So here it is, Christmas Eve, and not a creature is stirring. Well okay, actually a lot are stirring because it’s still afternoon as I write this, and people are scurrying for their last-minute gifts and dinner ingredients. But that’s besides the point. What I brought you here to talk about is actually Christmas propriety. Being politically correct on this most festive of occasions (assuming you belong to the most powerful religion in existence: consumerism). But I’m going to take what I hope will be a unique perspective this time around. Because I was thinking, that’s why.
Everyone’s familiar with the “we get offended at everything” variety of person, right? It’s actually perfectly summed up in this holiday Cyanide And Happiness strip. And besides which, that strip never fails to make me laugh when I see it… But how often have you ever actually heard someone in your day-to-day life get offended like that when someone wishes you a merry Christmas? Even if you have at some point, it’s probably only been once or maybe twice. And that in how many years? Case in point, I just stopped by one of my two jobs, and wished at least twenty different people a merry Christmas. There were all sorts of different gender, race, and creed combinations. Yet not a one of them stopped me and got offended. They all smiled, shook my hand or gave me a hug, and said the same (or similar) back. They understood that the actual words don’t matter, only the meaning does.
We’ve all seen those obnoxious Facebook image shares that talk about it being “Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays”… The only people I see getting offended are the ones who think their rights are being trodden upon, even though practically no one is actually stepping on those rights. And besides which, what’s so terrible about wishing someone a happy holiday instead of a merry Christmas? It’s hate-mongering during what is already the most stressful period of the year. And ask yourself, do we really need that? Why not just be polite and either accept whatever seasonal greeting you receive, or else give whatever greeting you feel comfortable with and hope for the best like the folks at my job did?
So if I had to sum it all up in one sentence? I think it’s time we stopped caring so much about a choice of wording, and instead respect the well-wishing and compassion that’s behind those words. Because even though it’s a stressful time of year, and even though we sometimes forget the lesson we try to teach our children that you’re supposed to be nice instead of naughty, everyone else (at least in the developed world) has those same problems too. So remember what’s important, and don’t let yourself become what you think you’re fighting against. Everyone has the right to express their opinions here, not just you.
As a final last word though for tonight… I wish you all a merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy Hanukah, crazy kwanzaa, and joyous festivus. And whatever other religious (or non-religious even) holiday happens to fall around this time. Be safe, have fun, and spend time with family if you can. And with that… To all, a good night!