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The Merry Christmas Debate

I recently attended my husband's company Christmas party in California (Catalina to be exact -- did I mention that my husband's employer is incredibly cool?). Anyway, his boss welcomed us all to the party with a hearty "Merry Christmas." I am not one of those who is terribly offended if wished Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. I can almost understand how some merchants would not want to offend their non-Christian customers, although that reasoning is pretty lame when you consider all the Christmas decorations and gifts they push in their store displays and advertising.

Even being one of those who doesn't rank the "Merry Christmas greeting controversy" at the top of her important issues list, I do hate political correctness so I really enjoyed the caption Lucianne gave a picture of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

This is not a Hanukah Shrub.
This is not a Buddhist Bush.
This is not a Muslim Maple or an Orthodox Oak.
This is a CHRISTMAS tree and it celebrates Jesus and his birthday.
So there.

As for the excuse of not wanting to offend non-Christians with Christmas greetings, I would venture to say that the overwhelming majority are not. Don Feder makes a good case at Front Page Mag that the War on Christmas is something religious Jews should oppose as well as Christians.

The increasingly successful effort to purge Christmas from our culture (correctly called the War on Christmas) proceeds apace - municipal Christmas trees are re-christened (no pun intended) "holiday trees," schools ban Christmas decorations and the singing of Christmas carols during holiday programs. Christmas - excuse me -- holiday parades are excluding Santa Claus, and, everywhere, stores (which derive 20% of their annual revenue from Christmas sales) are in Grinch overdrive.

This year, Lowe's employees are permitted to say "Merry Christmas," but only in response to a customer initiating the greeting. On its website, Barnes & Noble offers a "Gift Guide" which includes "Holiday gift baskets," "holiday sleds" and "holiday delivery." FYI, the "holiday" celebrated by 95% of the American people at this time of the year is called Christmas.

The Best Buy website offers "unique gifts for the season." According to Liberty Counsel (a Christian legal action group), a company spokesman claims the use of the word "Christmas" is disrespectful. Disrespectful to who? The 5% of the American people who don't celebrate Christmas? But how many of them actually care? (For years, people said "Merry Christmas" to me, without inflicting severe emotional harm.) Would it be disrespectful for a clerk in Tel Aviv to wish someone a "Happy Hanukkah"?

He goes on to make the case that religious Jews are much better off in an America that recognizes religious practices and traditions than in a secular America. I agree with that wholeheartedly and while the Christmas greeting controversy doesn't push my buttons like it does some, the greater "War on Christmas" does and is something that we all should be concerned about -- Christians and non-Christians alike.


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Comments (40)

Do not ever wish me a happy... (Below threshold)
epador:

Do not ever wish me a happy Kwanza(a). It's not a race thing, just an ethnic thing. It's not a Scandinavian festival.

MC, HH and HNY are all acceptable.

Even BLOOD FOR ODIN!

;-)

I don't really care either ... (Below threshold)
Nemo:

I don't really care either way, but if you're going to be so pedantically insistent on declaring it His birthday, here's something more for you to chew on:

For the record, December 25th, 2006 will not be the anniversary of December 25th, 1 BC. The Gregorian Calendar date (our time) is about three days ahead of the original Julian Calendar date (Jesus' time). So if you're gonna insist on it being about the Big J's birthday, you might want to hold those celebrations around the 22nd or so.

In 1 BC, December 25th was the date of the annual Winter Solstice. By 325 AD the Julian Calendar had drifted to the point where it (and, more importantly, the Spring Equinox) was happening on the 21st-22nd of the month. This was worrisome enough to the Bishops at the Council of Nicaea (who were concerned that the inaccuracy would mess with their calculations for Easter) that they used a portion of their critical Counciling time to reset the dates for the Solstices and Equinoxes. They did NOT, however, reset the calendar, which continued to run three days fast.

When the Gregorian Calendar reforms came along in the sixteenth century, there was some talk of restoring the calendar to the point where the Solstices and Equinoxes would fall on the 25ths again; but ultimately the authorities rejected the idea.

Thus, our calendar still runs three days fast, as far as Jesus Times people are concerned. Adjust your schedules accordingly.

As a religious Jew, I could... (Below threshold)
Litvshe:

As a religious Jew, I could care less. When someone wishes me Merry Xmas, I wish him/her/it a Happy Channukah back. Everyone is happy.

Anyone who is "offended" wh... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

Anyone who is "offended" when wished happiness is a jerk whose feeling should be of no consequence.

If I know someone is Jewish, I wish him or her a Happy Hannukah out of respect and good wishes for his faith and culture.

Even someone who doesn't celebrate or acknowledge Christmas will have a Federal holiday on December 25, which is called Christmas. Wishing someone a happy 25th of December is just a pleasantry equal to Have a Happy Day.


It's time that the very small minority of the offended learn a fraction of the tolerance expectd of everyone else.

I went into one of our rest... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

I went into one of our restaurants yesterday to get some breakfast, and the manager had decorated all of the massive amount of window space with traditional holiday pictures and greetings. I did notice, however, the lack of "Merry Christmas" anywhere. I instructed her that I wanted it included. She replied "What if someone is offended?". I responded "If someone is offended, they can eat somewhere else!".

BTW - I am not a practicing Christain, but believe Christmas is Christmas, reguardless of what day it used to fall on. When we loose respect for the traditions of our forefathers we loose our foundation.

In addition: Those w... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

In addition:
Those who follow us (children, grand children, etsc.) will not thank us for leaving them adrift in a sea of political correctness.

I was thinking about dressi... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

I was thinking about dressing up as Mohammedaclaus and visiting the local Madrasa. It would be a sign of goodwill to show the young terrorist-in-trading that we really care.

This is a CHRISTMAS tree... (Below threshold)

This is a CHRISTMAS tree and it celebrates Jesus and his birthday.

I can't agree with this one, and I've grown up with Christmas trees and will probably always get one at Christmas time. Christmas trees are mainly thought to have evolved from Pagan traditions. They have nothing to do directly with celebrating the birth of Jesus, except in the sense that people have adopted it as such over time.

I do agree that.
- The use of Christmas trees are now largely practiced by those that are predominately Christian or tie themselves back to a Christian religion.
- To justify its use in Churches some religions have characterized it as a symbol of new life or some other symbology.

Christmas trees have just become another secular trapping of the celebration at Christmas time.

Do right wing IQ's drop sha... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Do right wing IQ's drop sharply around this time of year? This is not a PC conspiracy. The decision to use Happy Holidays is one bourne out of commercial interest only. Hannukah has become much more commercialized over the past few years and stores don't wan't to alienate their non-christian shoppers who have been putting more and more into their coffers of late.

Also, the idea that people would somehow be "offended" by a well-wish is mind boggling to me.

Can we get back to the real world please?

Eneils;I think it ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Eneils;

I think it would be much more fitting and appropriate for you to dress up as the back end of a horse. Oh, wait you really don't need to.

Well Rob the first answer i... (Below threshold)

Well Rob the first answer is easy, NO; and use of 'Happy Holidays' is not bourne out of commercial interests only. My wife prepared a flier for her union for a 'holiday' get together, and she was told to use Happy Holidays as Merry Christmas could offend others. In the real world it is not so mind boggling to think that people really are offended by such minor things.

Rob:In your first ... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Rob:

In your first paragraph you say that not saying "Merry Christmas" is an attempt by commercial interest to not alienate (offend) their non christian customers. Then in the second paragraph you say that anyone being offended by a well-wish is mind boggling. Seems like the commercial interests are all mind boggling to you, or perhaps moonbat IQ's also drop for the holidays.

I have no problem with Happ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I have no problem with Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, Happy Kwanza or whatever else anyone wants to celebrate. I do have a problem when someone is offended if you don't get the right greeting.

Naturally, if someone has a problem with me wishing them a Merry Christmas because they don't celebrate it, they can feel free to work all day on the 25th.

Believe it or not, I live i... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Believe it or not, I live in a very conservative town with a high population of Christians. We have a manger in the town square.

Last week I went to the local story, and deposited a couple bucks in the kettle. With that, I was greeted with a hardy "Happy Holidays".

I guess the Salvation Army has gone secular.

I believe the saying "the W... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I believe the saying "the War on Christmas" is analogous to saying "War on Fallujah" in that Christmas is a single battleground in the far left's War on Theism just as Fallujah is a single battleground in the Iraqi War.

That's what bother's me about it. I don't really care if someone says "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays", but more fascist activities like banning Santa from Parades (it's happen in my town, although this year they lifted the ban). Renaming Christmas trees to holiday trees is also wrong.

The First Amendment gives us freedom of religion, it does not mandate state sponsored Atheism. Actually most public schools in the coutry violate the First Ammendment by teaching Atheist dogma (at least in science classes), but that's o.k. with the lefties and most judges are lefties.

My own perspective -- it's ... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

My own perspective -- it's bloody cold outside, the damned Christmas/holiday Muzak is driving me insane, the red and green everywhere annoys me, and a great majority of the people around me seem to think there's something wrong if I don't join in all this enforced jollity and happiness.

On top of that, what little enjoyment I MIGHT take from this time of year is being gradually sucked away by thrice-benighted Holiday Warriors. Divided into two camps, the PC Fascistas and the Christmas Nazis, these damnable people march around everywhere, destroying everybody else's happiness by insisting that their own brand of merriment is the only proper way to commemorate whatever the hell it is we're commemorating.

Pardon my excessive grinchiness, but I've had quite enough of the "Christmas spirit," the Holiday Warriors, and the accompanying orgy of piggish consumerism and inexcusable inebriation. It's gotten way out of hand, and I, for one, just want a break from the whole thing.

--|PW|--

Well pennywitless I suggest... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Well pennywitless I suggest that you just f*&k off and go set in a corner and brood while the rest of us HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. As the saying goes--up yours if you don't like it.

"I guess the Salvation A... (Below threshold)
cmd:

"I guess the Salvation Army has gone secular."

They support abortion, Barney. They've been secular for years. And it's why I'm perfectly comfortable not dropping one thin dime in their kettles.

If I'm wished "happy holidays" or "season's greetings" and I don't know the person's religion I simply say "Merry Christmas." Everybody's happy. If you get all pissy at the mention of the Savior, that's your problem, not mine. But I don't wish anyone a happy Kwanzaa. That's a crap "holiday" cooked up by a racist felon and designed to appeal to the separatist influence that encourages blacks to think of themselves as something other than Americans.

Now, that's interesting, Jh... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Now, that's interesting, Jhow. I don't really call for any particular action based on my beliefs. Aside from blowing off steam, I'm not likely to do anything.

If other people want to do something, it's no skin off my nose, after all.

Meanwhile, you've got open hostility toward somebody who doesn't join your little bit of holiday merriment, which, you appear to insist, is the only correct method of commeorating this holiday. Interesting.

--|PW|--

jhow66, I think you're kin... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

jhow66, I think you're kinda out of line. PW's opinion was not a threatening one. I don't want to sound self-righteous, but as a Christian myself, yes, I think many things about this holiday have gotten out a bit of line - from both sides of the issue as PW mentioned.

"As a religious Jew, I coul... (Below threshold)
Gizmo:

"As a religious Jew, I could care less. When someone wishes me Merry Xmas, I wish him/her/it a Happy Channukah back. Everyone is happy."

I can lift a glass of Egg Nog to that!!! "Nuts" to the sourpusses!!!

Here's another side effect of Christmas being kicked out of schools as well as family "sing-a-longs" being a thing of the past.... A lot of kids today know "Frosty the Snowman", but they don't know "Silent Night". Our church has actually started conducting "Come Learn To Sing Christmas Carols" sessions so our kids can learn to sing the songs they hear in church during Advent. Pretty sad that we have to resort to doing that.


Christmas was made a federa... (Below threshold)
rustyduck:

Christmas was made a federal holiday in 1870 fyi

To insist that the overwhelming majority of this country stifle its religious impulses in public so that minorities can feel "comfortable" not only understandably enrages the majority but commits two sins. The first is profound ungenerosity toward a majority of fellow citizens who have shown such generosity of spirit toward minority religions.

The second is the sin of incomprehension -- a failure to appreciate the uniqueness of the communal American religious experience. Unlike, for example, the famously tolerant Ottoman Empire or the generally tolerant Europe of today, the United States does not merely allow minority religions to exist at its sufferance. It celebrates and welcomes and honors them.

Enough said...

It's not that Merry Christm... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It's not that Merry Christmas offends others. It's that Happy Holidays includes others. This whole thread is about how non-Christians should suck it up, something which the Christians are apparently unable to do.

jhow66, I think you're k... (Below threshold)
Brian:

jhow66, I think you're kinda out of line.

That was his intent. That's what trolls do.

What I've never been able t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What I've never been able to figure out about this whole retarded and manufactured "War on Christmas" is who pays attention to, much less cares about, what teenage store clerks say to them? They could be saying "Hail Satan" and I probably wouldn't notice, anxious as I am to get the hell away from whatever store I've found myself in.

Oh, and Bunyan,

The First Amendment gives us freedom of religion, it does not mandate state sponsored Atheism. Actually most public schools in the coutry violate the First Ammendment by teaching Atheist dogma (at least in science classes), but that's o.k. with the lefties and most judges are lefties.

We're in ur houze, stealin ur Jesuz!

Brian, do you know what a t... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Brian, do you know what a troll is? (hint: look in a mirror to see one)

Mantis, I would bet you expect people to say "hail satan" when they greet you and would be offended if they didn't. I'm not talking about Jesus or Christianity, but Theism which seems to offend people like you.

Sorry,We're in ur ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Sorry,

We're in ur houze, stealin ur theismz!

Funny, I've never heard any... (Below threshold)
La Mano:

Funny, I've never heard any British friends getting 'offended' celebrating the 4th of July.

We're n ur skoolz killin ur... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

We're n ur skoolz killin ur holidaze!

I never thought I'd see that phrase here at Wizbang. Thanks for the laugh mantis.

Oh, and hail Satan-I-mean Happy Holidays!

mantis,as in praying??? Say... (Below threshold)
rustyduck:

mantis,as in praying??? Say would you like an all
expense paid one way ticket to Fallujah for
Christmas...It's a 3 day trip so let me know
soon,take your friends if you have any, we might
get a group rate on Air America...

Hey mantis!Merry C... (Below threshold)
rustyduck:


Hey mantis!Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

The comments above represen... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The comments above represent perfect examples of those with sense of humor, and those without. Heralder, you rule. rustyduck (an iron duck?), what can I say? The ironing is delicious.

My favorite part from the b... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

My favorite part from the best Christmas movie of all time, "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Charlie Brown: "I guess I just don't know what Christmas is all about."

Linus: "And there were in in the same country shepherds, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and they were afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill toward men."

That is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

"We're in ur houze, stea... (Below threshold)

"We're in ur houze, stealin ur Jesuz!"

lol!

What it is, is that for some reason retailers, in particular, have gotten the crazy notion that people are offended by the phrase "Merry Christmas". I know some think it's an attempt to "include" others, but every time I read some account of a store which refrains from overt mentions of "Christmas", they always have the same response - "We don't want to offend non-Christians." - even though they still sell the same trees, still sell the same gifts, still use read and green everywhere, still play carols (sans lyrics) over the intercom system, etc.

Instead, all they've done is cause offense to a majority while they think they're appeasing a tiny, tiny minority. It just seems so hypocritical, as if they're saying, "I'm not Santa Claus. I'm just a fat man in a red suit. I wouldn't want to offend anyone."

Brian, do you know what ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, do you know what a troll is?

Uh, yes. But apparently you don't.

In Internet terminology, a troll is a person who enters an established community such as an online discussion forum and intentionally tries to cause disruption, most often in the form of posting inflammatory, off-topic, insulting, or otherwise inappropriate messages.

So let's review... someone who posts an on-topic disagreement with your position, and someone who posts obscenity-laden insults without even commenting on the topic at hand. Which one best fits the definition?

In addition to ensuring tha... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

In addition to ensuring that the BigStore sales clerk is holidayically correct, has anybody bothered to check the receipt and make sure the sweaters and flat-panels are rung up correctly?

--|PW|--

I don't think religious jew... (Below threshold)
Rob:

I don't think religious jews have opposed public Christmas displays as far as I know.

I don't think religious ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I don't think religious jews have opposed public Christmas displays as far as I know.

Oh, well, now you're just bringing facts into the discussion. They're not welcome here.

First off let me say to bri... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

First off let me say to brian-up yours with a 10 footer--look whose calling the kettle black.

P'wit-comment stands-why should we not celebrate as we want to just because YOU don't like it. Like I said go hide if it bothers you.

Ever notice how all those that don't like something think everyone else should give it up because of them. Come to think of it they sound just like moose-lums.

Note to self...Merry Christ... (Below threshold)
paula:

Note to self...Merry Christmas is a no, no...NOT!! Sorry folks..this war on Christmas is so childish. I think there are a bunch of spoiled grownups making a fuss over nothing. This is a religious holy-day and it always will be. 2000 years ago people tried to wipe Christ out...King Herod tried to kill Him..but couldn't. He destroyed other families lives by murdering babies throughout the land. At Calvary Christ was supposed to be wiped out, but once again He wasn't...Then retailers came up with Santa to try and wipe Christ out...to No avail...Now the word Christ is in Christmas is trying to be eradicated to stroke peoples egos and let everyone jump in on the Christmas season. Well, Christ isn't going anywhere. He is here to stay...no amount of controversy or squelching will keep His name out of Christmas...stop throwing hissy fits and grow up.. We do respect Hanukkah and say Happy Hanukkah, Happy Dewalli, Happy Kwanzaa and we even acknowlege Ramadam now...so people Christ's Mass will continue to be celebrated and winter holidays just don't cut the mustard...Merry Christmas everyone...Christ is the reason for the Season...and those who don't believe in Him...thanks for riding on the coat tails of the Holiday and joining in on the festivities...Enjoy the Christmas Season...Christ loves you too!




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