Ah, it’s that time of year again, that MOST WONDERFUL TIME when everyone gets all riled up about the “War on Christmas!” and starts complaining about how we can no longer celebrate that holy time of year when people go into debt to buy themselves and their loved ones a bunch of crap they don’t need.
I really can’t believe we’re still dealing with this and I really can’t believe it’s still a problem for some people and I really, REALLY can’t believe that some people still insist that being greeted with a “Happy Holidays” equates religious persecution.
I know this is really small and juvenile of me (but I have never, not ever, claimed to be either “nice” or “mature” as much as I may aspire to be both) but this whole “War on Christmas” thing makes me want to be aggressively “Happy Holiday’s-ish.” I intentionally no longer buy “Merry Christmas” cards because now I feel like I have something to prove. Honestly, if there is a “War on Christmas,” Christians aren’t making it any better by whining about it. They’re making some of us more determined than ever to be more vague around the holidays. I have a great desire to tell someone I’m Jewish or Wiccan or an atheist the next time they tell me “Merry Christmas” but I’m honestly too chicken to do that so I will just gripe about it on my blog because I’m a pathetic, passive-aggressive wimp.
One of my big problems with people complaining about “not being able to say Merry Christmas” is that, guess what? YOU CAN STILL SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS all the damn time if you want! There is no law against saying Merry Christmas. No one will arrest you for saying Merry Christmas. So if you want to say Merry Christmas?? GO RIGHT AHEAD! Say it to your hearts content. Say it to every man, woman, child and pet that you meet. Celebrate the hell out of Christmas because in America, that is entirely your right to do so!! But guess what? It is also entirely the right of someone else or a business to NOT say Merry Christmas. To say “Happy Hanukkah” or whatever or even NOT acknowledge the holiday season at all. That is the beauty of being an American. I overheard someone say “That’s why we need to elect Donald Trump, he’ll let us say Merry Christmas again!” Because what, Obama has legislated the Christmas Police to stop you from saying and/or celebrating the merriness of this lovely capitalist holiday? Because Trump is going to legislate that you and everyone else and every business HAS to wish everyone a Merry Christmas? It’s totally absurd. Say it, don’t say it, but quit your whining about it! No one is stopping you!
Secondly…Christians and others love to claim that they are being “persecuted” because of this “War on Christmas” fallacy. ANYONE who has ANY knowledge about ANYTHING outside of their own living rooms has to know, HAS to know that this is not persecution!! Persecution is real and there are people being persecuted every day all around the world: Christians yes, are being persecuted. But so are Muslims and Jews and other religions. So are people who support women’s equality. So are people who choose to vote against the party in power in certain countries. And this persecution involves death and torture. It involves things like your home being burned down with you and your family inside it. Being imprisoned. Being burned with acid or stoned. Being wished a “Happy Holidays” isn’t persecution, it’s someone being thoughtful, kind and friendly; you should try it. So unless someone is sticking a crochet hook in your privates when you say Merry Christmas (yes, this is a thing. Read “The Fear” by Peter Godwin. Read ANYTHING that expands your world view for heaven’s sake) then you need to zip your pie hole.
Finally, it really makes me grind my teeth that people are getting so riled up about this because honestly, I think if Jesus is real and if he is watching/looking down on us or whatever, then he is just pulling his hair out in frustration because if this is all we’re getting out of Jesus’ ‘birthday’ (which is a joke, really), if the way America does Christmas is THAT important to us? Then we have 100% missed the point of his entire existence. Totally and completely. Look, I love Christmas. I love the decorations and the songs and the idea of family and the feeling that the season gives me. But Christmas is not Jesus, not anymore. Going to church on Christmas doesn’t make Christmas about Jesus. If you and your family make Jesus the focus, then that’s awesome. But the way we do Christmas is so anti-Jesus in so many ways, that it is just insane how agitated and furious Christians get about people wanting to be more inclusive with a “Happy Holidays” instead of a “Merry Christmas.” You know what would make Christmas really meaningful?? Share with the poor. Care about immigrants. Care about someone lonely and alone at the holidays. Don’t buy stuff for yourself that you don’t need. Because, even though I’m not sure how I view the Bible, I’m pretty damn sure that all THAT was the focus of Jesus, the least of these, the left outs, the people on the fringes. I would bet all my money that if Jesus were to say anything at all this time of they year it would be “Love your neighbor as yourself” and he would give you the stink-eye if you tried to wish him Merry Christmas.
Can we stop talking about this now? Please? And actually go out and do something constructive? Now that would be a holiday worth celebrating.