Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Freaking Holidays!

Ok, this will be a bit snarkier than originally intended, at least at the start.

It is that time of year again. Do I mean Christmas time? Nope. Do I mean the joyful holiday season? Nope. Do I mean winter, with its snow, ice, and frosty mornings? Nope. I mean the time of year when some people do their absolute best to ruin the joyful holiday season for everyone else.

It actually started in October, when Christmas stuff was already in stores before Halloween! Why can't they wait until one holiday is over before throwing the next one or two in our faces? Wait until Halloween is over. Then, put out Thanksgiving stuff. After Thanksgiving, you can put out the Christmas stuff. There is no reason I should turn the corner & run into Christmas garland, ornaments, and tinsel when I was just looking at Halloween makeup and skull candle holders in the previous aisle.

Next comes the Black Friday sales & all the advertising that comes with them. I delete every single email I get that mentions Black Friday in the title, without reading them. We don't watch regular tv anymore, so at least we're spared the commercials. Flyers come in the mail & go directly into the recycling, without being opened. I have to skim over Facebook posts about them. Sale, sale, sale, sale, sale! That's all people can talk about.

Finally, once the Black Friday mess is over with, we get the utterly ridiculous "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" rubbish. Really? Do you people have nothing better to do with your time than over-analyze other people's holiday greetings? How freaking egotistical can you be to honestly believe that anyone who says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" is intending it as an insult to you & your religion? Does it not occur to you that maybe, just maybe, you are the one being insensitive & insulting?

Honestly, I think many people say "Merry Christmas" because that is the holiday they celebrate, and most of us grew up saying "Merry Christmas." I don't think  most people who say "Merry Christmas" are doing it to be insulting to other religions. However, those who throw fits about people saying "Happy Holidays" instead, those who post messages on Facebook yelling about how "IT IS MERRY CHRISTMAS! NOT HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!," I kind of think they do it out of spite & to insult others.

How can you honestly be offended by people trying not to be offensive? Oh wait, it's because they are trying to be inoffensive to people who believe something different than you, and you are intolerant. "Happy Holidays" is not an insult. It is not an offensive statement. People who say "Happy Holidays" are doing it out of respect for the fact that not everyone is Christian. They say it in an attempt to include everyone in their wishes for a wonderful holiday season. They say it because they don't assume that everyone else is the same religion & celebrates the same holidays. It is not an attack on Christmas or on Christianity. It is an attempt to include EVERYONE!

You do realize that there are other holidays in December, right? In fact, here's a list of them:

Advent - 4 weeks leading up to Christmas
St. Nicholas Day - December 6
Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe - December 12
St. Lucia Day - December 13
Las Posadas - December 16-24, though now mostly condensed to just one night (usually Christmas Eve)
Yule/Winter Solstice - December 20-22
Soyaluna - December 22
DongZhi - December 22
Christmas - December 24 & 25
Chanukah - 8 days beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev
Kwanzaa - December 26 - January 1
Boxing Day - December 26
New Year's Eve - December 31

People may celebrate one or more of these holidays. Would you prefer that someone go through all of them, instead of just saying "Happy Holidays," to make sure they have covered them all and aren't offending? Oh, that's right. You don't care if they leave out all the others, as long as they say "Merry Christmas" because Christmas is the only that matters, right?

Some of those holidays listed are cultural, though most are religious. Those of us who say "Happy Holidays" say it to include all of those holidays, even those we don't celebrate. Some of us realize that a holiday isn't  unimportant, just because we don't celebrate it. When I say "Happy Holidays," I say it because I actually do respect every person's right to their own religious beliefs & their right to celebrate whichever holidays they choose. I say "Happy Holidays" because I don't assume every person I meet celebrates Christmas. I say "Happy Holidays" because I celebrate multiple holidays in December. I say "Happy Holidays" because I want everyone's holiday(s), whichever one(s) they celebrate, to be happy! I don't say it to insult or offend anyone, and I don't know anyone who does.

I also don't care if you say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." If you want to say "Merry Christmas," that's fine. Just make sure that it is sincere and not you trying to make some point about how holiday greetings should be said. What I do find offensive, though, are posts on blogs, Facebook, etc. complaining about people saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." I find it offensive that so many people refuse to acknowledge that there are other holidays in December, holidays that are just as important, even if they are less commercialized. Stop taking people being respectful and trying to include everyone as some kind of attack on you. You are not the center of the universe! Your religion is not the only one (it's not even the only major one)! The holiday you celebrate is not the only or most important holiday in December! Get over yourself!

By the way, since only Christians seem to have an issue with this topic (I have never heard/seen someone complain that someone said "Happy Holidays" instead of "Happy Chanukah" or "Blessed Yule," etc.), let me remind you of something. Your religion teaches tolerance & acceptance of other people, their cultures, and their beliefs. So, maybe you should stop being so freaking hateful, self-centered, intolerant, and disrespectful to everyone who isn't exactly like you.