When Political Correctness and Religious Traditions Collide

It’s that time of year again when all those memes start showing up on social media sites. “It’s Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays”. You know, those ones. While I understand the intent, without meaning to offend, I find them a little annoying. Happy Holidays is a perfectly proper Christmas greeting. It’s been around forever. In fact, way back in 1941 Irving Berlin composed the ever popular song “Happy Holiday”, which was sung by Bing Crosby the following year. A few years ago, I posted my thoughts on the subject, and I think it’s timely to share it again.  1511922_367405490070442_168702680_n Merry Christmas, everyone! Happy Holidays, too!! I’m bound to piss someone off with this post, but hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and today I’m sharing mine. In recent years, it seems that someone can find offence in just about anything – names, labels, actions, lack of action, celebrations, sexuality… The list goes on and on. As a result, the term Political Correctness came to be. For the most part, it’s a good idea. People should try to be more sensitive to our many differences – cultural, religious, physical, sexual… That list can go on and on as well. However, too much of a good thing, can be, well, too much. As we bend over backwards to appease the sensibilities of some, we end up insulting others. And this is what has happened with our Christmas season. In an attempt to mollify vocal non-Christians, politicians and businesses have begun to downplay the word Christmas and replace it with words that carry less religious connotations. For the past couple of Christmases, people have rightly begun to rebel against this. I’ve always been a firm believer in live and let live. Having said that, I’m not real keen on other people pushing their beliefs, whatever they are or aren’t, on me either. I’m all for keeping Christmas in Christmas. Every card I send at Christmastime wishes the recipient a Merry Christmas. Always. But I’m not trying to make a statement. I’m sending greetings of the season. Greetings of the season also include Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t use those three salutations. All three of them. So it bothers me lately to read letters to the editor in the local papers asking for people to boycott stores that say anything except Merry Christmas. Really?? You don’t find that rather drastic? Maybe just a touch over-reactionary? One fellow even went so far as to say the ONLY reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ. He’s certainly entitled to express his opinion, I, however, respectfully disagree with him. I tend to keep my religious beliefs to myself and I’m surely not trying to incite a religious debate, but to say there’s only one reason to celebrate Christmas, is as unfair to the non-Christian population as trying to remove the word Christmas is to Christians. In my household, Christmas means a time for family, a time of good will, to be generous to the less fortunate, to take joy in giving rather than receiving. In an ideal world, we’d live these traits all year-long, but our world is far from ideal, so even though we could and should strive to do better, isn’t it nice that we take the time once a year to pause in our busy lives to think of others first? All I’m trying to say here is, if you want to celebrate the birth of Christ, do so. Rejoice in it. If you don’t, then don’t. Celebrate whatever is important to you at Christmas, or don’t celebrate at all if that’s your preference.  Neither side should try to bend the other to their will. Wouldn’t the world be a much happier place if we could all embrace our differences? If we could love and accept others no matter if their beliefs (or lack of) aren’t the same as yours. That comes back to that old ideal world scenario again. But still, just imagine… **Note: I did not compose or design the memes in this post, but unfortunately can’t give credit where’s its due.  

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