The holidays are here. As shoppers crowd the malls and shops scrambling for that last minute little something that they are certain is necessary to make this Christmas the perfect one, they give little thought to the fact that Christmas is under attack. As they stand in line either grumbling about the wait or dreaming about Christmas morning with their families, they will probably not even notice whether or not the sales clerk wishes them a Merry Christmas. They will take their bargains and scurry off to the next store, their heads all filled with giddy holiday cheer.
Those in the politically correct arena, however, are acutely aware of what people are wishing each other and this year it seems that they are making some headway in their war against everything. The battle against Christmas has been fought, and won, on many fronts. No longer can Christams pagents be staged at community schools. Nativity scenes and other religious symbols delineating the meaning of Christmas have been mothballed by city and civic leaders. Christmas parades have given way to holiday parades and Christmas break is now winter break. All of this so as not to offend those who do not celebrate Christmas.
Now, to me, when I don't know a person's religious affiliation or beliefs I generally send a card that says "Happy Holidays," or something of that nature. But, I also use Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays at whim when speaking with someone. It's not that I am trying to be rude or insensitive - it's just that I find it extremely difficult to break those old habits and remember just what it is that I am supposed to do in such situations.
Conversely, if someone wishes me a Happy Hanukkah, I am not the least bit insulted and generally return the sentiment. What's the big deal? I mean, the spirit of the message is still the same. In all honesty, I don't know a single person who is insulted when I say "Merry Christmas" to them regardless of their religion - NOT ONE. Nor do I know a single Christian who is offended by Hanukkah, Kawanza, or any other religious holiday. But someone out there is really pissed! Maybe they should just get over it.