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Merry Christmas, et al.

A while back, I had a Jewish boss. Around this time of year, he told me he didn’t understand how people could possibly be offended by “merry Christmas.” It’s just wishing someone well, after all.

So, he sent me Hanukkah cards, and I sent him Christmas cards, and all was right with the world. Makes sense, huh?

James Taranto, of the Wall Street Journal Online, has an interesting theory:

Have you noticed that hardly anyone says “Merry Christmas” anymore? At an institutional level, this has been going on for years, with schools declaring “winter” vacations and companies throwing “holiday” parties. But of late we’ve noticed an interpersonal change: People are much more timid in offering seasonal greetings, as if they’re walking on eggshells for fear of giving offense.

Why? We blame John Gibson. Three years ago, he published a book called “The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.”

Gibson is certainly right that the ACLU types who go around suing over Nativity scenes and the like are pests and knuckleheads. But those who declare themselves pro-Christmas belligerents in this “war” have done more than anyone to promote the notion that significant numbers of people are offended by “Merry Christmas” and that expressing that anodyne sentiment is an act of aggression.

Most people, when greeting acquaintances or strangers, don’t want to start a culture war, and now they’re taking extra care not to offend. That is why Christmas lost the war on Christmas.

Personally, I prefer Krusty’s way: So, have a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a kwaazy Kwanza, a tip-top Tet, and a solemn, dignified, Ramadan. And now a word from MY god, our sponsors!

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Unrelated, but Girl on Girl Action made me giggle today.

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