Easy enough to do. Ranting, that is. And I really want to, except that it’s also the last thing I want to do. I have to believe things will get better. Despair helps no one except those who seek to inflict it.
So, in the spirit of the season, I wish everyone reading this Happy Holidays, whichever you celebrate. And if you don’t have a holiday, celebrate anyway. We’re pulling for you, and each other.
The last thing I want to do in this joyous season is start an argument, but in order to proceed with what I want to do here, which is wish everyone Happy Holidays, I feel the need to point out that there’s a reason many people say “Happy Holidays” rather than simply “Merry Christmas.” There’s a lot going on this time of year. Let’s break it down a bit:
Chinese New Year
New Year’s Day (Western)
Bodhi Day (Buddhist)
Pancha Ganapati (Hindu)
Soyal (Zuni & Hopi)
Dōngzhì Festival (East Asia)
and yes, Christmas.
And that’s not everything by half. So here’s the thing, and it’s got nothing to do with either being “PC” or any imagined “War on Christmas.” To automatically say “Merry Christmas” to someone whose background and customs you may not know is an example of unexamined priviledge and cultural assumptions that are as likely as not unwarranted, not to mention just plain rude. Sure, I’ll say “Merry Christmas” to family and friends in person, but even then only when I know we’re on the same page, which is not always the case. To say it here, on this blog, when I know darn well that not everyone reading this shares either my background or beliefs is to use the season as a club, not a hug. Sometimes I am a jerk, but I try not to be, and that’s the beginning and end of it.
So Happy Holidays, everyone, because no matter what those holidays are, they should be happy, and that’s what I wish for you all.