Lest you think my title to this post is a tad far reaching, let me explain.
There are many people in America that use the n-word and those that hear the n-word, that are not offended by it in the least. They rationalize its use by saying it applies to some people. Some people have taken ownership of it and made it positive, even though at its core, it was rooted in something negative. I personally find it offensive, always have and always will. It matters not whether it is said by a fellow Black person or someone of another ethnicity, I despise it.
So too is it for the words Happy Holidays.
We started using this phrase back in the uber-hyper-politically correct days gone by. We didn't want to offend those that weren't Christians by saying Merry Christmas, so we started saying Happy Holidays. Holidays being a generic term to wish good tidings to anyone and everyone's beliefs. How could something so simplistic become now so evil.
Now the backlash is that by saying Happy Holidays it means we have taken Christ out of the holidays. Watered down our holiday traditions and meaning because we must change our language. Really? I'm a Christian (actually more spiritual than a Christian) but for this conversation I will say I am a Christian. If you call my job I answer the phones at this time of the year by saying "Happy Holidays!" and trust and believe, by me saying that, it in no way means I don't believe there is a God. What it does mean is tidings to those that are like me that believe there is a God. Tidings to those that are of Jewish faith, Hindu, Kwanzaa and all the other beliefs that are celebrated in their own ways at this time of the year.
Someone made the comment on one of the sites I blog on that "Jews can say Happy Hanukkah" to each other, why can't we Christians say Merry Christmas? News Flash! You can. If you are speaking to someone YOU KNOW is a fellow Christian, you have every right to say Merry Christmas. However, a Jewish person is not going to say Happy Hanukkah to you. And there in lies the very valid reason for changing the language at this time of the year. Should a state capital be allowed to spend it's constituents tax dollars to put up a banner that says MERRY CHRISTMAS! I would argue no, and keep in mind I'm Christian.
Far too often we view the world as if we are on an island. Us against them....whoever "them" are.
Follow my thought process for a moment. If you are Christian, I want you to picture yourself back in school. You are sitting in your classroom among all your young classmates. Your teacher is at the front of the class and says "Okay kids...it's that special time of the year...time for us to celebrate Hanukkah! Yes! And as a special surprise for each of you I have dreidels for everyone! Isn't that great! Here Tiffany, please pass these out to everyone! Yeah! Okay everyone, lets sing the dreidel song ♪♪♪"Oh dreidel dreidel dreidel, I made it out of clay, and when it's dry and ready, then dreidel I shall play!"♪♪♪ She looks over and sees you're not singing and asks "Why aren't you singing, it's Hanukkah time....sing"
Now chances are you would respond as most Americans would "Because I'm not Jewish and don't know what Hell you're talking about lady..."
You can replace the holiday in this scenario with Kwanzaa or something more Middle Eastern, you name it. However the core lesson and message is the same. There is a big world out there where not everyone believes the same, worships the same and dare I say it.....many do not even believe there is a God. Those that don't believe in Christ.
Yet whether it be in a class, our respective state capitals, businesses and shops, those of us that are Christians feel it is important to proclaim Merry Christmas because after all Jesus is the reason for the season. I get it, I really do, but I also recognize especially at this time of the year, that others are celebrating in their own ways. Which is why it is wrong to say "Merry Christmas" to a Jewish person. Again, if you don't know the person's religious beliefs, you have no business assuming they think as you do.
I will continue to say Happy Holidays from November 1st to January 1st of every year.
I am an extremely judgemental and opinionated woman, it is a personal flaw I am working on. However this is the one area and time of the year when I am embracive to those that may not think and believe as I do. I only wish more people were like me in the regard.
So just like the n-word, I know there are people out there that don't believe it should be used and those that don't see a problem with it. So too is it with Happy Holidays. Let those of us use it to our delight even if it offends you. And on that note....
Happy Holidays Everyone! Here's wishing 2012 finds you happy, healthy and prosperous in every way!