The Great Culture War 2016 Finale (Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays)

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Ah yes, it’s that time of the year in the United States, when we’ve all hit the panic button about how to herald each other. We nervously bite our nails and think to ourselves, Is it ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy holidays!’ Oh no no no…I’d hate to be insensitive.

I know the cultural anxiety comes from a good place. It comes from a place of wanting to be inclusive, of wanting to spread goodwill and cheer. It’s a noble anxiety.

It’s ridiculous.

Now, I’m sure there are some who will roar and say, “Here here! It’s Merry CHRISTmas!” and I’ll happily tell them to sit down. I’m not on your side dammit, ya bunch of children. Then the social justice warriors cheer and say, “So you’re on our side!” No I’m not, ya bunch of lazy self congratulating bastards. I’m on the side of acting like a rational adult.

Look, from about Halloween through New Year’s Eve is considered the larger “holiday season,” since a significant number of holidays happen during this time. 

But you know what? If somebody wishes you a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, or a glorious Saturnalia you know what you do? Smile, and return the sentiment, because it’s all about the intention. If somebody is wishing you a happy/merry (insert holiday) you know what they’re really saying?

“Have a nice day.”

That’s it. “Have a nice day,” gets mutated into a more festive variation and I’m not going to let it ruin my day if somebody wishes me a happy/merry…whatever. You know why?

There are bigger things to worry about.

The rekindling of the Cold War, the ongoing Syrian Civil War, the existence of ISIS, world hunger, child abuse, human trafficking, global warming, just to name a few things that are more significant than someone wishing you a happy…WHATEVER. Especially if it’s being done by the employee of a private company, or a random person on the street. Leave it to us to construe a friendly message as a passive-aggressive dig.

I’ll keep this one short, because it’s late and tomorrow will be a hectic day filled with family gatherings and gift giving, but I’ll leave it at this: Anyone who thinks “Happy Holidays” is part of the “War on Christmas” needs to take a moment to recognize that maybe the hyper-commercialization of a religious holiday is what has stripped it of its religious significance. And lo and behold, if you’re screaming, “War on Christmas!” while you roll out of Walmart with a shopping cart full of plastic junk, it’s hard to take you seriously. Conversely, if you’re in the other camp that rants and raves about tolerance and sensitivity, maybe you need to calm the hell down if the flunky at a store wishes you a “Merry Christmas” even if you’re a neo-Zoroastrian Buddhist Agnostic.

Remember, it’s all about the intention. Chances are, all somebody is trying to do is be…GASP nice!

So try to relax and enjoy the two(ish) months of the year when everyone is trying to not be a dick to each other. Besides, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone, and thanks for reading.

I’ll start posting chapters from In the Land of God after tomorrow, and if you want to buy it in full, it’s available on Amazon as a paperback and eBook. 

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