Sunday, December 17, 2006

Merry Happy Christmas Chanukah Winter Solstice Kwanzaa

I love Christmas. I love the weather (when it cooperates), I love the smell (that mix of burning wood and pine), and I love giving people gifts. Okay, I love getting gifts as well. But there is one aspect of Christmas that I can't get past.

I am agnostic. I don't believe in God or Jesus or Muhammad or Satan or a Mother Earth spirit Goddess. I also don't discount the fact that any or all of these entities could, in fact, exist. Agnostics have the firm belief (and yes, it is firm - no flip-flopping) that we don't know shit about our universe and its creation. We proudly admit that we have no idea.

Therefore, Christmas for me is an excuse for my wonderful family to get together. It's an excuse to go way overboard with presents. It's an excuse for my mom to bake (another thing I love about Christmas). J and I don't decorate. I'm not sure we ever will. Most likely not, since he doesn't much like Christmas. Which would mean I would have to do everything.

So I am the best target for the Wal-Mart greeters (bravely fighting the war on Christmas, despite the many casualties) who loudly wish me a Merry Christmas if they so choose. But I would like to ask them to stop. No more Merry Christmas for me, please.

I have been examining my feelings about this phrase for a couple of years now. After the whole "War on Christmas" last year, it has become taboo to dislike this phrase (at least in my circle). You are seen as a spoil sport or overly sensitive. But I am fighting for my right to a month and a half without this phrase in my ear.

Yes, part of it is because there are many people in this country who do not celebrate Christmas. Of course, I don't think they get offended by the well-wishing. I don't think it really matters to them. But it's just another sign of the arrogance of America's majority.

More than that, though. I don't think Christmas should take over the second half of November and the full month of December. I don't want to be wished "Merry Christmas" on December 11. It makes me feel manipulated. The only reason that sales clerk is wishing me merriness is so that she will sell more clothes. The phrase is simply another marketing tool.

The phrase is so easily changed so that it is all-inclusive. There are a lot of holidays in the winter, so a simple "Happy Holidays" would be perfect. Plus, it offends Bill O'Reilly deeply, so there's another plus.
So there's my humbug for the holidays. I don't make a stink about it and wipe the fake smile off the clerk's face when she MCs me, but I get a hard feeling in the bottom of my stomach. I'll take the punch in the spirit of Christmas.


Adam said...

Happy Easter, Amanda.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I actually am a non-practicing christian, and I can't stand the bs associated with the holidays... I don't care what anyone says, Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays is a perfect phrase to include all people for a time of celebration. And the whole marketing thing- using this time of reverence to make money is complete crap! All the conservative republicans say that liberals have forgotten the meaning of "christmas". but I believe it is they who cast the first stone in this world of capitalism! Amy