Friday, December 5, 2008


I've been progressively more troubled by a trend I've seen over the last few years. I see it on TV, hear it from friends, and get incessant emails on it. And that is the "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas" debate.

I am a Christian, mostly in the sense that the teachings of Christ are, I believe, an excellent way to live your life. I do think other philosophies, faiths, creeds, et al, have merit too. This is just my path, however imperfectly I follow it. I'm not big on religion. While I don't necessarily think that it's "the opiate of the masses," I do think religion is an excellent way to screw up faith. Faith? Now that I have in abundance.

All that to say that I simply don't get the aggressively militant "taking back Christmas" crap. Since when is it insulting to be wished happy holidays? Dammit. They want me to be happy! They SUCK!! So what if they don't want to assume what holiday I celebrate? What if they're saying that particular phrase because they're including New Year's greetings? How rude of them. Or not so much.

But no, now we have to turn fact that someone is giving us good wishes into an insult. I've heard people respond to the cheerful "Happy Holidays" with a snarled "Merry Christmas" that sounds more like an expletive. I get emails that accuse people who use the H.H. greeting of trying to steal Christ's thunder. I've seen sentimental claptrap that pictures Jesus as feeling his birthday (which, btw, it isn't...He was born in the spring) is being forgotten. And they all imply that people saying H.H. are some kind of infidels trying to prevent Christians from celebrating Christmas.

Nonsense. I've a few Jewish friends, and I've never seen one of them get offended if someone, not knowing their religion, wishes them a Merry Christmas. None of them feel we're trying to insult them. They accept the kind thought behind it. I'd suggest there are a heck of a lot more important things out there to get angry about than someone caring enough to wish you happiness.

I should know. I manage to get angry at most of them, hence the blog name. But honestly, if I ask myself the hackneyed "What Would Jesus Do?" when confronted with the H.H. versus M.C. controversy? I just can't see Him sneering, "Wish me a happy birthday!" to someone saying Happy Holidays. Dunno what He'd say to Merry Christmas, because of course, He celebrated Hanukkah.

Instead, I think He'd smile, and wish us all Peace. And so do I.

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