Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy Merry!

Here we go again. Last night ABC news opened the great Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays debate. Retailers, in an effort to be inclusive and make money from ALL the gift-giving holidays of the seasons are saying "Happy Holidays" as they greet customers. This naturally has all the bible-thumpers starting their annual "Christmas War" to keep Christ in Christmas. After all, what better way to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace than with a war, right?

There is a very simple reason retailers say "Happy Holidays." Allow me to explain this in the clearest terms possible just in case any Christian Fundies are reading: NOT EVERYONE CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS.

Growing up as I did in New Jersey and living as I do in New York City, this is not a difficult concept for me to grasp. In fact, I can remember as a kindergartener being aware of this situation in our society. In my neighborhood we had Jewish neighbors across the street and next door. About a third of the kids I went to school with were Jewish and certainly by time I was in high school I had classmates who were not only Jewish but Hindu, Muslim, even Sikh. So saying "Happy Holidays" is nothing new for me. In fact, I'm not sure why this is a new concept for ANYONE. As far as I know greeting card companies have been printing cards saying "Seasons Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" for decades and only now is it supposedly a threat to Christianity.

The message of Christmas as I've always understood it is "Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men." So doesn't "peace on earth" mean not starting a culture war? And doesn't "good will toward men" mean including ALL people in the warmth and charitable spirit of Christmas?

Might I be so bold to suggest that those who fear retailers like Wal-Mart or Target saying "Happy Holidays" will somehow rob them of keeping Christ in Christmas don't have a real firm grasp on their faith to begin with. Might I also suggest that it is up to the individual through his thoughts and actions to keep Christ in Christmas.

To further illustrate my point, allow me to quote the great Dr. Seuss from How the Grinch Stole Christmas:

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

Why is this complicated?

"Yahoo Doray" everyone!

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At 12:10 PM, Blogger judy said...

Thank you, Michael....so well said. I can't for the life of me figure out how wishing anyone happiness of any kind prevents Christians from keeping Christ in Christmas. In some poll taken somewhere that I heard about this morning, apparently 1/3 of the people interviewed were offended by the "Happy Holidays" greeting. Please get a life! I'm offended by war, homelessness, genocide in Darfur, violence against children, hunger, cruelty, bigotry, etc., etc. But "Happy Holidays"...not so much.

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always celebrate the "Go to the movies and eat Chinese food with Jewish friends" holiday on Christmas day. lol.

At 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With so much real news going on, you have to wonder why the media bring up this non-issue every year. Another reason to hate Christmas. Bah! Humbug!


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