Sunday, December 11, 2005

Political Correctness is Still Boring

Why is there such a big debate in the US over “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays”? I can only speak for myself, but I am not offended when I receive a card that says “Merry Christmas.” In fact, I find “Happy Holidays” rather ignorant because the intention seems to be to put Chanukah, or now maybe even Kwanzaa, on an equal footing with Christmas. I don’t know much about Kwanzaa, but Chanukah is a minor holiday for Jews and there is no need to raise it to the level of Christmas.

In Europe, Christmas decorations are Christmas decorations and Christmas markets are Christmas markets. I don’t celebrate the birth of Jesus, but I do sort of celebrate the winter solstice because when the sun goes down at 3.30, it is reassuring to know that the days are starting to get longer. I like to walk around the Christmas markets in Prague and sometimes I go to Christmas markets in Germany or Austria. The atmosphere is good, the trees and lights and decorations are beautiful, and I am a big fan of mulled wine in a plastic cup and roasted chestnuts in a paper sack.

I go to someone’s house for Christmas dinner every year. I have had non-Jewish friends join me for Passover, and I see no reason why we can’t share each other’s holidays without trying to dilute them.

Perhaps my views are the way they are because I live in the Czech Republic where Christmas is almost exclusively secular and it’s hard to be offended by a holiday where no one is thinking about God and the main points are to go to lots of parties, have 3 days off work, be with family or friends, eat well, give and receive gifts and get drunk.

I like Christmas. Merry Christmas, everyone.

6 comments:

Audie said...

"Perhaps my views are the way they are because I live in the Czech Republic where Christmas is almost exclusively secular and it’s hard to be offended by a holiday where no one is thinking about God and the main points are to go to lots of parties, have 3 days off work, be with family or friends, eat well, give and receive gifts and get drunk."

Yeah, my guess is that you don't have many Pat Robertsons or Jerry Falwells or "Focus on the Family" armies there, who take every opportunity to shove their religion and inane metaphysical and cosmological views and tight-assed hypocritical "moral" dictates down everyone else's throats, so, where those do exist (the America), it becomes a little more of a priority to kick the leg out from under the corner of their soapboxes. Just for fun, you know. 'Cuz no Christmas lights quite reach the shades of purple and red that can be found on these clowns' faces when you take the Jesuses and the Merry Christmases down and put up Santa Claus and "Happy Holidays." For the opposing side, it's mostly just a hobby, I believe -- though the hungry press likes to play it up, as they do most things.

Max said...

Audie, you are of course right, we don't have any of those sorts of people over here - at least none that are taken seriously.

In the Czech tradition, by the way, it is actually Baby Jesus (Ježíšek) that delivers the gifts. What would Robertson and Falwell, etc make of that?

Anonymous said...

At my work, we had to call the Christmas lunch the 'end of year lunch' since even the 'Holiday Lunch' name wasn't approved. It's hard enough we we bought by an Israeli company, but we also have a Jehovah's witness on the team, so when the admin though we might also sing Happy Birthday to my boss who's b-day is Boxing Day, she declined to come. Craziness.....I like the Brits who like any excuse to party and don't let the name of the party get in the way!

Tits Malone said...

I know I am a little late to this party but I just can't help myself....

Considering Christmas is more than likely based on a pagan celebration of light and rebirth of the sun and December 25th was established by the Roman Emperor Aurelian - the whole situation seems crazy.

Perhaps if those offended take a trip up north where I am currently looking out my window at a blizzard and -25 c they would understand that having pretty lights and getting drunk and giving presents to those you love is better than running around in the snow being miserable and falling into a deep depression because spring is six or seven months away..

Although, I would love to know what the hell is in eggnog and why despite thinking it is seriously gross - end up drinking the thick goop every year...

Max said...

Eggs, sugar, whisky, brandy, milk, cream, nutmeg.

TM, I dare you to make your own...
http://256.com/gray/recipes/eggnog/

Tits Malone said...

You are on MM.!!!!!!!!!!!!..not only will I make some - I will send you the photos of me drinking it and forcing feeding it to my sweet sister!!

What a great photo challenge!

Now I have a new project that doesn't involve knitting...hahaha