December 2007 Archives

To all my Democratic friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than neither any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To all my Republican friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

(I have no idea what the source of this is. It arrived in my inbox from my dad and, yes, it’s out there on the Intertubes, but I decided it needed to be repeated. Bill)

December 25th, whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Tom Cruise, is called “Christmas.” Yes, it is called “Christmas” with a capital “C,” just like “the Fourth of July,” “Thanksgiving,” and that perennial favorite, “Presidents’ Day.” Millions of people around the world celebrate it, too.

So why is that big tree in the town green called a “Holiday Tree?”

I’ve been giving this some significant thought lately. (Perhaps you noticed the odor.) I just don’t get it.

After all, stores have sales called “Christmas sales” on which they make millions of dollars, yet their clerks wish us, “Happy holidays!” as we leave.

The day on the calendar is “Christmas.” And yet we have politicians wishing us “Happy holidays!”

The season is the “Christmas” season. And yet there are 8’-tall inflatable SpongeBob Squarepants yard art Santas sitting on packages… no, wait, that doesn’t help my argument. Never mind.

Anyway, you don’t hear people wishing you “Happy holidays!” on Veteran’s Day, do you? And don’t you think veterans would be a tad ticked off if we decided that we should take the “Vet” out of “Veterans” because it shows favor to one particular profession?

And you don’t hear people wishing each other “Happy holidays!” at Easter, do you? Instead, people sell you candy eggs, chocolate thingamabobs, and as many jelly beans as you’ll eat and say, “Happy Easter!” when you check out. Weird.

I’m a Christian. Ben Stein is a Jew. And I think he said it very well:

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Come on, America. The vast majority of you are Christians. So… er… what to do…

Well, last year, I wished every store clerk, “Merry Christmas!” as I checked out. You’d be surprised at the reactions I got. While most said, “Hey, Merry Christmas to you, too!” even after they’d already said, “Happy holidays,” nobody—not one person—said, “Shove it, pal,” or even anything remotely similar. Some merely stuck with their previous, “Happy holidays.”

But most smiled and returned the greeting.

Say it, folks, as if you understand what the true meaning of Christmas is (that Christ was born in Bethlehem to save the world) or even if you understand it as Hallmark understands it (that it’s a day about being good to each other, bringing cheer to others, etc.). Or even if you’d rather it be called “christmas” with a lower-case “C” (like folks who don’t believe in Christ, for example, but like the day off anyway), go ahead and say it, “Merry Christmas.”

Then go home and put the lights on your Christmas tree.

UPDATED 2007-12-08 I realized that I had a comma after “Christmas” in the title of this bit and that made the modifier “for Christ’s sake” sound like “fer chrissake.” And that’s not what I wanted it to sound like.