So without taking another step into the store, I drove back home, saved two of my singing bass plaques, and torched the house. The Ghost of Christmas Sarah will haunt me no longer.

1
Kmart

There was no greeting of red or explosion of ornaments when I entered Kmart, and for a minute or two I fell into a blind panic. Was Kmart trying to make a statement? Wait, was this the home of the enemy?

Daniel Dockery
Is the Ghost of Christmas Future showing me the horrible secular world of next year?

But as I walked around, refusing to make eye contact with anyone who might smell the gasoline that still lingered on my shirt, I began to notice a slight change.

What's this? A Santa figure? A yuletide warning of what's to come? Oh, I get it now! In the War On The War On Christmas, Kmart doesn't just storm the beaches, guns blazing. It hides in the shadows, choosing to strike only when the enemy feels safe. Vulnerability is its weapon of choice, and in that respect, Kmart is a highly trained assassin.

Daniel Dockery
Tell me your secrets, tiny bearded man.

Before I knew it, I was drunk from the adrenaline of battle -- and also from the cider brandy that I was still openly drinking. The assault was a masterful work of art. The coloration. The heart of darkness has opened its gates to me. I must sail into it.

Daniel Dockery

Daniel Dockery

Daniel Dockery
Olaf, is that you, ready to pounce from your Christmas foxhole?

The artificial snow, set within the artificial brick, forming an artificial path, and topped with artificial trees. It all becomes something as real as my own flesh. I pinch myself again and again. Look at the reindeer.

Daniel Dockery
Can I pet the reindeer, father? Please? They look so friendly.

Kmart, you've won us the war. You put forth the hours, and you made this happen. You're so Christmas that I'll never know it by any other definition. The course of the world has been altered. You've saved us.

Daniel Dockery
Olaf, let us embrace as brothers in Christmas. Come to me, Olaf. Feel my Christmas warmth.

Where is the exit? I think something might be wrong with my vision, as I can only see this display. Help. I am petting the reindeer, and no one can tell me that I'm not allowed. Ha ha! Help. Does anyone have any corn for them to nibble? I see a woman waving goodbye to me. My mouth tastes like brandy farts. I suddenly feel very tired. Very, very tired. My singing bass. Where are my singing bass?

Daniel Dockery
Christmaaaaaaa

Daniel has a blog.

For more Christmas displays that shock and offend, check out the crucified Santa in The 4 Most Weirdly Passive-Aggressive Holiday Displays, and read about the one guy who pooped during the birth of Jesus in 5 Creepy Christmas Traditions From Around The World.

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