With respect, this isn’t how I wanted to debut the new blog. (What happened to the other one? That’s a story for another time.)
Honestly, I had planned to roll out this new slice of internet real estate after the turning of the New Year. But, as is often the case with these sorts of things, the present situation dictated inspiration, and demanded a response. Why? Because I’ve had enough of this wag-the-dog up-is-down house of cards kind of sentiment that has been flooding the feeds this Holiday season.
Particularly, a meme that’s been passed around in various flavors decrying the use of the “holiday season” phrase from a position of being oppressed.
You know the one. It espouses utter bullshit concerning this ongoing assault; a concerted effort to deny the use of Merry Christmas in all things, and perpetuated by a shadowy they. Given the current talking head climate, the meme has seen a leap in use. “We’re not allowed to say Merry Christmas! It’s PC run amok!”
I’m calling bullshit on this. Enough. Cease and desist.
I’m not going to wax peacemaker and go into the origins of the word “holiday”, because I’m done coddling. I’m not going to bother being the guy to smack the peanut gallery around with my thick throbbing history bibliography concerning how many Christmas traditions held sacred are just pagan practices with a new coat of paint. The folks slinging the meme are like as not to just jam their fingers in their ears and scream “Deck the Halls” at the top of their lungs in a staggering display of irony. And I’m not about to tick off the slides on the Powerpoint presentation denoting historical figures and their quotes about how to unify a group of folks in anger to serve an agenda. I’m not even going to summon up the energy it would take to explain why we’re not a uni-religion theocracy.
Been there. Done that.
Instead, I’m just going to ask a question, directly, to those posting that there are enemies of Yuletide out there denying them the right to celebrate this one holiday in their own way, with the traditional greeting vis a vis their Christianity.*ahem*
I’m dead serious. Who? Back up your claim, Skippy. You posted that brain aneurysm in .jpeg format, so cough up the evidence. Who? Who exactly is personally stopping you from saying “Merry Christmas”? Please. Enlighten the rest of the goddamn class. Did a tac-team of black-clad commandos sporting military patches with the Flying Spaghetti Monster descend upon your church or private property and call in an air strike on the manger scene? Did you weep when someone tossed a grenade and you were forced to watch the plastic baby Jesus melt in a searing blaze of white phosphorous? Did they round up the onlookers, kneel them down, and force them to utter the blasphemy of “Happy Holidays” while tickling their ear with the end of an automatic rifle? No? Okay. Let’s go pragmatic, then.
The dark kingdom that is the Home Owner’s Association notwithstanding, did you find yourself fined in daily increments because those elves you staked out are carrying a banner that reads “Merry Christmas”? Did you, or someone you love, find themselves evicted or fired or even legally banned from a locale just because they were brave enough to say “Merry Christmas”? Were the authorities alerted to your location when you had the gall to phone the radio station and request a particular carol be played? No? Okay let’s go simpler.
Did a company you once frequented as a customer opt to use Happy Holidays instead of singling out the one specific holiday in a month that is bursting to the brim with others whether or not you personally acknowledge them? Did a public celebration decide instead to drop the Christmas moniker to serve a larger demographic rather than placate just your sensibilities? Was the nativity scene removed from a government building and therefore meting out the requirements of the Establishment Clause? Did an individual, solitary among a populous, react poorly when you wished them “Merry Christmas”? The answer’s probably “yes”, and that person you encountered is an idiot, not a footsoldier in the fascist candy-cane striped Christmas Crushing Crusade ™.
But here’s a dose of harsh truth for you: None of those things mentioned in that last paragraph constitutes a fucking attack on your religion or your right to celebrate a holiday that appears on nigh every calendar you quickly snag from the mall’s cheap gift kiosk for your distant relative because you really don’t care about them enough to put in a little more effort or cash to show them you care. You’re confusing denial of privilege for oppression, and it all stems from the brutal shock of society showing you that you are not the nougaty center of the fucking universe.
“It’s Merry CHRISTmas!” Some yell. It sure is. On December 25th. No ad campaign, banner change, or ominous red cup will undo that fact. But if you’re touting the “War on Christmas”, you’re an imbecile, and I mean that in an unkind way. Big Santa isn’t watching you. There is no “Two Minutes Happy Holidays”. “Hanukkah-ania” has not always been at war with “Your Christmas”. In fact, none of the other holidays being noted does anything to dilute Christmas. Ever. So let’s just get real: as a mechanism of the faith, what you’re actually pissed about is that we’re not all Christian, and not all doing things as one homogeneous same-trough-feeding herd.
I swear, this time of year more than any other, when someone spouts off with “PC run amok”, what I really hear is “How dare you make me acknowledge that the holiday traditions of other people or faiths are just as important and viable as my own!” I’m really sorry that you’re not the only game in town. No, wait, strike that. Turns out I’m not sorry, because the variety you’re railing against is wondrous and worthy of consideration. I asked Santa for a pony, but you’re desperately trying to stuff the stocking with myopia and paranoia.
I say “Happy Holidays”, because I don’t know you. I don’t assume. On the 25th, I say “Merry Christmas” to friends and family, because—surprise surprise—that’s the day. Nowhere in the lead-up to that date is there any point and time that I, you, or anyone should take automatic offense from the greeting, be it from loved one or complete stranger. Why? Because no matter how divided and skewed and divisive we may have become, another human being is wishing you happiness. Just be grateful, stupid. Yes, you CAN say “Merry Christmas”. Stop pretending otherwise.
In that spirit, this holiday season, I wish anyone posting that ridiculous meme joy, happiness, love and wonder. I wish them fond memories and laughter. I wish them all the warmth that can be summoned.
But mostly, I wish they would get the fuck over themselves.