i’ll start this post by wishing you a merry christmas.
if that offends you, perhaps you should stop reading now.
every year there are myriad stories about someone somewhere being offended by the use of the word “christmas”. we now have a holiday season, and season’s greetings, and winter celebrations. stores are plastered floor to ceiling with christmas paraphernalia, but god forbid, any store employees should wish someone a “merry christmas”.
cities the country over are dressed up in their non-denominational festive decorations, but they try so hard to give equal time to all religions, or preferably in their eyes, make all expressions religion-neutral, that they water down what could be a touching show of appreciation for history and culture.
sorry if this comes as a shock to anyone, but america is a christian country.
i didn’t say it should be a christian country.
i didn’t say the government should impose religion on anyone.
i didn’t say christians should be favored over other religions.
i didn’t say that non-believers should be persecuted or harassed.
i don’t even know if most christians are religious or secular.
but i do know that the majority is christian and many (all?) of the early settlers in america (no, not the native americans) were some denomination of christian.
so yes, this is the christmas season.
it is not the chanukah season, because guess what? chanukah is a relatively minor holiday in judaism. it’s only grown in its visibility because of all the secular jews in public schools. they saw everyone around them having christmas, so chanukah evolved (or devolved, depending on your viewpoint) into a jewish christmas. but in reality, it’s not.
it’s not kwanza season because, guess what? kwanza is a made up holiday to give african-americans something they could call their own in this season. but the reality is that it is still the season of christmas.
it’s not a celebration of the winter solstice although you are free to celebrate that if you want- but in reality this “season” did not grow and flourish because of the solstice. it just didn’t.
snowmen are great and snowflakes are beautiful and neutral decorations are great. but let’s be honest that they are only popular because of christmas. very few people would go out of their way to decorate their houses for winter, just like most people don’t decorate for fall or spring or summer. unless you have a child in preschool who is bringing home politically correct projects for you to hang up, i’m guessing your house doesn’t have seasonally appropriate garb.
now that i’ve shocked you, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the issue.
sometimes, even people who don’t celebrate christmas are wished a merry christmas.
and sometimes people who are having a cruddy day are wished a blessed day.
and sometimes when people sneeze, someone says “bless you”, even if you are not religious.
sometimes people even wish me peace when i’m not feeling peaceful. which is really the point, isn’t it?
and, really, objectively, that’s all fine.
my family doesn’t celebrate christmas. but if someone on the street is playing the odds in america, odds are that we would. numbers don’t lie (not usually at least)- if most people do x, it is safe to assume that most people you meet will be doing x. so what’s the harm in someone wishing me a merry christmas?
some people act as if they were assaulted by these good wishes. some people react as if their personal sovereignty is at stake because someone said the forbidden 2 words to them. some people seem to have too much time on their hands to complain.
when someone says those awful horrible words to me, i respond, “thank you.”. sometimes i say, “to you too.”. and i really don’t see why that should be a problem.
are they showing e a lack of respect? are they negating my beliefs? when did offense become a crime, similar in nature to assault? when did we as a country start confusing hurt feelings with hurt? and why the heck did we let that happen?
i’ll tell you honestly, that if your belief system is so shaky that it can be undone by having someone wish you a merry christmas, you may need to re-evaluate your beliefs.
there are real problems in the world. there is injustice and hunger and abuse. if you want to be offended, get offended by that. instead of wasting time and resources in fighting against something that is sweet and, quite frankly, religion neutral, why don’t these crusaders go on a crusade against something that really needs to be eradicated?
yes, i said christmas is religion neutral. (at least as it is widely practiced. and those religious enough to know better are not usually the ones to wish a “merry christmas”, since they get just as persecuted in america as anyone else of faith.)
if you haven’t noticed, hallmark has co-opted christmas. pagan symbols stand in for true belief (if you don’t believe me, go try to find out why “christmas trees” are part of the celebration). gifts and trinkets have taken the place of what christmas is supposed to be about. some families have skipped these trapping altogether, and some are opting for a return to the celebration of the birth of jesus.
but any way it goes, why should someone be offended by what others believe?
i know who i am and what i am. so do my kids. that doesn’t change is someone wishes me well. and it doesn’t change in december.
so you know what? i’ll just say it here with no apologies:
merry christmas to all of you.