Has anyone else heard about this so-called "War on Christmas"? This might just be the most ridiculous media driven hype that I have heard in a long time. A few political pundits are so concerned that people are saying Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas.
What are they so worried about? First of all, Christmas is not the only holiday in the month of December so it is a good choice to use the term Happy Holidays. If you are so inclined to throw Christmas around in your vernacular, say Merry Christmas. I am 99% sure that no one is going to jump down your throat for this friendly gesture. For example, I was greeted several times in October with "Happy New Year". Of course, it wasn't the new year for me, but it was for many of my students' parents whose families celebrate Rosh Hashanah. I enjoyed receiving such kind words and I am pretty sure most people will agree. Secondly, it is a nice thing to say to someone. When else in the year do we greet anyone with anything than mundane phrases as "How are you?" or "Hello". I find it refreshing that we have permission to wish people "Happy Holidays". "Happy Holidays" is as good as "Merry Christmas", "Happy Hanukkah", or "Blessed Kwanzaa". It covers all that you want to say to someone.
People and the media are getting after retailers for taking the Christmas out of Christmas. The American Family Association is all up in arms with retailers who did not include the words "Christmas" in their advertisements this season. Who do they think they are!!! Do they think Christians have a monopoly on the family idea?! Terrible. They have this idea that they have been oppressed Christians for two hundred years in this country and they aren't going to take it anymore. I think it might be the other way around.
I love Christmas. It is one of my favorite times of the year. I am a big fan of all things Christmas, but I am not so self-absorbed to assume that everyone else loves it too. Or for that matter, celebrates Christmas. This should not be a time of year where we point out differences and throw around well-hidden bigotry. It should be a time where you celebrate Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Whatever You Choose with your family and be thankful. I think more people should say "Happy Holidays" to each other.