December 11, 2005 It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ... Something Else By John Leo A Christmas quiz: The "winter program" at Ridgeway Elementary School in Dodgeville, Wis., changed the lyrics of the Christmas carol "Silent Night" to the more inclusive "Cold in the Night." ("Cold in the night, no one in sight, winter winds whirl and bite.") After this success, the program's next step will obviously be: (a) Changing "O Holy Night" to "Uh-oh! Wholly night!" a song about a lunar eclipse. (b) Singing "O Little Town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania." (c) A song celebrating the comeback of the American auto industry, "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Ford." (d) A ditty about hoping for snow at the Panama Canal, "I'm dreaming of a white isthmus." The modern name for Christmas trees is now: (a) Giving trees (b) Trees of color (c) Seasonal conifers (d) Inclusion bushes (e) Tall lit-up flora (f) Those pointy green things with needles and lights Some schools have ruled that red and green cookies cannot be brought into class in December because the color combination strongly suggests the divisive sectarian feast day of Christmas. Therefore: (a) Red cookies may be brought to school. Green ones too. But, please, not on the same day. (b) A fruit bowl containing just pears and cherries is a serious constitutional matter and should be reported immediately to the ACLU, care of the Christmas erasure desk. (c) In December, the San Francisco 49ers may not be shown playing the New York Jets, except on black-and-white TV sets. (d) All traffic lights must be turned off until Jan. 1. The three wise men in the Nativity scene are objectionable because: (a) They fail the multicultural test. Though one is black, neither of the other two is a disabled lesbian, wiccan or vegan. (b) "Wise Men" should be "Persons of Wisdom." (c) Describing the first people to come to see Jesus as "wise" implies that idiots can't become Christians, which experience tells us is just not so. Christians believe Jesus came down to Earth and made himself human in order to encourage: (a) Consumer confidence (b) Season's greetings (c) A festive period between bowl games (d) His birth scene to be surrounded by plastic reindeer, elves and court-pleasing woodland creatures (e) Frenzied end-of-year gift giving (f) Religious songs that are easily converted into weather songs in Wisconsin (g) The ACLU Christmas-erasure desk It's beginning to look a lot like: (a) Christmas (b) Hanukkah (c) Kwanzaa (d) Indianapolis is a lock to win the Super Bowl Before backing down and permitting a full Nativity scene, a public library in Memphis agreed to allow the scene, but only if the baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary and the wise men were removed. This left a shepherd boy and some farm animals. Next year the library will accept a Nativity scene only if it consists of: (a) A shepherd boy and some chickens (b) A shepherd boy and some ferrets (c) A shepherd boy explaining that the head librarian in Memphis thinks with a brain that may or may not be the result of Intelligent Design.