Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Whatever...

     As is my habit of seeing merit in both sides of an argument and being committed to neither, in most things,  I don't really have a problem with the annual kerfuffle re: Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas.  I'm a Christian, although I suck at it.  But I don't have the right to say that the Birth of Jesus has precedence over a holiday celebrated by non-Christians.
     To me, it's not how you celebrate a holiday in public, but how you respect it in your heart and in your family.  I'm not a pagan, but I respect their right to celebrate the Winter Solstice.  I'm not Jewish, but if my Jewish friends asked me come to a Hanukkah observance, who am I to decline? I'm not British, but they have a right to celebrate Boxing Day. I'm black, but I don't observe Kwanzaa (although I probably should), and for those that do, more power to them.  Wikipedia, the source of all unassailable truth, mentions 27 different holidays, major and minor, that occur during December.
     And all of them are celebrated by someone in this world, or even in this country.  Who's to say that their holidays are or are not more important to them than Christmas is to me.  We in America love to throw God out there.  Which one?  There's a lot of them out there.  There are as many incarnations and representations of God as there are people who believe in him, her, it, whatever.
     To me at least, and I'm not very smart, but it's all about mutual respect of each other's beliefs and traditions.  We're too damn busy shoving our beliefs down the throats who differ from us, to truly understand and listen to what those beliefs really are telling us.
     I'm a live and let live kinda guy.  You do your thing, and respect my right to do mine, and I'll do the same for yinz.  So whether you wish me 'Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Pancha Ganapati, Happy Hanukkah' or any other holiday that happens around this time of year,  I wish you the same.  I don't offend easily.
     For me, Christmas is not something I celebrate by decorating the house and putting up a tree.  I live alone, and have no close surviving relatives, so why bother.  I celebrate it in my heart and in my mind. And I think we'd all be a little better off if we just practiced a little mutual tolerance.  Then again, what the hell do I know?