Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Foxfyre, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I confess I grump a bit when I receive a "Happy Holidays" card. When Target and Wal-Mart dropped "Christmas" from their promotional materials last year, I'll admit feeling insulted. For me, the season is Christmas and "Merry Christmas" is the way it should be, and, being one not too gung go on PC stuff, I stubbornly use that phrase in my greetings this time of year. And that beautiful old creche on the courthouse lawn is just fine.

    At the same time, if I know my neighbor or friend or associate is Jewish, I wish him/her Happy Hannukah or whatever. I try not to be a total jerk.

    So how is it for you? Big deal? Of no import? Should Christmas be politically correct? Or should Christians be accommodated in a season founded on a figure that they worship?

    And while you are pondering that: MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    Don't care... sentiment is what is important. Merry Christmas!
     
  3. DiogenesDog
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    DiogenesDog Zen Bonobo

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    What Makes A "Good" Christmas?

    Ben Stein Says It's Not What is Under Your Tree But What's In Your Heart

    Some of the best Christmases I have had have been in places where people know very little about Western Christmas. I have experienced the time without the hustle and bustle of getting everything just right in a commercial way. I have had very good "Season of Joy" without being reminded from every media source that the reason of the Holiday is spending.

    We tend to forget that there is a Spirit that we celebrate. That Spirit is best expressed in people around the world in the ways of their native culture. In the US, our celebratory theme is a direct lift from Pagan practices of Roman and Teutonic antiquity. Now, some may consider that a slap in the face of conventionality, but to me it serves to remind us that humans have been seeking and celebrating the coming of the Infinite for a long time.

    I read a particularly biased blast at Kwanza this past week. I had to respond in a pointed comment that the Entity which is the object of the season was first honored and celebrated in Asia and Africa before it was relayed to Anglos and Teutons. The most ancient traditions relate that the first visitors to the events were Wisemen, Kings of Knowledge from the East and that one of their number was a black African.

    I also viewed a presentation called Nativity: The Art and Spirit of the Crèche. That theme is reproducible across a wide swath of cultural expression. It can be very anatomically correct or it can be very impressionistic. It is an expression of diversity and simplicity in a world of seeming empire and rigid dominion for-your-own-good. It is the very antithesis of the dominion of the Temple, of the City of Rome, and the terror of the conventional thought.

    The season as expressed by the Crèche is the lesson. It is not parochial or sectarian. It is ancient and universal. It is a lesson of acceptance and perseverance in the face of seeming dominion (enrolling in the census) , persecution (killing of newborns) and lack (being born in a place where animals are quartered).

    I have been accused of being too grumpy and not a good participant in the season. I find that my joy is within and needs no promiscuous displays of convention to fuel that joy.

    Go! Be joyful!

    I AM

    Lantern Bearer
     
  4. Abelian Sea
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    Abelian Sea o_O

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    Merry Christmas!

    That's my impulse. It seems that just about everybody, for just about forever, has celebrated at this time of year. In my neck of the woods, we call it "Christmas."

    For me, it's never really been a Christian issue. It's not like Jesus was born in the wintertime, and c'mon: Santa with his magic reindeer and Elven cohorts, Christmas trees, the general decedance? It ranks up there with Easter and Holloween for blatantly being an "old school" seasonal holiday with roots far deeper than any particular mythos. (I guess Summer doesn't really need its own major holiday; it's nice enough out that you can just have numerous sponteneous local parties).

    Not that I mean any disrespect. Christmastime is about huddling in with what's really important, like family, and for most people that includes a religion, and pretty much every religion has had the good sense to establish some sort of mid-winter tradition. So, if I know someone is getting into something specific, I'll wish them a happy whatever-it-is, but by default I say Christmas. It beats "merry universal-human-impluse-to-celebrate-in-the-heart-of-winter!" And "happy holidays" is a little too general; I'm not wishing them a happy Labor Day, or Forth of July, or any other holiday; I specifically mean that holiday that more or less coincides with the winter solstice.

    But all that's beside the point.

    The point is that it's cold and dark and the world is weird and wild, so gather to ye your family, bask in the warmth of human affection, and let peace, cheer, and good will reign! It's Christmastime!

    *party*
     
  5. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Well said guys.
     
  6. Shogun
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    Shogun Free: Mudholes Stomped

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    To be honest, I find it hilarious that the product of market forces (happy holidays) irks the very same people who are otherwise preaching about the free market and it's gracious invisible hand.

    I think that liberals and anyone else that gets the scapegoat treatment for this little seasonal fandango should organize an effort to call Bill Oreilly and wish him a Merry Christmas en mass.

    Im thinking that if THIS is the biggest problem you have this holiday season then count your blessings.
     
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  7. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Well said.
     
  8. Gem
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    Gem BANNED

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    Shogun said it brilliantly:
    Here, here! :clap2:
     
  9. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Nobody said it was a huge problem. It is just interesting in the fabric of our culture and a coercive political correctness that too often tries to order our speech and behavior these days. Sometimes when we understand that a more realistic perspective is necessary in the small things, we don't wind up with such things becoming greatly exaggerated and a big deal.

    There would be no Christmas if Christians did not worship the Christ and chose to celebrate the nativity with a specific feast day or festival. Yes, other religions also celebrate in the period around the Winter Solstice, but Christmas takes nothing away from those, nor does it have anything to do with those.

    Christians should not be offended by those who do not wish to say Merry Christmas. But the season we are celebrating is Christmas just the same, and nobody should be offended by being wished a Merry Christmas or the equivalent in any language elsewhere, and I would like to see Christans not be made to feel self conscious when they say it.
     
  10. Shogun
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    Again, Happy Holidays is NOT the product of being politically correct. It's the product of the same MARKET FORCES that capitalists like to claim will regulate our economy. No one, not a single soul, FORCES companies to say Holidays instead of christmas.

    Indeed, the reason YOU may be celebrating may be christmas and I hope you have a good one.. But, if christians feel self conscious about saying marry christmas then perhaps they need to stop insisting on the exclusive right to broadcast their observations every winter. Besides, since dec. 25 is pretty much a surrogate date anyway....
     

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