Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ritual Holiday Rantings

So, it's that time of year again. Yup, now that we've all stuffed ourselves silly on turkey, stuffing and pie, it's onto the next batch of holidays.  The Winter Holidays.  There's lots of them, but typically (and pretty much exclusively here) it is advertised as Christmas.  And it habitually causes me no end of trouble.

There are several arguments that tend to appear. One is about "taking the Christ out of Christmas", and I think it has several variations. In order not to have to decorate for ALL the winter holidays, lots of places justify putting up a tree because "it isn't Christian, really. it's Pagan". Then there is the annoyance from some at being wished "Happy Holidays" instead of a "Merry Christmas".  Both arguments, in my opinion, are trite and, well, pathetic.  A big ol' fir tree, covered in tinsel and shiny lights is a time-honored symbol of, yep, you guessed it, Christmas.  Was it borrowed and adapted from other, older traditions. Of course it was! But it has been incorporated into the celebration of a Christian holiday.  If people choose to put up a tree who aren't Christian, great. They're pretty. It does not mean everyone else accepts it as a symbol of their own holidays.  As for "Happy Holidays", if you're insulted by that, get over yourselves. I can't tell by LOOKING at most people what their faith is, so how am I supposed to know what you celebrate? It isn't meant as an insult, but as a nice way to be generic about the season. Smile, say "thank you".