It’s The Holidays

I had writ­ten this post up a cou­ple of weeks ago, and was­n’t going to pub­lish it, but after my Christ­mas Plans post a cou­ple of days ago, I though some might get the wrong impres­sion. I’m no Christ­mas Hum-bug. I just think that peo­ple can be a lit­tle too pro-Christ­mas.

Stuart Calrson 12/21/2005 - Courtesy of the WashingPost.com

Stu­art Carl­son

I grew up in a town where you could nev­er be Chris­t­ian enough. Sure, I was (and am) a Chris­t­ian; but that was­n’t the point. It did­n’t mat­ter if I went to church on Sun­day, because I did­n’t go on Wednes­day1. It’s not unlike how these days, you can’t have too many Amer­i­can flags hang­ing around. You can’t have too many yel­low-rib­bon-mag­nets show­ing just how much you sup­port the troops.

It seems to mat­ter none that all these things don’t actu­al­ly prove any­thing, oth­er that you just care way too much what oth­er peo­ple think of you.

Now, we have sev­er­al con­ser­v­a­tive Chris­t­ian groups boy­cotting stores because these stores are Anti-Chris­t­ian. Are they real­ly? Of course not. Anti-Chris­t­ian stores tend to not have entire sea­son­al areas of floor­space ded­i­cat­ed to Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions. How­ev­er, the fact that these stores only state Hap­py Hol­i­days in their adds or in ban­ners is a clear sign to these orga­ni­za­tions that they are indeed out to destroy Christ­mas. When I was grow­ing up, you had to be green, mean, and cov­ered in fur and will­ing to steal toys out of lit­tle girl’s hands before any came close to say­ing you were out to ruin Christ­mas. Now, appar­ent­ly wish­ing peo­ple Hap­py Hol­i­days means you aren’t Chris­t­ian enough and, there­fore, you are a witch out to destroy baby Jesus’ birth­day.

Christ­mas isn’t in any dan­ger. Even my non-Chris­t­ian friends, from athe­ists to Jews to Hin­dus, all seem to real­ly enjoy Christ­mas; with many even say­ing it’s their favorite hol­i­day2. Every­one is in a bet­ter mood and the dec­o­ra­tions bring smiles to most every­one’s faces (unless your neigh­bor goes a lit­tle too far). How­ev­er, the fact that New Year’s is just around the cor­ner from Christ­mas, and the fact they at least a cou­ple of reli­gions have some rel­a­tive­ly large hol­i­day’s around the same time, results in folks just say­ing “Hap­py Hol­i­days.” Retail out­lets would rather just be brief (adver­tis­ing isn’t free, espe­cial­ly around Decem­ber) and also be inclu­sive of every­one who might shop there.

I can remem­ber when Chris­t­ian groups used to accuse stores of over-com­mer­cial­iz­ing Christ­mas, and they might have had a legit­i­mate argu­ment then. Some of the stuff we asso­ciate with Christ­mas is actu­al­ly all pagan any­way (Yule was an ancient Ger­man­ic tra­di­tion that involved burn­ing logs, hang­ing mistle­toe, and at least in part, giv­ing gifts) and they used to com­plain about those, too. How­ev­er, no one’s say­ing even that any­more. They’re just upset at the brand­ing prob­lem. This is a per­fect case of peo­ple tak­ing offense when none was meant. This is way too much like over-polit­i­cal-cor­rect­ness, even if from a group that com­plains about hav­ing to be polit­i­cal­ly cor­rect.

Christ­mas isn’t going any­where, but I would­n’t mind if Bill O’Reil­ly, the Catholic League, & The Amer­i­can Fam­i­ly Asso­ci­a­tion would. Their ruin­ing the hol­i­days for all of us.

  1. Of course, I am Pres­by­ter­ian. We don’t have Wednes­day evening ser­vices, known in my fam­i­ly as boost­er-shot-ser­vice. Of course, that fact was lost on most peo­ple in my home­town. I guess they expect­ed me to just go to some oth­er church that did or just sit alone in the dark on Wednes­day evenings. In fact, to explain just how big a deal this is, in my home­town, most busi­ness­es oth­er than my Dad’s law prac­tice closed at noon on Wednes­day so every­one could half half of a holy day off. Yeah, but I was the weird one. []
  2. I’m attend­ing a Christ­mas par­ty tonight at a friend’s home who hap­pens to be a Jain. []