Recently, there was a rambling of a speech in which our president said that Christians would finally be able to say, “Merry Christmas” again.
Oh, the applause! You would think he had just freed religious slaves.
So, Christians weren’t allowed to say, “Merry Christmas?” Almost every time I step into a place of business in the month of December, I’m greeted or parted with a religious holiday phrase. It’s always been like this.
Maybe Trump was talking about the times others would rather not be told, “Merry Christmas.” I personally don’t care for it. I don’t celebrate it. I don’t believe in either of the reasons we have the season: both Jesus and gifts. I’m not religious or ritualistic. I either ignore them, tell them to have a nice day, or I tell them I don’t celebrate.
I’m not given to consumerism either. Why should I buy something for someone at one time of the year and not in the other months? Why should I feel guilty if I don’t? What about doubling up on one’s birthday instead?
Regarding hearing “Merry Christmas” as I exit a business is unnecessary, but it doesn’t hurt anyone. Well, maybe to the person’s feelings, due to my not responding. But it’s the same with the more inclusive “Happy Holidays.” I don’t celebrate anything during this time of the year, so even this phrase is meaningless to me, and I occasionally with respond with a “You too,” but it’s usually ignored.
Holiday (read: holy day) phrases don’t affect me, as I am not a religious person, like 20-40% of the population (depending on which census or poll).
I do feel it wise for businesses—if they’re expecting the general public to trade money for goods with them—to use the more inclusive “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” in order to make the Jewish, Buddhist, Pagan, Hindu, and Muslim citizens to not feel excluded.
But, we know, the Don is all about excluding people. Everyone has the First Amendment right to say what they want: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Saturnalia, or nothing at all.
The idea that one has to shove the most popular phrase into everyone’s face is rude, ignorant and not very inclusive. America has always been a melting pot. It’s our diversity that makes us what we are.
And if the president doesn’t realize or support this, then I feel really sad for him.