It's not a festive tree, dammit
As Christmas approaches, I have given much thought to how I
choose to express the sentiments of the season. For many years, I
went with the politically correct phrase of "Happy Holidays!" When
I bought stamps for my cards, I purchased Hanukkah ones for my
Jewish pals, Jesus ones for my Christian pals, and Forever stamps
for my atheist buddies.
I'm fed up.
In many of my children's school textbooks, the message is to
accept the fact that people celebrate diverse holidays and beliefs.
I greatly appreciate this notion. I would love it if my kids'
schools conducted parties that involved traditional aspects of many
cultures and religions. But instead, there has been a steady
removal of most customs and conventions from our school systems.
Everyone seems ridiculously terrified of offending everybody
With this precedent growing in popularity, kids have less of a
chance to appreciate the beauty, philosophies, and beliefs of their
earthly brethren. How is this helping anyone? It seems terribly
isolationist and fear-based. Throughout world history, when
exposure to other belief systems is limited or vilified, it tends
to result in social upheaval, war, and even genocide. Does this not
warrant additional consideration from the policymakers who continue
to devalue the impressive assortment of cultures that is
Throughout my life, I have thoroughly enjoyed experiencing
traditional holidays with my friends who are not Christians. They
are proud of their customs and eager to share the nuances of their
celebrations. There is a profound respect for each other's
cultures, and I have never once been accosted or belittled for
using the words "Merry Christmas," just as I am honored for them to
wish me a "Happy Hanukkah" or the like.
We are who we are. We believe what we believe. And casting a
shameful shroud on our humanity by limiting exposure to our grand
diversity seems very wrong.
So this year, I'm losing the PC crap and going with Merry
Christmas. If you choose to wish me a happy Kwanza, Dongzhi
Festival, or whatever it is that supports your belief system, I
would be honored.
And if there are special cookies or treats involved?
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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