Thursday, November 20, 2008

'Tis the Season for Political Correctness

I'm taking a break from Prop 8 stuff. For now, haha.

I received an email the other day from my dad. He never fails to send me the funniest damn emails on the planet, but sometimes he'll send some thought-provoking or one of those that attempt to tug at your heart strings. I'll freely admit when it comes to such emails I cut my heart strings.


Yesterday's was a statement from Ben Stein. You know Ben. "Bueller....Bueller...Bueller...Bueller..."

He's an incredibly intelligent man with the incredibly monotonous voice. I think he even hosted a TV show on Comedy Central.


If you didn't know already, the man is Jewish - and it's getting to be that time of year for Hanukkah.

And Christmas.

And Kwanzaa.

And Winter Solstice.

For years upon years, the day after Thanksgiving gave us license to walk along snow powdered streets and greet each passerby with a cheerful "Merry Christmas!" and nobody gave a crap. In fact, they probably said "Merry Christmas!" right back at ya.

Because it's that time of year.

Cities erect Christmas trees in their downtown squares, garlands, lights, etc. It really is a neat time of year.

Then, some years ago, a group of people started getting pissed off. "I don't celebrate Christmas, I'm Jewish! Say Happy Holidays!" (and no, I'm not blaming the Jewish people for this)

Before you know it, everyone is in a fuss. Walmart insists on saying "Happy Holidays" and so some of their customers boycott the business during this season - and if they don't, they puff up their chests and spit "Merry Christmas" right back as if to make some point.

Some businesses, for "tradition's" sake, insist on saying "Merry Christmas" and refuse the more generalized "Happy Holidays" because they won't be caught dead being politically correct.

And suddenly, the coolest, prettiest, friendliest time of the year has turned ugly.


I know, I know. For so long people accepted that Christ was the "reason for the season." But as some - perhaps most - of you know, Christmas has its roots in paganism. Not Christ's birth, not at all. Most biblical scholars will tell you Christ was absolutely not born in the dead of winter. I might get more into this later.

Like most holidays (Easter included), Christmas has many paganistic symbols. I mean, you can explain away the star on top of the tree (the star that led the "three wise men" to Christ), you can explain away the gifts (the wise men offered gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Christ), but the tree? Stockings?

Santa Claus?

Come on now.

But I digress. Again.

'Tis the season also for our Jewish friends to celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah, for some of our African-American friends to celebrate their heritage/culture with Kwanzaa, for our heathen-pagan friends (sarcasm alert) to celebrate the shortest day of the year.

Should we really put up a fuss about how we choose to greet one another?

I don't think so.

If someone said "happy Hanukkah" to me, I'd smile and return the greeting. It's the intention behind the words, people.

I don't really care what someone says to me. To stomp my feet and throw a tantrum in the insistence that people say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" is rather childish. I'm just glad someone's in the spirit of the season. To say "and a happy holidays to you too" or "and a merry Christmas to you" is kinda like flipping someone the bird. Get over yourselves. Just return it. They were being nice.

Really. We should cut the crap. It's distracting. You people ruin this time of year for me with your whining. I know it's not "cool" to be politically correct, and I like to make fun of PCisms too, but this is just ridiculous.

Not everyone celebrates Christmas.

Not everyone who celebrates Christmas does so because of Christ.

Some people don't even believe in Christ as the Son of God, but they believe in God, so they celebrate Hanukkah.

Some people think all that religion crap is lame and they'd rather leave it alone entirely and celebrate the time of year.

Hell, some people don't even celebrate holidays period, like our Jehovah's Witness friends. They are hep to the pagan roots and want nothing to do with them.

(and yes, I actually do find it rather lame and silly to call city Christmas trees "holiday trees." They can have a city Menorah if they want. Really. Get over it.)

I don't believe in insisting we greet one another in one way or the other, but to do it one way or not do it one way as a matter of making a point is, again, lame. We can at least recognize that this is a special time of year for those who don't believe in Christ. Be kind. Just smile and nod if that's all you can do. Leave people be.

So Happy Holidays everyone. Whatever holiday it happens to be you're looking forward to, I hope it's an awesome one.


Noe said...

I saw three things-depending on my mood...

Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays
Happy Hanukkah

We celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas in my home. As you know, Chris is Jewish, his father is Catholic-so they celebrated both while he was growing up. I was raised Christian and have always celebrated Christmas-even though my mom isn't a believer. We just love the holiday; the decorations, the food, the lights-gotta love the lights... My mom aspires to light the tree on fire (but not the cat) like in National Lampoons... lolol

I like what you say here-when people wish me a happy/merry whatever I will return the same sentiment with a smile. I love this time of year, I love welcoming winter and I love spending time with my friends and family. I could do without the stress but... *shrug*

People need to get over themselves.

Amanda said...

Even though I'm not Christian, I celebrate Christmas, because growing up, Christmas became a time of tradition and celebration that, for me, had nothing to do with religion. To me, Christmas is all about sugar cookies that the kids decorate, Christmas ornaments on the tree, giving AND receiving gifts, having big dinners with family, and so on. You're right - it IS all about the intent. It's amazing how much someone can say with just two little words - Merry Christmas. I mean, most people say that innocuously, but then there are some people who go out of their way to spout it at non-believers, just to get their goat. And that's wrong.

It's amazing what people can get upset about, too.

the narrator said...

I must point out that my last blog post was written yesterday and was not influenced by this post.

Laura said...

Seein as how I rarely get a "hello", "How ya doin," or "How can I help you" when I go to Wal-mart, I'm generally happy with whatever greeting I get.

I think most Christians, myself included, wouldn't be offended by a "Happy Hanukah". I'd probably be shocked and grateful that the employee ackowledged my presence at all!

Lisa said...

narrator: lol

Laura: I hear that!

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

I usually say, "Happy Chanukwansmas" or "Merry Winter Pagan Rituals"

Either works for me.

Shar said...

Yes. You are so right. I was ranting to my husband just last week about all of the flair on Facebook with snide comments about people who say Happy Holidays. It's just silliness. Wish me Happy Hanukkah, Kawanzaa, Christmas, or Holidays. I'll take any well-intentioned greeting.