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Touchy Topic Tuesday:
Have Yourself a Politically Correct Little Holiday Season
So, maybe it's just my pregnancy hormones that have gone haywire...I don't think so, because I can't really stand disrespect anyway...but I have really been rubbed the wrong way by those people who just can't handle the Christmas spirit and insist on being politically correct about everything.
First of all, there are a lot of holidays happening in December. Many of them are religious. Hanukkah for example, as well as Christmas. And don't forget Kwanzaa, which, admittedly, I don't completely understand as i have not thoroughly studied it.
As teachers of a group of girls ages 9 to 12 at our church, Brandon and I decided that, since we studied the Old Testament this year and will next year be studying the New Testament, our class Christmas party would be focused on learning about Hanukkah, the holiday that Christ himself would have celebrated, and the miracle that happened BETWEEN the Old and New Testaments.
On Sunday, we announced to our girls the theme of the party.
Now, in her defense, this girl was a granddaughter to a woman in our ward and is not regularly in our class, so she was not used to us, or the regular dose of culture, tolerance, and what my husband calls "Gee-whiz information" that we try to emphasize with our girls. However, multiple moments with her ten-year-old sass, crass, and disrespect eventually pushed me over the edge.
"But we aren't Jewish. I don't believe in Hanukkah...why in the world would I want to learn about it or celebrate it?"
Of course, we spent more time explaining why a Christian should care about Hanukkah, and from there, the conversation spiraled into another girl mentioning that Christ's birthday isn't even IN December, and why do we celebrate it then?
Okay, well, this is something i hear on a regular basis, not just from my 10 year olds. Yes, it's a holiday that derived from a Pagan holiday called Yule Tide. Yes, there is evidence that his birthday was actually in the spring. I really have to say that if this is really something that ticks you off that much, you need to look for something else to be passionate about because it's really not worth it. Christmas time is one of those times where people open their hearts, their pockets, and their minds to people who need them. Charity is rampant at Christmas time. Families reconcile and reunite to laugh and enjoy each other's company. People are coerced to think about others while they search for a perfect gift. I don't know anything that sets a bond between people the way holiday food does.
Have YOU ever celebrated your birthday on a day that wasn't your birthday? Like, for example, you had your party on a Saturday instead of the real day because it was a Wednesday and you were in school? Honestly, I don't see how this is any different. If Christ is really who Christ is supposed to be and I suspect he is, then doesn't all that joy, harmony, and charity mean a whole lot more in his eyes than celebrating on his actual birthday? I daresay that yes, it is more important.
As I've mentioned before, my Touchy Topic Tuesdays are posts from which I receive multiple private emails from people who don't care to face ridicule from other people, and I face a lot of virtual tongue lashings and snooty answers from people who email me. One email I received from my Touchy Topic Tuesday about Santa Claus was from a woman who insisted that if a person is the type who can promote Santa Claus, they cannot possibly be the kind who actually believe in Christ, therefore, she had taught her children that if someone talks to them about Santa, they are to reply with such things as "Happy Holidays" or "Merry St. Nicholas day" or the like, instead of Christmas, because Christmas implied that they were Christian, and, once again, a person who believed in Christ wouldn't promote Santa.
Radical? I think so.
Another woman, who did not respond in an email or on my blog, but instead replied to a thread I started about my TTT on BlogFrog said something similar to this woman who emailed me, minus the statements about the impossibility of believing in Santa as well as Christ, has taught her children to say the same kind of things in response to those who might mention Santa Claus: "Merry St. Nicholas day" or "Happy Santa day"- and she said that it left people speechless. The statement seemed like she meant it to be smug. Which stirred a bit of hostility in my own heart.
I mean, first off, I have NO idea why a kid saying something like "Happy Santa day" or "Happy Holidays" or "Happy St. Nick" day would leave anyone speechless or shock them. If a kid said that to me, I'd likely just respond with the same, or another holiday greeting- likely "Merry Christmas" because that's what I celebrate (and yes, I believe in Santa AND Christ) and think nothing of it. Never would it leave me speechless OR shocked. I mean, I suppose if I knew it was SUPPOSED to shock me, then I probably would be shocked, but not because this woman has any kind of a valid point- in my opinion, she doesn't have a broken leg to stand on- but because I just can't wrap my brain around this "sock-it-to-'em" mentality that some people relentlessly employ. Who the heck cares if someone celebrates something different than you do? Who cares if they're a different religion than you are? Who cares if they believe something else? Why is it so difficult to just smile and say something -heaven forbid- NICE back?
I haven't ever actually, in real life, been on the receiving end of any blown out of proportion conversation or lashing by saying "Merry Christmas" to someone, but I have seen many many discussions and debates on the internet about it. You'd be surprised by how many people are either 1. Irritated by religious greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah", and prefer generic greetings like "Happy Holidays" or "Happy New Year" or "Seasons Greetings" because they feel that someone who spouts a religious greeting is forcing their belief on them (yeah- I think it's a stupid assumption too.) or 2. they always say the generic greetings when out and about because they fear that they will offend someone or they fear that they will receive backlash.
THIS IS WHAT OFFENDS ME THE MOST: When people get offended because I say Merry Christmas.
I'm sorry, but I'm Christian, and I celebrate Christmas. And newsflash: Even if you aren't Christian, even if you don't celebrate the holiday, it's still actually CALLED Christmas. And I still just don't see why it's such a horrible thing for someone to wish you a Merry Christmas in passing. Why must people adopt an offended attitude because they don't celebrate? Really? Is it so hard to just smile and nod and move on? Is it really so difficult to just wish THEM a Merry Christmas? I mean, obviously someone who wishes you a Happy Hanukkah is someone who DOES celebrate that particular holiday. Would it kill you to wish them a happy day in something they find very satisfying and joyous? I guarantee that no one who gives a religious greeting is doing so specifically to offend that person. On the contrary, a person who extends such a greeting is probably doing it because they are in high spirits and feel good at the moment.
Furthermore, I am NOT Jewish, and I don't celebrate Hanukkah, though I am a person who respects other people and other cultures and other religions very much. If someone wished me a Happy Hanukkah, I would very readily wish them the same, despite my religious preference, and go on without even thinking about it. Never in a gazillion years would I contemplate stopping the person to explain that they're being rude because I am not, in fact, of their same belief. Never in a millennia would I consider responding, instead, with a "Merry Christmas" with the sole intention of giving them a hint that THEY are wrong.
In short, I don't care what you say. I don't care what your religion is or what you celebrate. I think that the holidays, whatever that happens to mean to you, should be a joyous, happy time, and one cannot be joyous or happy when trying so desperately to be offended.
I won't ever be offended when someone wishes me any kind of Holiday greeting, be it religious or generic- but honestly, you probably had better chill out when i wish a Merry Christmas...and a happy whatever you believe in to you.
Join in the debate, friends!!! Keep it decent, blatantly rude comments or personal attacks will be deleted immediately without discussion.