Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry F-ing Christmas to you, too

As I found myself embracing my 9% Jewish heritage yesterday with a brunch of crepes and potato pancakes on the second day of Hanukkah, I was thinking of why the holiday has not caught on.  Eight days of eating fried food and gambling?  It's like a week in Vegas, only with the bonus of chocolate coins.  If there's a secular way to celebrate Christmas by having a strange man invade your home via chimney, I'm sure we can figure out a Hanukkah celebration that involves latkes and dreidels without the miracle of the oil aspect.

Then, I'm reminded of why not by a post on Facebook:

Just so everyone knows, I have a CHRISTMAS TREE in my living room (not a holiday tree), my family is getting CHRISTMAS PRESENTS (not holiday gifts) and we will eat CHRISTMAS DINNER(not a holiday meal), and I will attend a CHRISTMAS PARTY (not a holiday party). I will also very cheerfully wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS! (not... happy holidays). By the way, if you want to have a Happy Hanukah , by all means do, I respect that. If you want to have a Blessed Kwanzaa, I also respect that. I want to have a Merry Christmas, so I ask YOU to respect that!
Bearing in mind that this person watches a lot of Fox News, I'm not surprised to see this.  The idea that any culture can have a monopoly on December celebrations is narrow at best, deliberately closed-minded perhaps, and flat-out racist at worst.  As Hanukkah predates Christmas by a couple hundred years, perhaps it is Christmas that is stealing Hanukkah's thunder? 

What really annoys me is the idea that the author will wish someone a Merry Christmas even when he knows that the person does not celebrate the holiday.  Let's talk about the purpose of the greeting, shall we?  When one wishes someone a Merry Christmas, it is a hope, wish, and aspiration for the other person.  You do not go up to someone and say, "I hope I have a Merry Christmas".  You want the recipient to have the Christmas that is merry.  So, if you know the person on the receiving end will look at December 25th as a day off work and little more, do you want them to have a Merry Christmas, or a Happy Holiday?  If the greeting is intended for the recipient, then the Happy Holidays works for the entire time between Thanksgiving and MLK Day.  If you still want to wish someone a Merry Christmas, then the greeting is for yourself, and you are a selfish little A-Hole who is using this as an opportunity to shove your beliefs down another's throat.  What's wrong with you?

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