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Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

 

Christmas Tree

As an educated, southern, long haired, non-theist,liberal, you may be surprised that my rule of thumb is to greet folks with a Merry Christmas.  I decorate my Christmas tree with Christmas ornaments and send out Christmas cards, and struggle with outdoor Christmas lights.

Let’s face it, the greeting “Merry Christmas” is a pretty sure bet in Clarksville.  However, the annual rhetoric about the war on Christmas is ruining what should be a good time.

The other day, my wife told a cashier ”Happy Holidays.”  A pulsing vein popped from the side of the cashier’s forehead as she vehemently spewed, “and you have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!”  She was not hoping my wife would enjoy the rest of her day, she was angrily saying, “I am a Christian, you should have known that by the size of this invisible chip on my shoulder.”  Everyone gets the unprovoked emails and Facebook posts about how the sender celebrates Christmas not just a holiday.  Bill O’Reilly has brought up the “War on Christmas” every year for the past 15 years.

While Christians claim they are standing up against the PC police, they are becoming the Anti-PC Police.  Is there really a difference between PC police and anti-PC police?  Both argue we should use certain words over others because we could upset someone.

I firmly believe in standing up for one’s beliefs, but that doesn’t apply in this situation.  By saying Happy Holidays, my wife wasn’t persecuting the cashier’s beliefs.  She is simply saying, I don’t know what you are celebrating, but I hope you have a good time.  Why is that insulting?  At no other point during the year or in our lives, do we require such accuracy in our pleasantries with total strangers.

By being so easily offended, we create the problem.  All Americans are becoming thin skinned…everyone.  Being thin skinned spawns the PC police and the anti-PC police.  It shows up in other social aspects, such as the non-bullying campaigns.  I believe as we become more ego-centric, we become more thinned skinned.  But I digress….

But folks point to big corporations banning their employees from saying Merry Christmas, instructing them to say Happy Holidays.  They do it because they want your money; they want the Christian’s money, the Jew’s money, the Muslim’s money, etc.  They sell Christmas trees as well as Menorahs. It is contradictory to say businesses are anti-Christmas while they are selling you Christmas items.

Corporations have turned Christmas into a month long celebration of consumer capitalism.  They have replaced Christ with Cash, and although most would not admit it, we are active participants in this evolution.  For centuries, the Catholic church has absconded other culture holidays…now the corporation are doing the same (it makes makes for easy converts.)  Do some research about our current holidays – find out why we celebrate Christmas in December near the shortest day of the year, or the Celts & the origin of All Hallow’s Eve, or why the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection is called Easter.

Christmas has evolved to have different meanings for different people.  Some choose to greet people in an all-inclusive manner with Happy Holidays.  Others choose to greet people in the spirit of the holiday they celebrate with Merry Christmas.

My hope, no matter how I say it….is that you take this time to rediscover what is truly important – love, family, and community.

Merry Christmas!


About Blayne Clements

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