I hope you’re not offended by the title of this post. I honestly don’t get why folks complain about the decreased use of the phrase, Merry Christmas. Why would anyone be offended by the wishing of happiness between people?
I thought folks said “Happy Holidays” in order to cover both Christmas and New Years in one swoop whenever the oh so witty, “Merry Christmas! See you next year,” quip started to feel old and overused. I never thought people were trying to remove Christ from the equation. I just figured they were being verbally efficient.
I had 2 Jewish friends in high school and didn’t make any Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim friends until college which is why it wasn’t until college that I thought about what it must feel like to live in a world where you’re inundated by another religion’s traditions every year. Where every commercial, ad campaign, window treatment and even the damn store hours are focused around a holiday you don’t celebrate.
As a parent, I wonder how non-Christian moms and dads deal with the television specials, Santa questions and plethora of decorations with their kids? How do you explain to a 5-year-old that he really was a good little boy this year, even though a fat guy in a red suit didn’t drop off a load of gifts during the night.
The way I see it, others have respected my beliefs for decades, no questions asked. Once I lived a little and became exposed to other religions, traditions, and belief systems I figured what’s the harm in respecting them?
The word holiday literally means, an official day without work; festive; and if you’re British, vacation, which is exactly what happens this time of year. Most jobs give you December 25th off whether you celebrate it or not; you get invited to lots of festive parties and often times use the time to travel. What’s wrong with calling this weekend exactly what is and wishing that it be happy?
The way I see if, if the new agers never bitch about the dropping of Thanks and Giving when wishing family a Happy Turkey Day and the religious fanatics don’t freak out when Halloween replaces All Hallows Eve and TV pundits don’t chastize folks for wishing each other a Happy 4th of July in lieu of Independence Day, then why do Christians bitch about the specific salutation terminology surrounding Christmas?
Personally, I think all of this fuss is a ruse to draw attention to the complainer (i.e., TV pundits, radio hosts and NY Times best selling authors), make them more money and has nothing to do with Christ or Christmas. If it did and we all were truly offended, none of us would perpetuate the Santa myth, put a live tree in our homes or a giant, inflatable snow man on our front lawns. Instead we’d simply bake a cake that said Happy Birthday Jesus and focus on the true meaning of the holiday.
So cut the crap. What do you care if I wish you, Season’s Greetings? Relax and enjoy a festive, vacation day. You’re free to spend it worshipping, praying or watching the Christmas Story marathon on TBS for that matter. No one can take the day and it’s personal meaning away from you and it’s time to stop pretending that they can.