December 19th, 2005

Christmas Cats

a link stolen from kokopellinelli

Merry Christmas... I mean Happy Holidays... er... um... Thank you for buying stuff & have a good day...

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This is an article about all the uproar over whether we should be saying "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" and all that crap.

As far as retail clerks are concerned, I am on the "Happy Holidays" side of things. I've worked several holiday seasons at a bookstore in a part of the Cities with a heavy Jewish population. As I rang customers up there was a good chance that they weren't going to celebrate Christmas. Yes, sometimes I did say Merry Christmas, because it is hard to break thirty years of habit, but I tried to make an effort not to. After all, to those who celebrate Christmas, that is what you are talking about when you say Happy Holidays. That is what they will interpret it as. If you are Jewish and I say Happy Holidays your first thought isn't "but I don't celebrate Christmas."

I am just getting so sick of all the politicians trying to bring religion into politics, and of all the religious leaders trying to convince America that all Americans are Christians. It's just not true! I don't think the government should try to protect Christian beliefs and ideals. They should be protecting all religious freedom, not just Christian.

I am not Christian. Yes, I celebrate Christmas. But to me it is not a religious holiday, it is a family holiday.

It is a time to give gifts to those you care about and spend time with family & friends and eat lots of really good food.

When I do get around to decorating my house I do have a Christmas tree. There is no angel on top. One year we had a stuffed Opus on top. The last few years we have had a Moravian star on top, because 1/4 of my heritage is Moravian.

When we go to my mom & dad's house on Christmas morning I will take all the figures out of the manger and rearrange them. Not because they aren't set up right, but because it is something I have always done ever since I was a kid. Would I like to have that manger set someday? Yes. But not because of the religious meaning. I'd want it because it is something I have a memory of for as far back as I can remember. For as long as I can remember that one wise man has had a broken toe. I have no idea when or how it broke. The set is just plastic, nothing special about it, and the manger itself is a crude homemade manger. But my dad made it and that has more meaning to me than some baby who was born 1000 years ago & may be the son of god, or his mom may have just gotten knocked up and spun a good tale about it.

Yes, people will say Merry Christmas to me. I will say it back. Some will say Happy Holidays, and I will reply with the same. Very few of them will likely say Blessed Yule/Solstice. I won't be resentful of this. I know that whatever people say, it is the thought and not the words that are important. And I know that the majority of people I know celebrate Christmas, whether in a religious way, or just in a family way like me. I can't force them to not say Merry Christmas, just as they can't force me to say it. And I really don't mind. After all, arguing over the proper thing to say kinda defeats the reasons we celebrate, doesn't it? Besides, for over 30 years I have celebrated Christmas with my family and friends. I am just as likely to say Merry Christmas as Happy Holidays. It doesn't mean the Christian politicians have won.