The controversy surrounding the words “Merry Christmas” doesn’t make any sense to me. I get that on a government level, it might not be the best term, and the most popular alternative to it is “Happy Holidays”. But there are a lot of times people bitch about Christmas being used when they really shouldn’t. And here’s the thing: I’m not a Christian. I don’t like Christianity. In fact I’m not really religious at all, and Happy Holidays isn’t something I can get behind as a way of being “understanding”. At least not on a personal level. It’s not because I’m a Christian trying to be understanding of other beliefs, to show respect for them, although that’s often the case…
It’s simply because it’s usually the most sensible term to use.
Exceptions to that abound though. When banners saying Merry Christmas and religious symbols are plastered all over a government building, I get why people would have a problem with that. I have a problem with that. But when someone, say a cashier at 7-11, wishes you a Merry Christmas and you get offended, I’m sorry, but you’re being a douche. You know what it means to them, you know it’s just a showing of kindness, of caring, so do yourself a favor and take it for what it is.
Something else extreme opponents of those words should consider too, imo, is that in a lot of contexts, it’s just the most accurate word. I call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree because it’s a goddamned Christmas tree, and calling it a Holiday tree is just kind of silly. Beyond that, I have a certain outlook on what Christmas is that might be worth adopting if you’re the type to get offended by religious folks using it. To me, the values are what define it.
That, and the non-religious mythology most small children believe in. It’s about Santa Claus and reindeer, it’s about hope and fantasy. It’s about what people call the “spirit of giving”. I’m not a charitable person either, personally, but I can respect a charitable attitude as the seasonal theme. It’s not so very different from Halloween. There are common themes throughout just about every winter holiday, and calling it the Christmas season does not necessarily promote Christianity over any other religion, nor does it exclude the others.
I mean think about it. Most of the stuff people get offended by because it’s too “Christian” are, by and large, elements that Christianity hi-jacked from Pagans. So for the most part, they’re getting offended over nothing. The season can mean, and be called, whatever you want, you’re free to pick its meaning for yourself. But by extension, don’t be a dick to people who want to be free to do the same, to celebrate and enjoy it in their own way. If you can’t abide that, then you’re going to end up being guilty of the same imposition of (your) beliefs that you claim they’re guilty of.
That’s my two cents anyways.