Dare we say, ‘Merry Christmas?’

Whoever makes the rules on political correctness needs to be taken out and beaten with a wet hose — preferably while wearing a Santa hat and being serenaded by carolers singing “Silent Night.”

And the rest of you need a little more rum in your egg nog.

All of this “happy holidays,” “season’s greetings” and non-Christmas Christmas celebration malarkey has gone too far.

Now, don’t worry. This isn’t a tirade about the ways our pagan society has turned its back on Christ and the religious overtones of the “holiday.” Frankly, it’s doubtful he really cares about whether we celebrate his birthday, and Christmas has become so secularized over the years that we can hardly call it “religious.”

The battle over Christmas isn’t anything new — but this year it has taken a particularly vitriolic tone. Some blame the “red states” — the color not only means Republican but also represents Santa’s suit, apparently — and their new-found energy after clobbering the blue states in November.

Others blame the militant left and its need to deny the rest of the country of anything coming anywhere near Christianity — all that “faith, hope, love and peace” Jesus preached is just too dangerous for mass consumption.

But it’s not the crazy Christians or the pagan left that deserves credit for this angry debate over lumping Dec. 25 with all the other holidays. No, it’s the rest of us — who have fallen into the P.C. trap of sacrificing truth to appease worries that we might (gasp!) offend someone.

Humbug to that.

Apart from the typical controversy over nativity scenes at City Hall and Christmas carols in public schools, retail stores such as Target and Macy’s have opted out of using that “C” word.

Target has gone so far as to ban the Salvation Army bell ringers from its storefronts (and you can bet your Christmas bonus it’s not the word “army” the retailer fears). Of course, the stores are still decked out in “holiday” faire — presents, lights, trees and lots of red and green.

But retail outlets aren’t the only places where the over-sensitive have won the day. How many company Christmas parties are now “holiday” parties? On TV, stations (save Fox News) don’t wish us a “merry Christmas,” but “happy holidays” — with poinsettias, wreaths and, presumptively, “holiday” trees on the screen.

Humbug to that, too.

Some 80 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas, and no matter how many “season’s greetings” and “happy holidays” you send to us, we know the secret code. What you mean is, “Merry Christmas,” and that’s what you should say.

The vast majority of this country shouldn’t be held captive to some semantic fascism because a small minority of the 20 percent that doesn’t use the “C” word is offended by it.

Humbug, again.

“Separation of church and state,” cry the multicultural weenies. But don’t include Christmas shopping and the company Christmas party as the “state” (on last check, ours was not a communist society where the lines between “state” and “company” are blurred). And don’t sit all high and mighty while you embrace the minor Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and the made-up Kwanzaa and can’t utter that “C” word. (Note that the branches of the San Diego County Library are having 85 Kwanzaa events this month — apparently “cooperative economics” beats out “peace on earth, good will toward men.”)

Another humbug.

Christmas is, without a doubt, the largest, most celebrated Western holiday. In this age of multiculturalism, it’s regretful that we can’t keep some of our own culture — a culture 2,000 years in the making.

It’s even more regretful that we so easily begin to allude to it in euphemism, like the jailbird uncle the family doesn’t talk about — just so we don’t offend the ultra-sensitive, politically correct nincompoops.

This has just gone too far, and some are seriously fighting back.

Voters in Mustang, Okla., rejected an $11 million school bond measure this month because the superintendent pulled a school nativity scene and deleted “Silent Night” from a “holiday” performance while leaving all references to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Merry Christmas to the voters in Mustang, Okla., for beating back our overblown politically correct obsession and standing up for truth in holidays.

And merry Christmas to you.

Use the “C” word freely. That’s the “holiday” we’re all talking about, anyway.

We shouldn’t shy away from it, and we shouldn’t let society shy away from it either.

9 thoughts on “Dare we say, ‘Merry Christmas?’”

  1. Another great article Tom.

    However, And you knew there would be one. I noticed anadvertisement in your newspaper [on Page 23], why doesn’t it say Merry Christmas from our home to yours?

    Instead it says Happy Holidays from our home to yours…

    And I see a few fimilar faces in that colage, almost like a Telescope gathering.

    Merry whatever you celebrate Tom, I hope you get everything you wished for, and a few things you didn’t.


  2. Hey Tom! You know that you and I see eye to eye on this one. I am an Atheist who celebrates Christmas. It is more of a tradition in my family — not a religious observation. We don’t celebrate Chanukhah either(my Mom is Jewish).

    We have had numerous discussions about seperation of church and state, school prayer, etc… I agree with you on this one. This is political correctness gone out of control.

    However, the arguments from both sides are stupid.

    Who cares if someone is offended? Why should one person, or a group of people, not be permitted to say Merry Christmas in fear of “offending” someone. If a person gets offended that easily– they have bigger problems.

    On the flip-side, I don’t like the majority argument either. Is it right to say Merry Christmas because the majority of Americans celebrate it? Or is it right to say Merry Christmas because IT IS CHRISTMAS?

    The Federated Group which owns Macys and Bloomingdales, along with Target banned Christmas for a reason. Why? They don’t fall under “state” rules regarding religion.( As you pointed out) They did it because they fear “offending” potential customers. It was a business decision, a stupid one in my opinion. So it makes no sense to blame secularists, Atheists, etc… I don’t think any of these groups were filing lawsuits or anything like that. Except for the yearly round of lawsuits aimed at nativity scenes on public property. Which are also stupid.

    “What is the true meaning of Christmas?” That is a different argument. Many of my Christian friends think that me celebrating Christmas is stupid. Likewise, some who know me, might expect me be to be at the front of the anti-Christmas movement. The whole issue actually baffles me. Are there really people who are offended by a sign or banner that says Merry Christmas? Who are these people? I know a lot of non-Christans. But, I don’t know a single one who would boycott a store or TV station because they wished everyone a Merry Christmas. Who would?

    Probably the same PC/multi-culturalism people who decide the Cal State Multi-Cultural/gender requirements. I think this movement peaked in 95-96 when I was at San Moscow.

    So, in conclusion, on Saturday, I (the Atheist) am going to call my family and friends(Christian, Jewish, Atheist and others) and wish them a Merry Christmas. Why? Because IT IS CHRISTMAS!

    Tom — Thanks for everything this year. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

    I Would wish you a Happy New Year — But that might be seen as implying that last year or the year before were not happy and could possibly offend one of those years. Not to mention that many of the late 90s would be upset.

    And don’t forget, Festivus for the Rest of Us.

  3. I’m with Donnie on this one. As an atheist who celebrates Christmas, not some nebulous generic holiday, I don’t get what the big deal is. Christmas is as much an American or western holiday as it is a particularly Christian one anymore. Just say “Merry Christmas” and throw in any other holidays too if you want to be particularly sensitive to the small number of people who live in America but don’t celebrate Christmas.

    P.S. Has anyone ever known anyone to *actually* celebrate Kwanzaa?

  4. No to sound stupid — but what is Kwanzaa. I know it is celebrated by blacks. Is it a religious thing? I guess I can look it up. But to people choose to celebrate Kwanzaa instead of Christmas.

    Do institutions (SD Public Library) get special funding becuase they are promoting “diversity?”

    Or do they only get presitge?

    Random thought — You know how the Chinese name their years? The Year of The Rat, Dog, etc…

    America should do that too.

    I say we make 2005 the year of the stripper.

  5. Donnie,

    You don’t sound stupid. Kwanzaa is a cultural celebration and not a religious holiday. It was created in 1966 as a sort of alternative to the commercialized Christmas holiday. Its recognizes a lot of old, African traditions that many modern-day American blacks look to.

    Official Web site: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org

  6. Not to be contrary (because I agree with the post), but I do understand why Target banned the bell ringers. They didn’t just ban bell ringers; they banned those guys in white suits and hats, as well as all other similar organizations. Last December, we had calls at work from bell ringers complaining that the white-suited guys were hogging their space in front of Target.

    I have a lot of respect for the Salvation Army (and was impressed with what I saw at the local one on Thanksgiving Day this year), but these people were just insane. They wanted us reporters to “expose” the others as evil-doers — as a way of helping them get banned from Target. I’m sorry, but that’s not what I think of when someone mentions “Christmas spirit.”

  7. Hey Tom…

    Remember me? I live in Russia now, and well…here, Christmas was replaced by the government with New Years…the traditional Christmas is Jan 7, but for most people that is an extra holiday to get drunk. Years ago, the privilege of Christmas was taken away…and along with it, many of the traditions, not only religiously, but also in regards to family celebrations…and it breaks my heart. Regardless of whether one believes in Christ or not…the fact that it is a reverent holiday (like Easter) makes it an important holiday. There are so many ways to celebrate it, but at its core it is religious…that’s why it was replaced here in Russia. Christmas is making a come back, in the churches here, and along with it, a return to the benefits of it being a religious holiday…ie love, family, hope, celebration. Although much of America, much of the Western world, allow it to be “happy holidays” the essence of what it is brings with it the “extras”…much of the world wants the extras, the benefits, without the essence(Christ’s birth). This was tried here in Russia…such things as hope, love, faith, family are talked of…but in a shallow sense. the only way for it to have any depth is for it to have a foundation. Im not sure I got my point across, but I guess what I am trying to say is, that Christmas is special, because it celebrates Christ. The Christmas spirit is the benefit of it being founded on something real. And everyone, atheists, agnostics, Christians, etc…gets to experience that magic.

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