Sunday, December 18, 2005

Putting the "Bah" back in "Humbug"

Long before "putting the Christ back in Christmas" became all the rage this year, another turn of phrase became popular -- "What Would Jesus Do?" Let's ask that now. Would Jesus tell us to boycott businesses that say "Happy Holidays" and instead spend all our money on consumer goods at "Christian" businesses while we celebrate a holiday that began with pagans but became his birthday celebration? Would Jesus like the fact that some of his followers are so incensed about being wished a happy holiday that they feel victimized, when there are plenty of other issues to spend their energy on like say, poverty and world hunger? Would Jesus listen to that song, "Christmas Shoes?" I'm your basic heathen so I am not in any position to answer these questions. But after wishing people a happy holiday after signing copies of my book for them in Sarasota, one lady hanging about was bothered enough to whisper about it to somebody else who remarked loudly enough for me to hear, "That's why I always say 'Merry Christmas' just as often as I can!" Sorry to have stepped on your Christian toes, ladies, but I stand by my decision to use a nice, inclusive greeting for people whose religious beliefs I can't possibly tell by looking at them. And you know what? I don't think Jesus would have minded.


tampabookbuzz said...

Great post!

I am a Christian and it doesn't bother me to hear "Happy Holidays." What does bother me is religious/Christian people getting so upset over it. C'mon!

I say "Happy Holidays" most of the time, because I could be speaking with/writing to a member of any number of faiths, or someone without "faith" at all.

I told my sister-in-law, who is an atheist, that someone can tell me "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hannukah," or "kiss my butt" and it doesn't change who I am or what I believe.

You're right...I wonder how many anti-happy holiday people realize the pagan origins of December 25. How many write "Xmas"? How many read Bible stories and attend church on Christmas instead of just opening gifts all day? How many identify themselves as Christians the rest of the year?

Happy Holidays, Wendy!

Wendy Boucher said...

Thanks, Lisa!

Joel said...

What Lisa said.

It's funny too that as much as O'Reilly and others fighting this non-existent war toss the term "Judeo-Christian" around, only saying Merry Christmas means you're ignoring Hanukkah as much as anything else.

BJK said...

Hallelujah, Wendy (ha!). I really am very glad you said this.
Did you happen to catch Ben Stein's rantette on the Sunday Morning show yesterday? He's Jewish and it sure doesn't bother him when people call them "Christmas Trees" or say "Merry Christmas!"
Well, *I* can certainly sleep better knowing Ben Stein remains unoffended.

This whole "arguement" is just the most surreal I've seen in a long time. When I say "Happy Holidays," what I mean is that the person I'm speaking to should have a holiday season... to INCLUDE Christmas... that is filled with, well, happiness. It's not like I'm saying "Jesus smells like farts!" or someting. Man.

Anyway, Wendy, happy holidays!

Wendy Boucher said...

Right back at you!

Anonymous said...

I kinda like the way Chevy Chase handled in Christmas Vacation: "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Kiss my ass .. "

-- chase

Wendy Boucher said...