Everyone knows as soon as Thanksgiving is over, Christmas season officially starts. The trees are put up, presents are bought, and holiday songs come on the radio. And then...the debate happens.
A message board I read daily (mainly about nonreligious people adjusting to life & culture shock in the Bible Belt) mentions conservative bloggers and their indignation at store clerks wishing them "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas." They call this attempt at being "PC" the "War on Christmas" and they rant about how no one knows the true meaning of the holiday anymore.
Really, angry fundie bloggers?
I mentioned this debate to my mom once, and what she said made sense. "There are multiple holidays in the Christmas season. Why should Christmas Day be the only happy one?" The store clerks aren't out to ruin your holiday. Their employers tell them what to say so that people who don't follow one specific religion are included in the well-wishes. Are Christians the only people deserving of a joyful month between Thanksgiving and New Year's? I do believe Jesus himself would want everyone to be happy.
At the moment, I am a liberal Christian at best, but for quite awhile I didn't believe in anything at all. People still wished me "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Easter" and I wasn't offended. If I was in a Jewish area and someone said "Happy Hannukah" to me, I wouldn't be bothered either. What is offensive about someone wishing for your day to be happy? Even if the way they celebrate it is different from yours?
So someone in your favorite store does not specifically say "Merry Christmas" to you. In the big picture, your holiday will not be one bit different. You are still free to go to church on Christmas Eve night (or however your denomination does it...), celebrate the birth of Jesus, and sing hymns. No One Is Stopping You. At the same time, people are also free to celebrate the secularized version and go Black Friday shopping, sing songs about Frosty and sleigh rides, and leave milk and cookies out for Santa. Or do both. Or none of it.
Every person in this country is free to celebrate the next coming month however they wish. No matter what religion/belief we are, if we focus on love, peace, and kindness to others, does the name of it really matter?
I think this holiday season is beautiful.
& to all my friends, family, and acquaintances who are Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ, Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, Unitarian, Agnostic, Atheist or have no idea whatsoever...
Whatever you celebrate...
I hope you have a happy one. :)