Our annual debate is boring

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 28, 2015

There is one thing I don’t understand about the holidays, and that is our annual national conversation (or debate, really) over “merry Christmas/happy holidays.” I should say from the outset, I’ve long wished everyone “happy holidays,” though this has been born less out of political correctness than my own laziness. Wishing one a “merry Christmas and a happy New Year,” seems a bit wordy for a quick greeting. So, for years I would say, after Thanksgiving and through Dec. 31, “happy holidays.” Then, sometime in the early 2000s, I heard this was offensive because it didn’t explicitly include the word “Christmas.” These days you can’t get through the season without hearing someone on television saying something about “the war on Christmas.”

What war are they talking about?

Around here, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Christmas, through consumerism and/or through worship—and I have never heard of anyone trying to seriously hobble any of those efforts, least of all through a turn of phrase. One of the reasons I like this time of the year is because we’re encouraged to welcome others—even strangers—into our midst. Every major Christmas movie, aside, perhaps, from “Die Hard,” has, as it’s central theme, unity and friendship. And yet every year, we have a national debate over the proper way to greet someone at the end of the year. Every year, we hear the same thing about some war on Christmas. I just don’t understand how anyone could be offended because I am lazy. So, for the record, merry Christmas, feliz navidad, happy Chanukah, happy holidays, season’s greetings, happy New Year and all the rest. Really, truly and honestly, the bottom line is, I hope everyone has a good time, stays safe and does take offense for the way I greet them.

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