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Pop / Rock 01/12/2006

Un-Holy War? Anti-Christmas Forces Attack Magic Tree's Santa's Sing-A-Long

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LAS VEGAS, NV (Barnett Marketing Communications, Inc.) -Who could hate jolly old Santa Claus and his four adorable elves singing, dancing and teaching kids about Christmas carols? Apparently – based on the often bizarre attacks a new Christmas DVD, Santa's Sing-A-Long, has received – the same people who hate all things Christmas, the same people who are part of a remarkably organized effort to attack anything that puts Christmas in a positive light.

'Just as promotions for 'The Nativity' were banned from a Christmas street fair in Chicago by those who want to take 'Christmas' out of Christmas, so our Santa's Sing-A-Long production has been savaged by Hollywood film critics who've never before even reviewed kid-oriented DVD programming,' producer Joseph J. Wheeler said. 'We've apparently become the latest target in their ongoing 'un-holy war' against all things Christmas.'

This latest anti-Christmas target, Santa's Sing-A-Long, is a light-hearted new DVD from start-up production company Magic Tree, Inc., which features a real-bearded, full-time Santa singing Christmas carols with four 'elves' dressed in colorful, original costumes. This DVD project has come under intense fire from several Hollywood film reviewers for being 'disturbing' – something that shouldn't be seen but should instead should be 'buried.' Harsh and oddly inappropriate reviews by film reviewers who've never before covered made-for-DVD kids programming have attacked this low-cost, values-oriented production for what reviewers think it should have been, but wasn't: secular, glitzy and high-budget.

Sales have plummeted for this charming 42-minute DVD since a few Hollywood critics began blasting Santa's Sing-A-Long with over-the-top reviews that were all out of proportion for such a small-scale project. For instance, one film reviewer gratuitously slammed the low-cost DVD's production values: 'Santa's Sing-a-Long looks like it was shot in someone's garage. It should've been buried in someone's backyard.'

Another film review calls this charming little production 'one disturbing video,' complaining pointlessly that 'the elves are clearly just kids in costumes,' then finding fault with the elves' 'neon green hair.' This review even absurdly complained that the DVD's lovable W.C. Fields-like stand-up comic, Snowy the Showman, looks like he's about 'to go on a murderous rampage on the set.'

'I was shocked to read such anger and hostility – I just couldn't believe it,' Wheeler said. 'We set out to make a warm-hearted little Christmas DVD, one that teaches kids something about the true meaning of Christmas, but we're being attacked like we had committed a crime.'

Wheeler said he was at first baffled by these extraordinarily savage reviews, until he realized that it wasn't his little project being slammed so unmercifully – it was Christmas itself. One important clue – these Hollywood reviewers had never before covered a DVD project aimed at young kids; but in this instance, they'd gone out of their way to attack a project that shouldn't have even been on their radar screens.

'I guess there are people out there who can't stand the fact that our DVD teaches kids about traditional Christmas values,' Wheeler said. 'We've done something unique – we not only have a singing Santa, but one who also explains the meaning of these classic songs, and of Christmas itself.

'Some people apparently hate the fact that most Christmas carols say something about spirituality,' Wheeler pointed out. 'We deliberately didn't shy away from these songs' true meanings – we wanted kids to know about the core beliefs and values that built America. These Christmas traditions are a big part of our American heritage, and we think kids should learn about them.'

Wheeler says his production was deliberately "sucker-punched." 'What is particularly strange is that – based on the film projects they typically cover – these harsh critics should never have reviewed the Santa's Sing-A-Long DVD in the first place. For example, one of these extreme reviews was from a reviewer who reviewed big-budget theatrical movies – which Santa's Sing-A-Long is not. He specifically asked to see it so he could 'help you out,' before savaging it in his column. This slashing review was then given major placement on the reviewer's website for several full days, apparently to ensure that it was featured prominently on search engines.

'These are theatrical film reviewers who never wrote about The Wiggles or Barney or any DVDs clearly meant for children,' Wheeler pointed out, 'so why they even bothered to rip us apart was a mystery, until we realized that this was part of a larger assault on Christmas itself. I'm sure that if we had left out all mention of Silent Night, or if we hadn't explained that Gloria In Excelsius Deo means 'Glory to God in Heaven,' we wouldn't have come under this kind of fire,' Wheeler said.

These harsh, unjustified reviews have hurt the small production company, which had been enjoying brisk sales prior to the attacks.

'Our sales have nose-dived since we've been attacked,' Wheeler said, 'all because there are a few self-appointed 'experts' who find it 'disturbing' that a DVD celebrates the core values that made America great and talks about the real meaning of Christmas. They may not share our values, but these off-the-wall attacks are ridiculous.'

Wheeler pointed out that one reviewer even accused them of faking bloopers, suggesting that there was some kind of secret agenda. That's a charge Wheeler found laughable. 'We shot Santa's Sing-A-Long in two days on a production budget of less than $40,000. We think the results we got are fantastic – but to accuse us of 'planning' a blooper clearly shows they were desperate to find any way at all of attacking our project. All I can figure is that they simply despised the traditional messages we successfully conveyed, but needed some backhand way of attacking us without mentioning their real anti-Christmas agenda.'

Santa's Sing-A-Long is not alone – attacks on Christmas by PC forces and in the agenda-driven secular media have been on the upswing in recent years – the banning of "The Nativity" from a Chicago-area Christmas street fair is but one recent example. 'After Wal-Mart refused to let their employees say 'Merry Christmas' last year,' Wheeler explained, 'I was motivated to create Santa's Sing-A-Long to help preserve traditional values. But I never expected the media backlash to come after us.

'Christmas has been banned from our schools, our courthouses, our city halls – and now they want to stop people from buying a DVD that teaches children what Christmas carols are really about,' Wheeler said. 'I don't know when big segments of our country were taken over by extremists who loathe everything good about America, and I'm hopeful that moms and dads will see through these unwarranted attacks – and see that we made a delightful, heart-warming DVD that will entertain their kids while teaching them some goods thing about Christmas.'

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