Last week, I remarked that I didn’t even suspect that December 25 was a few weeks away! I’ve been busy shopping for gifts and everything, sure. But I didn’t realize how close it was to Christmas. And, yes, I’m saying it’s Christmas and not “the Holidays!” Am I being politically incorrect? Probably. But… well, it is Christmas for me and it actually kind of ticks me off when people say we should call the season “the holidays.”
Now, now! Before you go out calling me a racist or just insensitive to other cultures, no. I’m not trying to say this because I don’t understand the other holidays that are being celebrated around the same year. It’s just that… isn’t saying Merry Christmas to someone who isn’t part of the Catholic religion a terrible thing?
I guess this is the way I feel because, while growing up, I never felt the need to… censor myself when it came to Christmas. Although I live in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, I did go to a school (a Catholic school, mind you) that was filled with kids that had different religious beliefs. Two of my childhood friends were, oddly enough, Muslim and Jewish. And here’s the strange part about them being of different religions: they never felt offended about me greeting them Merry Christmas!
I was around 10 when I realized that Christmas wasn’t celebrated by everyone. If I remember correctly, I found out when watching a television sitcom (see? Television can be educational!). I forgot the name of the show but I do vaguely remember two people arguing about how to greet one another during the season.
And then it hit me! In all these years, I’ve been giving them Christmas gifts and greeting them Merry Christmas and I was kind of embarrassed regarding how insensitive I was to my friends! Thankfully, I saw the show during December so, the next day at school, I sort of apologized for being insensitive.
They didn’t forgive me. That’s because they said there wasn’t anything to forgive! Both of them may not celebrate Christmas the same way I do but they certainly love what it represents! After all, the days leading up to December 25 is fantastic! Everything is so bright and well lit. Everything’s well decorated. Oh, and there’s all the presents. Lots of presents! And, when you’re a kid, who doesn’t like presents! Well, that pretty much goes without saying for my Jewish friend (Hanukkah and all)… but my Muslim friend, well, she gets lots of presents from her various aunts and uncles during the season.
They may not believe in Christmas in the traditional sense. Whenever they think of the holiday, they focus on the feeling Christmas is supposed to give everyone, regardless of what you believe in. I mean, just ask the kids from South Park!
This “lesson” really stuck with me as I got older. I think society in general has become too focused on being inclusive that we forget why we want to be inclusive already. Like the South Park clip above said, Christmas is a time for getting along with one another. So what if you celebrate Christmas in a different way? Even if you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza or nothing at all, wouldn’t it be great if there was a time during the year when you just tried your darndest to be nice to one another?
That’s what Christmas means to me anyway. Besides, if you greeted me a Happy Hanukkah, I know what you really meant anyway. Why do there have to be jerks who are so overly sensitive regarding a greeting? I would understand if something was said to you in a mean spirited way! But greeting someone Merry Christmas? Is that something to get mad about?
Anyway, that’s just one girls opinion. Oh, and the South Park clip I showed above, I only saw that while researching this article! To think someone else had the same thought as I do, well, that just struck me as something really great!
Besides, what’s not to like about Christmas? Like I said, the malls are decked out in fancy decorations. Everyone is (generally) happy. We even get two whole weeks of vacation! What’s not to like?
Also, this is that one time of year that Santa Claus comes out to all the little girls and boys to give presents to the good ones! But Santa Claus, well, I do have an issue with regarding the idea of the big guy himself. And I’ll talk more about that next time!
What’s your take on the Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays brouhaha? Let me know your thoughts on it in the comments section below!