By Todd Lihou
Let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas. Not “Happy Holidays”, or “Season’s Greetings” or, god forbid “Happy Solstice.”
I caught that last one online the other day and it almost made me sick.
It’s “Christmas”, folks. Wear it on your sleeve like a badge of honour – maybe even courage.
Before your eyes start to roll, be warned this is not going to be a religious rant about how society is taking “Christ” out of “Christmas” faster than the North End Pizza slices disappear at my house on a Saturday night.
I’ve been to church exactly twice in the last 15 months. On one of the occasions I was getting married – so this thesis is anything but an attempt at a mass conversion via newsprint.
Instead it’s a defence of something many people, almost all of them Christians, refuse to undertake.
We’ve been told, by who I can’t remember, that it’s not politically correct to wish people Merry Christmas. They might be offended – because who can say for sure if they even celebrate Christmas.
Gimme a break.
True enough, there are people in this world who don’t celebrate Christmas. But there are a lot of us that do – and since North America is a predominantly Christian continent, what’s wrong with flexing a little Christmas muscle? I don’t understand how a simple greeting gets twisted into something sinister.
And what if the shoe were on the other foot?
What kind of reaction would there be in Jerusalem if Jews were suddenly told they couldn’t celebrate the season with a “Happy Hanukkah”? It woundn’t be pretty. Jews, rightfully so, stand up for themselves.
So do Muslims. If they were forced to publicly curb celebrations during Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, especially in countries with heavy Muslim populations, there would be massive protests. Protests, if we’re lucky.
But Christians, it seems, just kind of roll with the punches. Why?
No one is advocating we enter into the Christian equivalent of jihad, but if you celebrate Christmas, don’t hide it behind “Happy Holidays.”
Something tells me this has to boil down to money. Everything eventually does.
I’ll bet some fancy ad/marketing executive discovered that commercials for the latest Christmas obsession sold better when the company promoting the item added “Happy Holidays” at the end, instead of “Merry Christmas.”
Makes sense, right? Why exclude the atheists and sun-worshippers at this time of year - they have a right to empty their bank accounts too.
Of course this country, and indeed this continent, is growing more diverse by the minute. And that’s a good thing. We’re all part of the same melting pot.
But it’s with that in mind that I argue we keep “Merry Christmas” going for as long as we can.
It pains me to suggest that because one uses “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” that they are somehow different – as if different includes some kind of negative connotation.
Christians need to go on being different. Celebrate with as many “Merry Christmases” as you can this year.
If someone corners you and demands to know why you’ve offered a “Merry Christmas” your answer should be simple enough
“Because it is.”