Friday, December 09, 2011

Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas....Yeah, I'm Going There

I'm a very opinionated person, I admit that.  However, when writing my blog, I try to do what I can to not touch on subjects that are highly debated.  But, today, I just can't help myself.

Apparently, the area I live in has nothing better to report on for news other than whether or not people should say Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays.  Seriously.  I'm not kidding.  It even went as far as a local news station posting a poll on Facebook asking people whether or not a tree in a mall should be considered a Christmas tree or a Holiday tree.  I think they do it to stir up stupid crap.  What other possible reason would a local news station have for doing something as unimportant as that?

Even though I think it's totally stupid to post a poll over something as mundane as how to refer to a tree in a mall....I couldn't help buy read some of the responses.  I expected people to vote one way or the other... but some opinions of some people got to me.

Of course, it started a HUGE debate on religion, beliefs, cultures, etc.  The people that commented played right in to the news station's hands.

I celebrate Christmas.  Duh, it's all I've posted about for the past couple of weeks.  I haven't spoken or touched on other holidays because they are not holidays I celebrate - and I really don't know a whole lot about them.  It's not because I'm ignorant or bias - it's because this is my blog, my piece of the internet, and I should be able to post about whatever I want.

Regardless, I would NEVER EVER say that Christmas should be the ONLY holiday spoken about this time of year.

December is a busy time for holidays.  Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa... they all happen around the same time.  I totally get where people - make that companies and stores - prefer to use Happy Holidays... they don't want to single out any particular holiday when they are trying to attract customers.  I totally get that.  I will go out on a limb and say, that in my area, Christmas is the most celebrated holiday.  I'm totally positive, however, that there are still people living in my community that celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

It totally boggles my mind, however, when there are people that make the statement that EVERYONE should say Merry Christmas... because it's the most important holiday, and the only holiday that should be observed this time of year.  Or that NEITHER should be used, because holidays are religious based and out of respect of non-believers, there should be no well wishing of holidays...and that people should just keep it to themselves.

I'm not going to single out the religion of Christianity.  Not all Christians wear the t-shirt that Christians are the most important people in the world, and no one else should matter.  I'm also not going to point fingers at all Atheists, because not all of them have the thought process that religion should be banned. Representatives from both parties said, however, that it was OFFENSIVE for the other side to use the term Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas.  Offensive.  That was the word I saw over and over and over.

So, let me get this straight.  If I wish an Atheist Merry Christmas... I'm being offensive?  But if I wish a Christian Happy Holidays - that, too, is offensive?  Really, people?  This is what we're going to debate about?

There was one lady that commented on the whole debate that I sided with.  She made the most sense out of everyone.  I tried to find the whole thing on Facebook this morning, but it's disappeared in the constant stream of unimportant I just have to go with my memory on what she said.

She basically explained that she's not a Christian, yet her family celebrates Christmas.  They don't do it for the religious aspect, they do it because they look at the holiday as a time to celebrate family, being together, and enjoying the season.  She puts up a Christmas tree, she decorates her house, she bakes holiday treats for co-workers, and she buys gifts for her kids.  Some years, she even attends Mass with her Catholic mother-in-law... because that tradition is important to her mother-in-law.  She is never offended when someone says Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays - because a complete stranger has the decency to wish her a greeting, and it shows that at this time of year there is a lot of thoughts of others.  She explained that she works with a couple of Jewish people and that they often wish people Merry Christmas - because they know that others celebrate Christmas.  They also love it when people wish them Happy Holidays or Happy Hanukkah, because it means people respect the fact that even though they don't celebrate Christmas, they still celebrate a holiday this time of year.

She ended with this:  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings.  How can any of these words be offensive?  It means someone has taken the time to wish you well this December.  Get over yourselves, find something important to fight about, and just enjoy this wonderful time of the year.

Wow!  I couldn't have said it better myself.

I agree with her 150%.  Why on Earth would uttering a wish of happiness - regardless of the religious motivation behind it - be considered offensive?  If the term was "Merry Christmas, you have to go to church and be a Christian or else you're going to burn in Hell" or "Happy Holidays, the Christian holiday is not important so you're getting this term of happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas" I would understand people getting offended.  But that's NOT what people say or even mean when they share those simple, happy words.

That wise woman was bashed BIG time over her point of view.  Surprising, right?  People actually took time out of their busy lives to call this woman a hypocrite, a heathen, and some other not very nice names... mostly because she celebrates Christmas but is not a Christan.

She did not bother to defend herself.  I'm assuming it's because she is a grown up, and actually has a pretty good head on her shoulders.  She figured it wasn't even worth her time to give those idiots the satisfaction of her needing to defend herself.

One person did come to her aid, however.  He explained the history of Christmas actually being a Pagan holiday that was taken over by the Roman Catholic church in order to convert Pagans to Christianity.  There is no documentation of when Jesus was born.  The Pagan holiday of Yule is celebrated this time of year to celebrate the Winter Solstice.  It is celebrated by exchanging gifts, baking food, and spending time with loved ones....sound familiar?

According to the history books, he's 100% correct. 

His point on the matter was that Christmas wasn't exclusive to Christians.  And who made the rule that you can't celebrate at Christmas time unless you're a Christian?  I don't think anyone has that power.

So, after this long rant of being offended or upset over something as mundane and pathetic as being wished Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays... I leave you with this...

Merry Christmas!! Happy Holidays!! Happy Hanukkah!!  Happy Kwanzaa!!  Seasons Greetings!!

Those words mean nothing more than my wishing you well this holiday season.  I'm being nice and courteous and taking a second to show you that I care.  My intentions are heart felt and sincere.  By wishing you those words I am hoping for you to be happy and enjoy this time of year.

If that's offensive...then our country is in serious trouble!

Till next time. ;)

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  1. Great post, Joanna!!!! And don't forget that there are plenty of Christians (such as myself) who don't celebrate Christmas BECAUSE it was based on a pagan holiday, which the Bible clearly states we shouldn't celebrate. The Apostles didn't celebrate Jesus' birthday after he died -- they continued honor God's Feast days, the Sabbath, and -- of course -- Passover. Having said that, I smile and say thank you when someone wishes me happiness -- just as you said! You are one smart woman!

  2. I was going to point out that you forgot Yule, haha. December 25th is the day the Pagans used to celebrate the Sun's birthday and then Christians took it over. I am a Christian, but not ignorant to these things like some are. Crazy.

    Merry Christmas!!

  3. Thank you thank you thank you! This post makes me so so happy, you have no idea. I seriously don't know why anyone cares what a person says, the mere fact that they are wishing you a lovely holiday season should be enough. Honestly, people have way too much time on their hands. Happy Holidays! :)

  4. Thanks ladies!! I'm glad you all have such an open mind on the situation. I think that regardless of beliefs or religion, everyone should get over themselves if something as silly as wishing someone Merry Christmas would be considered offensive.

    Cathy - I didn't purposefully miss you... I promise!! LOL

    Natoria - Thanks!! I'm actually pretty informed on the Pagan beliefs and traditions. It would blow some peoples minds to hear the celebrations done by Pagans around Christmas and Easter...some traditions may make more sense then.

    Eimear - You're most welcome!! And Happy Holidays to you!!


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