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Why does Christmas have to be the bully of the holiday season? The big fat kid on the playground that keeps all the other holidays quivering in their corners?
There’s been a lot of unrest the last few years over cultural celebrations such as Kwanzaa, and Hannukah. Political correctness has reared its ugly, green Grinchy head in the workplace as well as the public, with fear of offense to any and everyone for wishing good tidings for the wrong holiday. It’s gotten beyond the point of silly. Frankly, I’d love to wish everyone a good Festivus (a holiday for the rest of us!) and take any happy greetings I can get – especially if they involve gifts.
There’s been a movement circulating on Facebook, and prior to that in email chains and various other social sites, claiming back CHRISTmas (because it is a day of Christ, after all – who cares that it isn’t his real birthday … details and bygones). “I say Merry CHRISTmas because it’s about CHRIST – if you don’t like it, f&#@ you!”
That’s the spirit, alive and well, right there.
I don’t care if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, a groovy Kwanzaa, or wants to light a menorah and think of me while doing so. Glad tidings are hard to find in this dirty, deceitful world, so I’m happy to have them piled at my door whenever and because of whatever.
Many of my friends are Jewish, but I’ll be honest in saying I don’t always know who. I’ve never been one to pick one out of a crowd - don’t go by traits, noses or last names. I don’t automatically assume that every black person I know celebrates Kwanzaa, because it is to highlight the African culture, but not all blacks come from Africa.
I have my own meaning of the Christmas holiday, and it’s not to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. My holiday is to remind me to appreciate others, reflect on the year, to bask in the warmth that arises from the chilly winter air as people take a moment to breathe, and muster up a spirit that only comes around at this time of year.
Every year in the magical waterland of the Bay Area known as Discovery Bay, there is a lighted boat parade that comes around, and we gather to see all the glitter, the fun, take part in the cheering and carrying on. This year, for the first time, there was a little boat in the midst of all the Santas and snowmen, with a beautiful blue Star Of David displayed on its bow, and I heard my friend Andi whisper “Isn’t that something? It’s a Hannukah boat! I’ve never seen one before in this parade!” Andi and her husband Joie celebrate the holidays with the rest of their friends, host beautiful parties, and never, ever make a big deal over Christmas versus Hannukah at their home. They welcome us all for a festive occasion, but I could see how touched she was by this little boat quietly taking its place in this holiday parade. I hope in the future we’ll see more of them participating, for the Andi’s of the world.
Is there really something so wrong in saying “Happy Holidays?” It doesn’t make me “politically correct,” it means I’m wishing you a very happy holiday season – makes no difference to me which one, or ones, that might include. It’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and New Year’s Eve all rolled into one lighted Times Square apple ball.
I’m not selling out, not afraid to offend anyone. It’s a time of peace, hope your season is merry and bright, but whatever your celebration includes, make it a freakin’ happy one already!
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