December 20, 2007
This year, I'm going to talk about the whole Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas deal. Because it's getting tiresome, and old, and I think we need to get over the notion that we own the month of December, holiday-wise.
If I am a retailer (and I have been a retailer before, so I speak from experience), I'm going to try to make sure I address the holiday my shoppers are celebrating. Rather than have to interview them at he door to determine their personal preference, I'll probably go the "Happy Holidays" route and catch every holiday that's celebrated this time of year, especially if I'm in a multi-ethnic community. If I'm in an area where there are now Jewish or Muslim folks, then I'd probably go with "Merry Christmas."
As a customer, I'm not going to go off on the minimum-wage-slave that says "Happy Holidays" to me. I'm actually going to be glad they acknowledge my presence at all. And I'll wish them a "Merry Christmas" -- especially this week and next, since that is the holiday we're actually celebrating. Saying Merry Christmas the first week of December seems to be rushing the season a little bit -- even though by then all the Christmas decorations are going into their first markdowns.
I WILL, however, become annoyed at the people who want to take down religious-themed decorations in public places. It's a religious holiday -- if you don't like that, don't celebrate it. Yes, we borrowed heavily from pagans, but it was from converted pagans. They became Christians, and worshiped their new God and His Son in ways that made sense for them culturally. That's where so many Christian traditions come from.
Ironically, I think that's what's happening to Christmas today. Christians are converting to a secular religion, and taking their cultural celebrations with them. Three years ago I talked about celebrating a secular holiday in December, and a Christian one in January. Maybe it's time for Christians to stop celebrating like we're pagans, and remember the real reason we celebrate this time of year. Maybe then everyone will celebrate Christmas for what it really means. If we're losing the war for Christmas, it's because too many Christians are fighting for the other side.
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