Strap on your pointy party hats, folks, because this is my 100th post on StupidBadMemes. (*sniff* They grow up so fast!) And keep those hats firmly strapped to your head, because we’re also celebrating the holiday season! Holiday holiday holiday! “And what holidays are we celebrating?” you ask, eager to participate but bizarrely unaware of your surroundings. Lots of holidays, really:
- On December 5 people of the Jewish faith concluded their eight-night celebration of Hanukkah;
- On December 21 many cultures will celebrate the passage of the winter solstice
- The Kwanzaa celebration, observed by Western African descendants living in the Americas, begins on December 26 and lasts for one week;
- On December 31 anybody who uses the Gregorian calendar will prepare to ring in the new year with alcohol and fireworks (because those two things should always be used in conjunction).
And yes, there’s the behemoth itself: Christmas. Although the actual Christmas holiday covers only one day – December 25 – it has grown into a monstrous celebration that begins earlier and earlier each year. Christians follow a man who preached about self-restraint and simple living in every aspect of one’s life, and to honor his teachings they spend gobs of cash they don’t have buying presents for people who don’t really need them, all the while decorating their houses with the gaudiest possible combination of inflatable snow globes, plastic Santa Clauses, and obnoxiously-colored lights.
And the self-victimization…my, how conservative Christians love to make themselves unhappy during the hap-happiest season of all by thinking about the gross injustices they’re forced to suffer at the hands of liberals, atheists, and other people who don’t agree with them 100% of the time. Most Christians aren’t like this, mind you, but a very vocal minority of the Christian population likes nothing better than to prattle on about the so-called “War on Christmas”. In this entirely fictitious “War”, God-fearing men and women are having their rights to celebrate Christmas slowly eroded away by the nefarious forces of the ACLU (the American Civil Liberties Union, or, if you’re a conservative Christian, the Anti-Christian Liberal Union). Hardline conservatives have drawn a line in the sand: you’re either with them or you’re against them. If you dare say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, you’re against them.
What is so offensive about the phrase “Happy Holidays”? Is it because the phrase doesn’t mention Christmas specifically, which is apparently the only important holiday that happens between Thanksgiving and New Years Day? Is it because the phrase acknowledges the existence of other holidays at all, and by extension other religions? How insecure do you have to be in your own faith if you cannot handle a simple acknowledgement of other holidays besides the ones you like to celebrate? People don’t say “Happy Holidays” to personally spite Christians or Christmas, they say it to be inclusive. They say it to avoid marginalizing any particular group, not to hurt the majority.
I say to you, conservative Christians who are offended by “Happy Holidays”: inclusivity is a good thing. Like it or not, we no longer live in castles surrounded by moats that keep out anybody who is different from us. We live in an integrated society, and you’re going to have to accept the fact that not everybody believes or celebrates the same way you do. It is not a sin to wish for them to enjoy their holiday season as much as you should enjoy your own. So stop whining, pour yourself a cup of eggnog, and give somebody a hearty “Happy Holidays!” See…it’s not so bad.