Yet another political battle takes place in America’s arena. Happy Holidays offends Christians and Merry Christmas offends everyone else. We should be enjoying the vast differences we have in this world. But at the very least, I don’t know why we can’t learn to relax and tolerate those differences we find in others.
In the business world, it makes perfect sense to use Happy Holidays. For one, the holidays seem to blend together this time of year. We have Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, Eid al-Adha, Islamic New Year, Rohatsu, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, Winter Solstice, Saturnalia, Yule, Fesivus, Omisoka and New Years in addition to the many other celebrations people have this time of year. In fact, it’s getting so huge that the holiday season has extended to Halloween. Plenty of stores are decorating with trees, wreaths and paper snowflakes before the Halloween costumes are even off the shelves. This is the holiday season.
When watching television, it’s perfectly normal to expect to see Happy Holidays this time of year. The television audience isn’t just made up of Christians celebrating Christmas. There are also Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus in the audience as well as other cultures and peoples who do not necessarily fall under any specific religion. There are agnostics and atheists as well. They love to celebrate this time of year, but they don’t hold the notion that Jesus Christ is the reason for the season. They see a wonderful time of year with family gatherings and great food. It’s a gift giving season to them and they don’t expect to have religion shoved down their throats when that’s not the reason they celebrate the holidays with everyone else.
Christmas has long become a dual holiday anyway. Santa Clause and Rudolph have long been staples of Christmas and non-religious families have the right to enjoy Christmas with those unique traditions in mind. Saint Nick climbs down the chimney and puts gifts under the tree. Then, he eats the cookies and drinks the milk before going to the next house. Regardless if you have a chimney or not, he brings gifts to every home throughout the world in one night.
Of course, our kids are growing up on us quicker than we ever thought. One year when my daughter was much younger, I put the gifts under the tree the night before and my daughter watched me. She couldn’t go to sleep later that night so I brought her in my room to go to sleep. She kept getting up and looking out the window because she thought she could hear Santa. The next morning, she said that Santa didn’t come. When I asked her why she thought that, she said that the gifts under the tree were the same ones as the night before. I learned my lesson and she learned something too.
But regardless of what you think, Santa Claus is part of the season. Not only that, but so are Dreidals and Menorahs, fig trees and feasts, drums and jewelry, prayerstick making and rabbit hunts. Christians don’t own the holiday season. They have a day that they celebrate as the birth of Jesus. That’s there’s. But, it’s not the only thing going on this time of year. Christians need to be more understanding of the fact that they aren’t the only people in this world, even though they can’t seem to get past the notion that they are the only ones who know any truth.
Merry Christmas is a greeting Christians should use to greet others who celebrate the same holiday. But, they would do themselves a great service by learning more about the world around them. What they call secular, I call our world. It’s a better place when you learn to enjoy it.