That's what I'm supposed to say. I think. Except that it's bull. I know most people love this season - they approach it and turn into kids again. Except I guess most people weren't very good kids. The fighting in the stores is the least of it. The gluttony of the month is disgusting and the lack of personal self control is appalling. The manager of my company gym told us today that the average American gains 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Even the Canadians who celebrate Thanksgiving 2 months earlier don't gain that much!) Think - an average of 7 pounds. That means there are plenty of people out there gaining 10 or 20 or 30 to make up for those of us who aren't stuffing our faces. Then of course there's the inevitable intolerance.
You know what I'm talking about. It happens every year. It even happened this year at Easter. People stop being happy and start being angry. I think they forget that Christmas is a one-day holiday. They demand that stores and people they meet on the street celebrate Christmas all month long. If a cashier doesn't wish them a "Merry Christmas", they blow up. If a store sign says, "Happy Holidays", they write an angry letter. Forget that the owners may not celebrate Christmas. Forget that not all of their customers celebrate Christmas. Forget that they may not even be in a holiday-related store. They're not looking to celebrate Christmas early - they're looking to force everyone around them to pretend to celebrate.
Someone I know (who shall remain nameless) works for investor relations for a large company. That person showed me a letter send to the company from a very angry man about the use of the words, "Happy Holidays".
"I would like to provide feedback on the customer profile of the vast majority of your customers. I would like to repeat, ?The vast majority of your customers?. Everyone I know is offended by companies trying to take CHRISTMAS out of CHRISTMAS. I suspect that sales would flourish to retailers that aren?t afraid to call it what it is, CHRISTMAS. I also believe that retailers will find shrinking support for those who are attempting to secularize our culture. Since we celebrate CHRISTMAS on December 25th, I personally won?t buy gifts from companies attempt to disguise it as something other than Christmas. They are, in fact, Christmas ornaments, they are Christmas trees."
Uh, OK. It's interesting that the demographic that is the first to say we can't tell corporations it's not alright to pollute is also the first to tell them how to recognize their religion. But let's go over this one more time. Just because the majority of this company's shoppers celebrate Christmas, it doesn't mean they are obligated to tell everyone "Merry Christmas". If that were the case, would companies have to tell you in the evening, "Have a good dinner?" How about, "Hope you have a good bowel movement when you get home"? "I hope you have good sex with your spouse tonight?" Most people do those things when they are at home. Why isn't this guy pissed off that the store doesn't tell him that? Or is it just the religion part that gets his panties all bunched up in a wad? Then why isn't he threatening to boycott them if they don't tell him, "Enjoy church tomorrow" on Saturdays?
It's not just the lone wackos writing letters to corporate offices though. If that were the case, this would be a pretty stupid article I'm writing. It's mainstream right-wingers like Neal Boortz who keep propagating this bizarre idea. In this blurb, he basically echoes the nut in the letter above (Or could it be the other way around..... hmmmmm) when he says that 85% of Americans celebrate Christmas (I think it's more) so everyone has to say, "Merry Christmas". Somehow the citizens of America have turned "equal protection for all" into "if I have more votes, I win and you lose". Life has become a football game. But while Presidential elections have to have a winner and a loser (2004 had 2 losers), not everything else does. If you're ordering 4 pizzas for a bunch of friends and a 3/4 of them want pepperoni, you don't have to put pepperoni on all 4 pizzas just because you have a majority. That wouldn't even qualify as selfish, because it just doesn't make any sense and it wouldn't benefit you anyway. The best way I can characterize it is evil - you just want to see someone lose.
So if you're shopping, and some of the people don't say "Merry Christmas", don't be evil just because you have a majority. There are other people out there who don't need to "lose". If you really believe that everyone has to conform to your beliefs in order to make your world bearable, well, Happy freakin' holidays, jerk.