The Christmas countdown has begun, for those that like to count. Christmas brings thoughts of family, happiness, food, and of course brightly wrapped stuff. It also brings in – your – face advertising. Promoting everything from computers and technical gadgets to the must – have toys that are cleverly brought out in limited lots, to the newest, fastest and sexiest cars. The pressure to buy the right gift, to bake and to cook and to attend all party invites builds. If all this pressure isn’t enough for you, there is also politics and religion, that is brought to the forefront.
Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ and the use of the customary greeting, “Merry Christmas”, is common. These two words are simple but have the power to ignite intense political and religious feelings, including feeling offended by this greeting. How do these two words offend anyone? If you don’t follow this belief, you pass and move on. I am not offended by other religious celebrations such as Jews celebrating Hannukka, Buddhists celebrating Bhodi Day, Atheists celebrating Winter Solstice and Muslims celebrate the Hajj. I know there are many more beliefs and celebrations but these few examples support my assertion.
In Canada, we are asked/encouraged, to be supposedly politically correct, to not offend others by refraining from using “Merry Christmas” and instead to make this most important Christian celebration salutation into a generic greeting, such as Happy Holiday and Seasons Greetings. This lessens the significance of the celebration and invites others to lessen the significance too. I am not offended by others beliefs and their special celebrations so why would non Christians feel offended by Christmas. I have to believe this is done to show acceptance of others but really, by yielding to the practice of not saying Merry Christmas, it only amplifies the differences. True acceptance of one another is done by recognizing and respecting each other and each other’s beliefs and practices, such as the significance of celebratory rituals like Christmas.
Merry Christmas Everyone.
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