Thursday, December 21, 2006

Call It What It Is

The picture on the right is The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, in all its beauty.

It is a Christmas tree.

It is not a holiday tree.

In the immortal words of Dennis Miller, "I don't want to get off on a rant here, but..."

Oh, what the heck. As the years have progressed, it seems like every Christmas season is getting more and more controversial. It seems as if the word "Christmas" is being more and more of a word we are not supposed to say this time of year. I've heard this nonsense about some individuals who want to call the Christmas tree "a holiday tree," to make it more "inclusive."

I don't get that at all. I am proud to call myself a Christian, and have always enjoyed this time of year the most. I love the festivities, the lights, the feeling of goodwill. But it seems like in the minds of the politically correct, we're supposed to make Christmas more "inclusive." It is a Christian holiday, and if non-Christians want to share in the joy of Christmas, that is perfectly fine.

But what leaves me shaking my head the most is when I hear someone complaining about Christmas or Hanukkah displays, even going as far as saying they are "offended" by it. Frankly, those people are bigots. I remember about 15 years ago, a Muslim complained about the Christmas and Hanukkah displays at Grand Central Station, and the authorities there simply caved into this person and removed most of those displays. You may have heard about the rabbi in Seattle who asked the airport there to add a menorah to the Christmas displays earlier this month, only to have them panic and pull all the trees and decorations from the airport. He just wanted the menorah added, and nothing more. The rabbi was worried he'd be made out to be some type a grinch and wanted the Christmas trees put back (and the trees were after the story went national and the airport authorities realized they made a mistake).

I don't agree with media pundits like Bill O'Reilly that there's some organized "war on Christmas." Most of the incidents of PC I hear and read about are isolated, and not part of some big "conspiracy." I have no problem with people who say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." After all, there are three major holidays this time of year (Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's), and the term takes all three into account. ( And I remember people saying "Season's Greetings" back to when I was a kid.) When I worked at Tower Records, we were never told not to say "Merry Christmas," but just to be a little more polite and helpful this time of year. And of course, you never knew when the person you were helping was Christian, Jewish, or whatever, so I always took the safe route and said, "Happy Holidays." Nothing wrong at all with that.

It's the political correctness that bothers me. There's a very large and significant part of the population that celebrates Christmas and Hanukkah, and I have no time for anyone who finds those displays "offensive." They are a very small part of the population and should really just lighten up. If you want to know what the true meaning of Christmas is, watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas" when Linus gets on stage and explains what it really means. It's a beautiful scene and always gives me chills when I watch it.

For many people like myself, it's the best time of the year. So come on people, just enjoy this time of year, no matter which faith you belong to (and even if you don't have one). Cut the PC and just have fun. Stop worrying about everyone else's "feelings." Life is too short to get caught up in such nonsense every December.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year, everyone!

Oops, I forgot to mention that there's a fourth holiday this time of year and it's about to occur later this week.......Happy Festivus, too!! (More about that in an upcoming post.)


Anonymous said...

And then there's the other side of the spectrum, like my grandmother who has shunned Wal-Mart because they won't say "Merry Christmas."

They're all nuts!

KAYLEE said...

I could not agree more.

Peter N said...

Festivus was "born" on the island of St. Croix, USVI, which stands for United States Virgin Islands.

It was 1988, and my parents had a wonderful house on top of a large hill on the eastern tip of St. Croix. Ann Meara and Jerry Stiller happened to be their guests for an evening on a late December was 67 degrees, dry and breezy. I remember it like it was yesterday. I know...I was there. And after dinner at a place called FRANK'S RESTAURANT, great for steaks jetted in from the "mainland," the topic of conversation turned to the lack of the "feel' of the upcoming Christmas. It was missing with the tropical trade-winded weather beauty. Warmth amidst tropical beauty. And then...then.... Jerry, or Uncle Jerry as we used to call him, brought up an "alternate" holiday. And four years before Seinfeld was a part of our water cooler conversations, FESTIVUS WAS BORN!

Or maybe, just maybe, that was a dream.....happy and healthy holidays to everyone. I truly love my blog friends and readers. And NO, St. Croix is NOT a parents, and my brother and I lived there until Hurricane Hugo, in all its 1989 ugliness, blew our house away. Thank goodness my parents were in Connecticut when it happened.
So.....happy Festivus! Now you know the origin, at least in my sometimes too fertile imagination. Love you all!

Peter N said...

P.S. A great trivia question!!

The Omnipotent Q said...

You're a pip, Peter!!

And a very Happy Festivus to you too!!

Anonymous said...

Very eloquently stated, Q. I agree, of course.