Tuesday, December 04, 2012

My Last Word Ever on the "War on Christmas"

Yesterday on Tumblr, I posted this editorial comic. I'm beyond tired of the "War on Christmas" claptrap, and this just made me chuckle.

Someone didn't like it and sent me this message anonymously: "'Happy Holidays' is political correctness, there's no getting around that. It's CHRISTMAS and I'm sick of my holiday being trampled on because it's somehow unfashionable to not just call it what it is!"

Now, I've heard this viewpoint a thousand times in the last few years, as we all have. And I dismiss it out of hand because I'm tired of engaging with it. I had a really snarky answer lined up, but rather than just react and be dismissive, I decided to give this person an honest answer in the spirit of Christmas. So here it is, my final word on this "War on Christmas":

What you call “political correctness,” I call just being polite and inclusive. It’s the ability to recognize that not everyone celebrates the same holidays or holds the same beliefs, and that by acknowledging that, we don’t diminish what’s dear to us or our families. Every year, I get to witness some cashier being reamed out by someone who’s offended by the phrase “Happy Holidays,” as though it’s somehow rude to wish someone good tidings of the season. It’s a gesture, and you should take it in the spirit it was meant, not as an offense.

It doesn’t ruin your Christmas to be told “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” and claiming that it does is what’s unfashionable to me. It seems to me that what people like you, who claim that Christmas is the one and only important December holiday and that they feel like they have to hide it or be ashamed of it somehow because a store window says “Happy Holidays,” are really hurt by is that this sense of privilege and entitlement has been taken away from you. But Christmas is not the default setting of the winter holidays.

No one’s asking you to stop celebrating and believing things that are dear to you. They’re just asking you to think outside of yourself and acknowledge that not everyone is a Christian, and so it’s more polite to say “Happy Holidays” and not just assume everyone is the same. I don’t think that’s trampling on Christmas at all, because no one’s taking it away from you.

This atheist sincerely wishes you a Merry Christmas, and asks that you please try not to make anyone feel bad for also wishing you a less-specific Happy Holidays. Whatever you think it means, they’re really just wishing you well. Be well!


Professor Chaos said...

If you don't acknowledge the supremacy of THEIR holiday, they think you are persecuting them. They are professional martyrs, always looking for an excuse to play the victim.

Caffeinated Joe said...

Agree with you. And I bet, if you look back to greeting cards from the 40s, 50s or 60s, when their Christmas was still "real", you will find cards that say "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings" as well as "Merry Christmas". This is because these phrases were invented to just give across the feeling of goodwill intended. It is the hyper-sensitive dinkwads of the present who have co-opted these phrases to use in their made-up "war on Christmas".

So, kudos to you! And Happy, Merry, Joyous Christmas Holidays to you and yours! :)

Kelly Sedinger said...

I'm trying to agree more, and failing miserably. Well said!

Drake said...

Happy Holidays has been used for decades, i remember hearing as a kid and you know i'm old. All this phoney "knickers in a twist" rantings over the phrase is something new and stupid. We should say "Happy Whatever The Fuck You Celebrate!" :)