Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Merry Happy!

This year, we're having a municipal Christmas tree. Last year, we had an oh-so-PC "Holiday tree." That idea went over so well that it's now gone back to the crapper -- where it belongs. Why was it done? Why, to avoid hurting the feelings of those who don't celebrate Christmas. You know, those hordes of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Zoroastrians, etc., who are out doing their Christmas shopping?

For the same reason, store clerks didn't say "Merry Christmas" to shoppers last year. Instead, they shouted "Happy Holidays!" Clearly, "holiday sales" tanked and they're doing damage control (and propitiating the retail gods) this year by slipping the word "Christmas" back into the holiday shopping experience. I don't know how much sillier things can get.

If people are so opposed to Christmas festivities, perhaps they might think about moving on to some place where the local customs are more to their liking. I don't observe Kwanzaa, but I would never begrudge those who do their festive observations of their holiday. I'm not Jewish, but it would never occur to me to take offense to hearing happy people exchanging "Happy Chanukah" greetings. That's just silly.

These guys are silly, too -- these Words Gone Wild. I'm going to throw caution to the wind and say, "Happy Merry Wild and Crazy Cockeyed Twisted Linguistics!"

David verses Goliath - Biblical rhymes!

goodie too shoes - One too stupid to know trash when he sees it.

condelobre - A rum-based drink over-indulged in by the guy in the pink shirt and Liberace suit standing over by the piano. Unless you're in Mexico -- then it's a man-eating monster having many of the same characteristics as its Northern brother, Sasquatch.

imterior - The inside of a fake house.

won't gop out with me - Complaint about a (cheap) date who won't go hog wild and eat gobs of this and gops of that.

penut - A pygmy strain of a popular legume, largely inedible.

had some blond (va-voom) in a pink sweater trying to sweat talk me - Well, duh, guy. She was hot to trot and you didn't want to mess up your hair with all that icky sweat.

CAN somebody correct my sentenses - No, sorry; this person's syntax is so tense and strained that there is no salvation for it.

opointment - A missed chance for a scheduled meeting.

the remainer of they're lifetimes - We fear there's little remaining time left to their stories' lives.

charactertures - Inadvertent openings in Disney characters.


RexZeitgiest said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RexZeitgiest said...

charactertures - Inadvertent openings in Disney characters.

Mickey will be pleased, Minny, chagrined.... Or is it the other way around????????

Serena Joy said...

Well, it's hard to say. I think it would depend upon one's perspective -- and the phase of the moon, which one has PMS, which one has a headache, yada yada. LOL.:)

Southern Writer said...

Goody Two Shoes aren't trash, are they? I thought they were people who never got into trouble. I might owe someone an apology.

Merry Christmas!

Kanrei said...

I might get in trouble here now. I hope I do not offend...

I have no issues with calling it a Christmas Tree because that is what it is. I have no problems with "Merry Christmas" because the person saying it will be correct 7 out of 10 times. I know I am the minority in this country, but there are some places I do take issue.

I think it is the Holiday season, not the Christmas season. It is winter vacation, not Christmas break. There must be Hanukkah songs if there are Christmas songs.

I also realize that the most famous Christmas songs were written by Jews (hello Irving Berlin) so how bad can they really be?

Serena Joy said...

LOL. No, I think the intent was that a goody-two-shoes wears such rosy colored spectacles that they can't see anything trashy-bad, ever.

Serena Joy said...

Okay, I see your point, Kan. I promise you, I'm not offended. Honestly, I try to stick to my guns about never discussing politics or religion, but ... sometimes I do. Really, it was the whole brouhaha over turning Christmas trees into Holiday trees that I had a problem with. It is, in fact the holiday season, that's true. Technically, I suppose it would be the Winter Solstice season. I think everybody should celebrate whichever holidays they wish, without interference from their neighbors. I hope that makes sense.

Kanrei said...

I fully agree- it is a Christmas Tree. There is no such thing as a "holiday tree" or a "Chanukah bush" or anything like that.

Liz said...

But the holiday season is there because of Christmas; there wouldn't be a winter break without it.

Not that it worries me what you call it!

I love Christmas. I am a Christian but I sometimes think it would be better to take Christ out of Christmas (as people are often accused of doing) and just have a holiday season. Now I'm thinking about this, it could be a long comment; I might write a post on my own blog about it.

Victor Allen Winters said...

And possibly more to the point, the people supposedly offended by this (Non-Christians) don't care. It is the PC crowd who are determined that everything should be sanitized for your protection.

Kanrei said...

But the holiday season is there because of Christmas

That is what I am talking about. The holiday season existed long before Christmas ever did. Hannukah has been around longer for one thing. Why not call it the Hannukah Season then? Jesus celebrated Hannukah, not Christmas if you want to get technical. Jesus was born in May, not December if you want to get technical. The December holiday is based on a pagan Roman holiday, not Christian myths if you want to get technical.

Liz said...

Okay, Kanrei, don't get bloshy!!

Christians took over the midwinter Pagan festival but surely it wasn't celebrated with a two-week holiday until it became Christmas and commercialised, thus making it a Christmas holiday?

Kanrei said...

I have not had a two week vacation at this time since I was in school.

If you want to pretend that Christmas is the only holiday celebrated at this time of year, that is your choice but it is wrong. Christmas is one of the newest to be celebrated at this time of year, not the "reason for the season."

I am tolerant up to a point. I do not mind including everyone in everything until this narrow ridgid definition of the holiday season comes into play. It gets me to the point of wanting to just say "screw Christmas" since my holiday is obviously so easily dismissed, but I do not.

Sonnet Boy said...

Playing the devil's advocate here--isn't it less bothersome to hear a clerk at a store say "Happy Holidays" when you stop to consider that anything they say as a matter of store policy is obviously designed just to please shoppers and thus make more money? In my view this is not so much about religion and freedom of or from it, but about good old fashioned American materialism.

Basically, by going back to "Merry Christmas," it seems ot me the stores are saying to everyone who complained, "All right! You win! We'll commercialize YOUR religious holiday exclusively! Congratulations!"

"Happy Holidays" doesn't bother me a bit. But then, I'm a heathen. :)

Kanrei said...

It is the catch-22 of the never happy crowd. These same people who want Christmas everywhere are the same ones who complained about the commercialization of Christmas and how Santa was more important to the day than Jesus. Make up your mind people!

Serena Joy said...

The period centered around December 25th has been called Christmas by Christians in this country for over 200 years, and was called Christmas in Europe before that. Old habits are hard to break. Personally, I think Happy Holidays conveys the same sentiment as Merry Christmas. It is, and should be, a personal choice.

Hanukkah, of course, even older than Christmas, usually falls within the same period. My Jewish acquaintances are as quick to say "Merry Christmas" to me as I am to say "Happy Hanukkah" to them. I know there are other winter holidays as well, and I think that everyone who celebrates them should have the freedom to do so and call them whatever they are. The whole idea, buying mania notwithstanding, is to nurture feelings of good will, hope, and reconciliation during at least this one time of the year. Shouldn't each person refer to the season as whatever he or she has grown up calling it? I'm not sure it has to be relegated to one big homogenous, generic one-size-fits-all season.

Victor Allen Winters said...

Serena - No no no, it does have to be one big homogenous, generic one-size-fits-all season. Haven't you ever heard of standardization?

Let me guess, you are one of those people with good sense who also think children need to be taught within their abilities and not to some made up "average" model, aren't you?

(Could someone help? I think my tongue is starting to protrude through my cheek)

Kanrei said...

But the holiday season is there because of Christmas;

THis was the comment I was talking about. It is a narrow point of view. I say Merry Christmas. I call it a Christmas tree, but I also realize that Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated this season. Christmas and the Holiday Season are separate thoughts. Christmas is one day for one thing, not a season. I do not care how many days the song claims there are to X-mas =P

Roxan said...

My pagan tree is prettier than your Christmas tree. LOL

Serena Joy said...

LOL, Victor. My tongue stays in my cheek a lot, too. Gets me in trouble from time to time, but what the hell.

Brad, I hereby decree that we shall sing "The 13 Days of Whatever." Deal? You have to do it, of course -- the SWMBO deal.

Roxan, your tree looks just like mine. LOL. I'm just calling mine the All Lit Up Fake Tree. Well -- I will when I finally muster up the energy to put it up. :)

Kanrei said...

I am so sorry about my posts. I did start with the warning, but this is one of my issues I tend to get passionate about. When one is in the majority it is very easy to say "what is the big deal", but when one is in the minority it can seem like one is under attack. I know I am not. I am sorry for my posts here today. I will avoid this subject like that voice in my head told me to.

Serena Joy said...

Kan, don't worry about it! Friends can always discuss viewpoints that aren't always identical. We'd be a deadly dull bunch of people if we all thought the same thing.

As for me, I'm getting offline right now before I start cussing something fierce. This SOB just ate a whole long post and I am steaming. I'm also starving to death. If I can remember what I wrote after I get something to eat, I'll try it again. If not, screw it. $^&@%$#!

Southern Writer said...

To get this out of the way - from what you described:

LOL. No, I think the intent was that a goody-two-shoes wears such rosy colored spectacles that they can't see anything trashy-bad, ever.

I'd call that Pollyanna.

I'll bet the Christmas issue is going to be a hot blog topic in the next couple weeks. I saw there was a bit of a debate here, so I want you to know I wrote my pov, and then went back and read the comments, so nothing here is meant to insult anyone in this conversation. Or anyone at all. Have I covered my ass with both hands sufficiently?

The whole PC Christmas issue annoys me. Aren't we missing the point? I don't care for organized religion, and if I were to choose one, it would be a toss-up between Buddhist or Hindu. So I'm really not on anyone's side. But it seems to me that by all the arguing and stance taking, and lines being drawn, that in a way, it's an attack on Christianity. Do the Christians dash over to the synagogue on Jewish holy days and start bitching because they say mazel tov? to each other? Do they complain because Jews prefer to call their candlesticks menorahs? Do they go over to the Hindu temple on their holy days and complain because they bow and say namaste to each other? Do they complain when nearly every Chinese restaurant has a Buddha or two on display all year round? No, because it would be rude.

The point of any religion is to acknowledge the presence of a higher power, and to aspire to be better people. Why can't we be more tolerant? Why can't we just smile and say thanks when someone wishes us a Merry Christmas? How freaking hard would that be? The whiners remind me of kids who talk out loud in theaters. I just want to shake them and ask "where are your manners?" And it's really as childish as two kids in the backseat when one yells, "Mom! Tommy called me a boogerhead."

So what? How are you hurt by a christian's wishes that you enjoy a day they hold in highest regard? That's a compliment. I didn't catch any telepathic messages of "and become a Christian," tacked onto the end. They're just wishing you hope and good will. Are you diminished by that? Are you going to have to run to the hospital and have your ears flushed out? Is it that bad? As long as what they say doesn't insult your mama, just smile and say thank you.

If you don't want to enjoy the tree, don't look at it. It's always been called a Christmas tree. If you want to choose a symbol to represent your religion, go for it. When you become a majority, you can get a law passed to display your symbol on your holiday. It's called democracy, and that's how this country works.

Religion or lack of it is a personal choice that no man has the right to impose on another. Nor does he have the right to keep another from practicing his religion or celebrating its holidays. Maybe the other religions simply feel overwhelmed because there are so many Christians in the west. Maybe if they can't tolerate the hope for peace and good will, they could make arrangements to spend that time in an eastern country where the majority of people are not Christians. But instead of taking responsibility for their own happiness, they'd rather spoil someone else's. Lovely people.

Here's your soapbox back, SJ. And a free pass to come to my blog and rant sometime.

Kanrei said...

I cannot speak on all motivation, but I am not attacking Christianity at all. When schools close for a Christian holiday everyone knows the holiday. When it closes for a Jewish holiday it is called a teacher's workday. I have no problem with that because of the Seperation clause. I just want equality.
When one is Christian it is easy to think any questioning of the faith is an attack, but it is not. You must remember that Jews even question G-d. "Why" is the most important word in my faith it seems.
I did not want to appear attacking anything.

Moristotle said...

I read this interchange avidly, in rapt fascination. See, Serena, what interesting things can happen when you don't "stick to my guns about never discussing politics or religion"? Your post remarks seem to have originated in a comment you wrote (at my invitation) on my post attacking the exploitation of Christmas to sell merchandise. I didn't realize that I was tempting you to not stick to your guns! But I'm glad that I did, and that you responded. Thanks.

Serena Joy said...

Anything that generates an honest and healthy, not to mention lively, exchange of ideas is a good thing. I think.

Moristotle said...

I received a greeting card today "signed" by Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter. The symbolic white dove of peace graces the front, and the text doesn't mention Christmas and or say "Merry" or "Happy" anything. The greeting: At this holiday season we send our best wishes for peace and joy throughout the year.

You "think" that "anything that generates an honest and healthy, not to mention lively, exchange of ideas is a good thing." I wonder why the reservation? Are you not sure, perhaps, whether the comments were really honest and healthy, or whether someone wasn't offended or hurt? I have noticed, certainly, that you express yourself about as graciously as a person could reasonably be expected to, so I know that you take such things into account.

Serena Joy said...

Okay, Mori -- I do know rather than merely "think" that spirited exchanges are a good thing. It's true that I worry about hurt feelings when the dialogue gets heated but, all in all, I do think that debate is healthy. Not everyone is always going to agree with everyone else. Personally, I enjoy learning about -- and from -- other peoples' perspectives.:)

Southern Writer said...

Kanrei, what I said had nothing to do with you at all. I promise. That's why I wrote my comments before I read any here, once I noticed a debate was going on. I had no idea who said what, or who stood where. Honest.

Moristotle said...

Though, aside from yourself, Serena, and Southern Writer, I have hardly exchanged anything with anyone else involved in this interchange, I feel an outflowing of sympathy and "fellow feeling" for everyone who has commented here. Thank you for hosting it!

I dislike polite banter, but I dearly love significant disclosure, from which we learn not only about others but also about ourselves.