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Not everyone's "holiday"

December 20, 2013 - Jodelle Greiner
I don’t like the politically correct trend that demands you must say “Happy Holidays” or it’s akin to you committing a crime.

I ran across a 2005 commentary by Ben Stein, who appears frequently on CBS Sunday Morning, one of my favorite shows. Stein, who is Jewish, said in the commentary he doesn’t mind people telling him “Merry Christmas” or talking about Christmas trees.

“It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year,” he wrote.

Hallelujah for people like Ben Stein!

When I say “Merry Christmas” and someone answers “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Kwanzaa,” that’s great. It most certainly does not offend me. I don’t mind seeing a menorah wherever someone wants to put one.

I have a vague knowledge that Hanukkah celebrates a military victory by the Maccabees, and I know even less about Kwanzaa. I wish I knew more people who observed these celebrations that we share a season with, because I’d like to know more about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and their significance to the people who celebrate them. If we all say “Happy Holidays” it doesn’t open up any lines of communication, and communication is the way we learn about other cultures and get a better understanding of other people.

I think people are confusing being offended with not approving or not believing. The definition of offended is “To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings.” You can listen to someone say a phrase or tell a story about their beliefs without being “offended,” and if you can’t, there’s something wrong with you.

When I say “Merry Christmas,” I’m not trying to convert anyone and I don’t intend to convert to anyone else’s religion or tradition, but I would like to understand it.

And isn’t understanding and tolerance the ultimate goal?


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