I visited a friend at a major corporation last week. When she walked into the lobby to greet me she said “happy holidays” I responded “Merry Christmas.” The receptionist said under her breath, but loud enough for all to hear – “I like that much better.”
Have we reached the point where political correctness is ruining everything, even those things we hold dear. Whether we like it or not, the US is a Christian country. Nearly 80% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. The next largest group is Jewish with 1.7% and it goes down from there. About 16% are “nothing in particular, agnostic, or atheist (1.6%)
So why is it that we are so afraid to mention that this time of year is the Christmas Season. The name comes from the dominant religion in the country. No one seems to be afraid to wish Jews “Happy Chanukah” or wish Muslims well during Ramadan. Just what is wrong with wishing folks “Merry Christmas.”
The tradition of Christmas, its stories, myths, and legends, goes back two millennia. We learned as children about stars going forth leading wise-men, of a babe in a manger, shepherds and angels. The story is wonderful, magical, and filled with peace and hope.
There are of course stories that have evolved over the centuries. Santa Clause and gift giving, and of course Dickens’ wonderful “Christmas Carol” with Bob Cratchett, Tiny Tim and old Scrooge himself.
Then there is Christmas music. We can’t play it in the malls, or sing it at parties, after all we might offend. The greatest composers of all time wrote songs for the season. I guess we have to listen to them on earphones. We wouldn’t want to offend.
I think this all began when the concern about the separation of church and state groups started of complain about prayer in school — forced prayer (how do you do that). Then we had to get any religious icon out of the public square (pull the cross off the seal of the county of LA, remove the cross that has been on the hill side for a hundred years, and for heavens sake, get those animals, mangers, and folks in their bathrobes out of the park, some poor child might be corrupted.)
Fine — the government should not promote any religion. Got it. But what has that to do with the cards I get or email greetings? Are private businesses so afraid that they might offend that they can’t even put the word “Christmas” on their greetings? I guess so.
I received one out of more than 100 greetings that had the word Christmas on it. Its so sad. This is one of the happiest, blessed, and mystical times of the year. Why do we take things that are wonderful and see them as offensive. Come on, if someone wishes you ‘happy holidays, respond with a jovial “Merry Christmas.” Lets start a trend. If someone takes offense, so be it.
I quote from PT’s Christmas Greeting going out Monday:
Merry Christmas to all our readers, friends, and business associates. Whether you be Christian or Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist – whether or not you participate in the rites that give this time of year its name, please receive out best wishes for a most happy, merry, and holy holiday season.