Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The H Word

Happy Holidays!  That's right... I said it.  The H word!

In doing so, some people just moved my name from the "Good Christian" column to the "Bad Christian" one.  Fortunately for me, whoever it is that edits this change isn't the same editor as The Book of Life, so I don't really give a hoot.

When did "holiday" become a swear word?  It's not a lie... There are several holidays out there.  I hope you enjoy them all!  Thanksgiving is one and it's coming up this next week and I'm a big fan of synonyms.  So, you might hear me tossing off any combination of "Happy Thanksgiving!", "Have a nice Turkey Day!", "Enjoy your holiday!", "Gobble gobble to you!" in the coming few days.  No one will clutch their pearls and gasp when this happens in November.

But, come December, get ahold of that necklace because you might hear me saying that word in the most offensive of months!  At Christmas-time.  And, shame on me for not assuming your religious beliefs or nationality.  Shame on me for living in such a diverse metropolis.  Shame on me for having friends of different faiths.  Shame on me for having manners and being inclusive.

I would never take the Christ out of my Christmas.  My faith is the most important thing I have and hold.  I do celebrate Jesus' birth on this holy day.  But, if someone else doesn't celebrate the same holiday as me, why would I force them be merry on mine?  And, why want to deprive them from being happy on theirs?

If you're sure of someone's religious or social practices it's lovely to greet them with more specificness.  Then is the time to lavish on the Merry Christmases, Happy Hanukkahs, Jolly Kwanzaas or whatnots.  But, to the friendly stranger on the street, to be utterly p.c. on December 25th do we use a general hyphenated "Merry Christmas-Chinese Food and Movie Day-One Day Before Kwanzaa-One Week Before New Years to you!"?  Or do we save our breaths and just consolidate it to "Holiday"?  Many people who do celebrate Christmas, don't celebrate Christ.  Are they excluded from the Christian greeting and delegated to only using "Xmas"?  Some Muslims celebrate our holiday, some don't.  How do I make that call?  And, what about the local Jehovah's Witnesses who don't celebrate anything?  This all seems like too much homework for a two second passing with a stranger!

I do think it's a little silly to overly generalize holiday-specific items.   Referring to a Christmas tree as a "Holiday Tree" to me is as silly as saying "Holiday Dreidel".  If someone wants overdo it with the political correctness, isn't that just more funny than it is offensive?  They just don't understand!  Besides, Jesus doesn't live in my tree, He lives in my heart.

So, instead of being offended this season, just be delighted that a stranger is friendly enough to stop and greet you.  Because you won't have a Merry Christmas if you spend the whole day grumbling.  If you can't bring yourself to say "holiday" you can always give an everyday "hello" or simply plain go back to ignoring strangers altogether.  Besides, everybody knows what the real "H" word is anyway... It's heinie.

Matthew 7:1 "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

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