December 04, 2013

Wondering if it is Worth the Fuss

Each table was decorated with excruciating details of every imaginable Christmas theme from whimsical to elegant and dramatic to simple. Over one hundred women calmed the chatter as the speaker took the podium. Leaning in she began, "Merry Christmas! It's CHRISTMAS! I refuse to say Happy Holidays!" She laughed and continued with her talk. To this day I have no clue what she said after that. I just remember being disappointed.
I wasn't overly puzzled. I had been hearing this for a year or two by then from several corners of my life. There was even a campaign to point out which businesses were not allowing their employees to greet customers with the old greeting of "Merry Christmas". Instead, there was a decision to include everyone by using the (also old) salutation of "Happy Holidays!"
My email box was full from those offended who sent lists of  companies that were using "Happy Holidays" in their advertising. We were told that as Christians we should boycott the stores. I heard from others how they would correct the clerk behind the counter who dared utter the wrong phrase.
Seriously, I pictured a young woman, on a winter break Christmas vacation from college, trying to make some book money being corrected by angry protesters for uttering words "Happy Holidays". "It's MERRY CHRISTMAS!" they would say with incredulity. As the innocent, once cheery, clerk counts back change into angry outstretched hand, I wonder what it really says to her. Does anyone think about what that does to the rest of her day?
To be sure, I do wonder why businesses see the need to protect customers from hearing "Merry Christmas". Sometimes I'm sure it's just an innocent choice and yes, political correctness can go to far. Do we really need to over correct? After all, it IS the holiday season. We are celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year as well as Hanukkah. Why not just expedite things and bless all of the holidays?
I believe you should shout the greeting you prefer. (I like "Happy Christmas". It sounds British and even a bit fancy if you have the accent.)
There is another beef some have spent their time on.  It's on using X in Xmas in place of (not opposed to) Christmas. R.C. Sproul does a better job than I do on educating others on the topic here.
So I wonder (out loud apparently), what's all the fuss? Why do we get offended? What am I missing? Can anyone really take the meaning of our own celebrations away? Is it okay to have preferences and refuse to get offended at every turn?
There are truly offensive stories we should be grabbing on to all year round. Causes that really need our attention and needs that could benefit by the raising or our voices lay silent while we debate over words spoken in the checkout like or painted on the sign of a store.
Let's get really angry about human trafficking. I want to scream about child abuse. Can we spend our time battling poverty with the money we aren't going to spend at the stores that offend us? How about volunteering at a local warming center? There are people freezing on our streets who don't care how you greet them. (Ours will be open all week here in our little burg. There is a small staff and they would be thrilled to have an hour of time to help make sandwiches to send off with the clients in the morning.)
Maybe it's my age, lack of sleep or I need a nap (I get a little fussy in the afternoon) but I couldn't stay quiet about the noise. Two friends posted similar discussions today while I was pondering this. I know I'm not alone.


Here are some links to turn our anger into righteous indignation:

Rescue Pink's mission is to bring an end to female infanticide in India through rescue, prevention and awareness.

Communities of Hope A school in Bubunza

Love 146 Fights human trafficking in the bravest of ways. 

Help One Now is committed to caring for orphans & vulnerable children by empowering & resourcing high-capacity local leaders in order to transform communities & break the cycle of extreme poverty.

Real Hope India Still has opportunities to sponsor children for their tribal Christmas.

If you have any suggestions or thoughts, leave them in the comments. My intention is not to embarrass or alienate but to make us all take a breath and think about how we can do things different and love each other better. It wasn't sparked by one person but a series of events over the years.

As Always,



Hope



3 comments:

Jemelene said...

Yup.

Jemelene said...

Amen sista! And a jolly good holiday to you!

Jemelene said...

Indeed, I posted my own thoughts as well :-)
http://www.randommiser.blogspot.com/2013/11/happy-whatever.html
Can't we just smile and be nice?