Back Talk: Greeting cause debate during holiday season

Seasonal greetings should include all holiday traditions

by Matt Molinar

The war on Christmas is not real.

When winter arrives, it seems that the anger toward political correctness from Republicans reaches its peak.

Since the time that former president,Gerald Ford was in office, anti-Semites have been alerting the public of the “assault on Christmas.” This was started when Jews began entering the United States. This meant that Jewish students began attending schools filled with Christians.

Because ignorance is a strong thing, these people either did not realize that Jews do not celebrate Christmas or they just did not care, and their ego led to hatred toward Jewish people when motions were passed to exclude mentions of Christmas in schools.

For those who may not have noticed, the United States has become home to an ever-growing diverse group of citizens who may not celebrate Christmas.

Today’s “war on Christmas” focuses on the words “Happy Holidays” being used in department stores instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Using “Merry Christmas” to wish everyone happy times during the holiday season is not inclusive of other cultures.

hauniWhen schools celebrate Christmas specifically, it is not inclusive of pupils from other cultures, which can cause a young student to feel segregated and insecure.  You wouldn’t walk up to a Jewish person and shout “Merry Christmas” knowing well that they celebrate Hanukkah. So we shouldn’t address diverse groups of people as if they all celebrate Christmas.

Many religious people will argue that saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” “takes Christ out of Christmas.” But to be quite honest, Christ has nothing to do with Christmas.

People aimlessly follow tradition and customs without really looking into their origins, because they seem to come naturally and it’s what they’ve always known to be true.

The Holy Bible explains in the book of Luke that Christ was born at a time when shepherds were “abiding in the field, watching over their flock by night.” In the book of the Song of Solomon, the scripture states that winter was a season in which shepherds could not stay out in the cold watching over their sheep in the fields at night.

The Catholic Encyclopedia confirms that Christ was born during the fall, and not in the winter.

Another thing people fail to realize is that Jesus was a Jewish person who celebrated Hanukkah.

According to the Associates for Biblical Research, Christ participated in the celebration of Hanukkah around the year AD 29 during the winter. The scripture gives the implication in the Book of John, chapter 20, and verse 22.

So why is there so much fuss about being inclusive? Wouldn’t you want to include the image of Christ in your festivities?

All of this doesn’t make you wrong for celebrating Christmas in remembrance of the birth of Christ. The main reason it is even celebrated on December 25 is because there really is no known exact date of birth. But you must be inclusive.

Celebrate Christmas, but don’t be stubborn about sharing this festive holiday season with those who don’t celebrate Christmas so that we may, indeed, experience happy holidays.

Appreciation of minority cultures not appropriation

by Tyler York

If your birthday is in June, it would be strange for people to acknowledge that cheerful day of  by wishing you a “happy summer.”

It would still be a pleasant interaction, sure. But the response to a specific life event feels like people care about you. It’s almost always a welcome communication between friends, family, and even sometimes people you barely know.

I don’t see why it can’t be the exact same way with Christmas.

When people wish each other a “Merry Christmas,” they’re taking a moment to connect with each other, and to have a positive interaction that brings both parties a brief instance of joy. Most of the time, this comes in the middle of a regular daily routine and provides a little break in the monotony that can make one’s day if positioned properly.

I’ve grown up celebrating Christmas. I have never celebrated Hanukkah in my life. But last year, when I was wished a “Happy Hanukkah” by someone in passing, it nearly made my day. The thought that someone would want to share their personal happiness about their time of cultural celebration absolutely thrilled me. I felt more connected to both my community and, at the risk of sounding cheesy, humanity as a whole.

There seems to be a trend toward oversensitivity in our country, or even an expectation of every social interaction needing to be underscored with a kind of “pre-offendedness.” This way, the moment anything happens that could remotely be perceived as majority-affiliated, all parties should immediately acknowledge it as offensive or exclusionary.

bellsPreemptively being offended at things doesn’t help move anything forward. And more importantly, being offended at hearing the word “Christmas” is not the same thing as being tolerant and respectful of minority cultures. Just because a large number of people celebrate Christmas in the United States, it doesn’t have to mean anything Christmas-adjacent is automatically offensive to everyone in the minority.

Futhermore, the act of giving well wishes of happiness in a time of celebration doesn’t invalidate the individual beliefs or practices of another culture. On the contrary—I think sharing messages of appreciation and social pleasantries does a great deal to unite cultures. In a country with so much diversity of practices and celebrations, and with a media that tends to focus on negative interactions and evidence of a divided nation, the more we can do to share our happiness with each other, the better.

I recognize that it’s a bit different with Christmas, specifically, and it could be argued that there’s a different dynamic of majority power in play. I would probably agree—if people were running around screaming that Christmas is the only thing that is allowed to be celebrated, or if there were violent riots where Christmas supremacists were killing innocent people in the name of the one true Santa. But that isn’t reality.

People just want to tell other people “Merry Christmas.” And that is hardly the end of the world

Leave a Reply

Powered by

%d bloggers like this: