Friday, November 25, 2005

Be Merry, Be Happy

(I don't go much into religion or politics, but, hea--it's the season for both in a way. So I just thought I'd throw my two cents worth in here.)

I've always believed that as a Christian I should walk softly and carry a big heart. Even at Christmas. Especially at Christmas.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a growing chorus of right wing moralists who under the banner "Christmas Friend or Foe" promise to bully those who seek to make the holiday season more inclusive of everyone regardless of faith.

On a right wing talk show, I heard the host ask that Christians not patronize shopping conglomerates who have instructed their employees to say "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas." Wal-Mart and Target have been singled out so.

I can see it both ways. "Merry Christmas" certainly shouldn't be offensive to anyone. Follow That Star and The Sound of Muzik (Christmas Rant) both make convincing arguments for this in their own blogs. And everyone knows that Christmas brings out the PC crazies who want to take Christ out of Christmas, whether it's at school concerts, public parks, or the workplace.

But I guess if I were to boycott Wal-Mart, I'd rather boycott them for not offering a living wage and health care benefits to their workers. If I were to boycott Target, I'd rather not shop there because they've banished the Salvation Army kettles from their doorsteps.

Christmas has been overcommercialized for some time. I'm not going to miss hearing "Merry Christmas" from an overworked, underpaid clerk from among the growing ranks of service workers in this country.

It would make me feel better knowing this store employee truly does share the blessings of this great country. And that his or her holiday is truly happy, whatever faith he or she may or may not choose to practice.


Blogger Deb said...

I too, am a Christian. There is a serious problem when we try to remove Christ from "Christmas."

1:26 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I can do "Merry Christmas" with or without Christ. It's all in the ear of the listener anyway.

2:43 PM  
Blogger schnoodlepooh said...

I'm totally with you on that sentiment. It seems that there is very little of "christ" in christmas anyone, so who cares what we call it? Let's just call it "joe" or let's call it christmas. Big deal. Let's just all be happy and get along together.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Great to see the theme is being expanded Dave, I will blog along these lines when I get my lazy ass into gear.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Müzikdüde said...

Thanks for the push, Dave. I have to say I agree with your stance...but you already knew that.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Well said, Dave. Those who would dictate where I go and what I do for the sake of religion are too far right for me. I'm a big boy; I can make decisions based on faith with the brain that He gave me.

As for the living wage and decent benefits, I'm all for that. And how about Wal-Mart procuring goods from someplace other than China?

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Monique said...

FTS and Muzikdude both had good things to say. I linked to them myself a few days ago. I don't feel as strongly as some on the issue, but it does bother me to see the religion being taken out of Christmas. Not enough that I'll stop patronizing stores over it though. I have to say that your perspective is among the best I've seen.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Tracey said...

You know what bothers me is that people seem to think they can censor what other people think/feel/hear in daily life. Wasn't that one of the reasons the pilgrims left England and took a chance on forming new homes here? To get rid of that?

The holiday season hasn't been enjoyable for me for a long time because of all the commercialization and the pressure to spend, spend, spend. Whatever happened to family time? Good will towards others, etc?

5:38 AM  
Blogger poopie said...

You said it Dave. Rock on.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

Whether there is religion in Christmas is up to each individual and each family. I personally do not want Jerry Falwell and his followers dictating my choices.

My family's holiday is a beautiful blend of Jewish and Christian traditions. I consider us very lucky.

I completely agree with you about Wal-Mart and Target. I do boycott Target because of the banished bell-ringers and I would Wal-Mart, but the truth is hypocrite that I am, I enjoy their prices.

I found your site over at Holties House and just wanted to drop by to say Hi.

8:40 AM  
Blogger WordWhiz said...

The pastor spoke on this topic at church today. He pointed out that retail establishments such as the ones you mentioned, who are instructing employees NOT to mention Christmas, are exactly the establishments that DEPEND on Christmas to supply the spike in buying that can make-or-break their profits for the year. How can they justify making it against policy to even mention the very event they take advantage of to line their pockets??

9:09 AM  
Anonymous vicki said...

WHAT???? You and I live in the same neck of the woods, Dave- are you telling me the Salvation Army will not be in front of Target? For real? I'm horrified!! No more Target Christmas wrapping paper in weird lime green under this tree...

2:31 PM  
Blogger Gypsybobocowgirl said...

I agree with your reasons for wanting to boycott Walmart and Target.
I don't have a problem with Merry Christmas. I have a very good Jewish friend who wishes me a Merry Christmas about the same time that I wish him a Happy Hanakuah (of course I didn't spell that right). We worked together for years, and it worked out beautifully--we almost doubled our holidays, because when he celebrated Yom Kippur, so did I. When I celebrated Easter, so did he...although Passover/Good Friday was a common holiday. So, really what does it matter what the words are, it is what is in the heart.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:11 AM  

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