This piece was written by a dear friend, a woman with a clear and bright intelligence. Let her words lighten your own world and stop sweating the small stuff.
By Becky Johnson
24 November 2013 at 11:21
Disclaimer: What I am about to say my offend some of you- you are welcome to hit the home button and not bother reading this if you think you will be offended. If you care to open your mind and consciousness a bit, feel free to carry on.
Today I was walking through a store and overheard the cashier and another woman speaking. They were talking about Christmas. Now, it’s the day before Halloween and this is already being discussed… I’m feeling offended even before Halloween, two months before the holiday even comes about.
Customer: And we can’t even say ‘Merry Christmas’ anymore! Well I for one won’t stand for it!
Cashier: I know. It’s ‘Happy Holidays’ that is the politically correct term now. Well I’m going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ all I want and NO ONE can tell me different.
Customer: Me too! If people don’t like it, too bad!
I know I’m probably preaching to the choir on this note for the most part- but let me grab my soap box for a minute here. I DO NOT give a fuck if you want to say Merry Christmas. If you tell me that I will thank you and say it back to you. I don’t care. No one is trying to take your phrase away from you.
The fact is- many people are just plain pissed because other people choose to celebrate differently. If I say ‘Merry Yule’ to someone they may become offended because I didn’t say Merry Christmas. If I say ‘Happy Holidays’ to someone they may get pissed because I said that. The plain and simple reasoning behind most people saying they can’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ is that they don’t like it when someone says something other than that. We are NOT taking your phrase away from you- you are dictating what phrase I should use!
By getting pissed because someone gives you blessing other than the phrase YOU agree with you are deteriorating Christmas yourself. I’m not doing it. As a matter of fact, I usually do say Merry Christmas- I laughed last year when my very Catholic co-worker said ‘Happy Holidays’ and I said ‘Merry Christmas’ to people. You’re not thinking of the good wishes that other people are giving you- you are only thinking of your selfish need to state a phrase. The thought behind it doesn’t matter. The well wishes do not matter. It’s not YOUR phrase so you take offense.
I don’t care if you say ‘Merry Christmas’ to me, though I celebrate Yule. I don’t. I know that what you are doing by wishing me a ‘Merry Christmas’ is telling me you hope my holidays are blessed and you care for me. Can you say the same to me if I wish you a ‘Blessed Yule’, ‘Happy Holidays’, ‘Merry Kwanza’, or ‘Happy Hanukkah’?? Does your hatred and fear of something or someone different than you really mean that you can not thank someone for the well wishes they give you without turning it back to your own agenda??
People are always going off about our forefathers and the basis of the United States of America. They seem to forget that what they were running from was dictation of what one was supposed to believe. Our forefathers wanted freedom of religion- we are supposed to be a FREE country.
And while you are crying that people who are not Christian are trying to take your Christmas away from you I invite you to read your bible and do your research on Jesus Christ. First, he was NOT born on December 25th- as far as scholars can figure out, if Jesus existed he was born in the spring (some suggest the fall); NONE state he was born on December 25th. Second, Christmas was a holiday taken from the Pagan religion- which was considered Winter Solstice/Yule- the birth of the Sun. It was believed that more people would convert if the Christian holidays coincided with the Pagan holidays. Google is right at your finger tips if you care to look it up. I don’t care that they were plagiarized from Pagan holidays- (go ahead and look up Easter while you are at it as well). I don’t care that you celebrate Jesus’ birth in December. I really don’t.
What I do care about is blaming ME and others like me for you feeling your loss of your phrase. I have not met anyone who isn’t Christian who really gives a rat’s ass one way or another what phrase you use to give well wishes. I’ve NEVER seen anyone correct someone for saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to them. I have, however, seen people correct others who use a different phrase with them, “No, it’s ‘Merry Christmas’, not ‘Happy Holidays’, you won’t take away my Christmas.”
While I’m at it- Christmas, the holiday so many people are freaking out about the phrase used, is the celebration of the birth of the Christian Messiah-Savior, Jesus Christ. Last I recall Jesus was an amazing man. Last I recall he hung out with people that many Christians I know today would not give a second look. Recently there was an experiment done by a pastor of a church- he dressed as a homeless man when he went to his first day of a new congregation. Three of the 7000-10000 members of the congregation treated that man with love, as another human being, as someone worthy and deserving of love. The rest treated him horribly. They’d move from him, wouldn’t speak to him, and asked him to move to the back of the church- like he was some sort of animal. When he was introduced to his new congregation he walked up to the pulpit and introduced himself, told all of them they were poor excuses for Christians and had no clue who Jesus was or what he stood for. He dismissed the congregation and told them to think about what they did and to come back the next Sunday.
Do you really think Jesus would care what phrase was used to wish someone good tidings? Do you really think Jesus would look past the blessing and complain about a phrase?? I see bracelets, bumper stickers, and all kinds of paraphernalia with the acronym WWJD (What would Jesus Do)… As far as I can see, with as much bitching and complaining a phrase has caused, people really aren’t thinking about what Jesus would do. They are too caught up in themselves and a phrase to really care.
I will continue on with my life. I will enjoy my holidays. And when someone says to me, “Merry Christmas,” I will say it back to them, thankful that they care enough to give me any sort of blessing in hopes that my holidays are good ones. I’m not sure I can keep biting my tongue though if I hear someone crying that they can’t say it though. It’s a free country. Say whatever you please. Don’t force your beliefs on the rest of the country though. Contrary to popular belief- free means freedom from religion as well as of religion. I can also say what I wish and I would hope that you’d understand if I slip and say ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Merry Yule’ to you that it is what behind the phrase that counts. It is the well wishes I am giving you that count. And if you don’t like it then I really doubt that you feel this holiday is about the man your religion celebrates this time of year; maybe you should rethink your belief system.