Monday, 26 December 2011

War on Christmas? Seriously?

I've seen two types of postings on Facebook about the supposed "war on Christmas". The first is by those who feel "persecuted" and they go on about how they won't apologize for for having a CHRISTMAS tree and how they will never use the religiously neutral "happy holidays". Some continue on to add that this is because there is too much "multiculturalism" and that Christmas just isn't the same because of "all those immigrants".

Then I see those who feel as though they are being blamed for the " war on Christmas". These posters correctly point out that the only people who aren't immigrants or descendants of immigrants in North America are Indigenous  peoples, who did not celebrate Christmas. Blaming immigrants for the " war on Christmas" is racist and reinforces the colonialism that victimized an entire population of indigenous peoples.  

But that is not the main purpose of this post. Many others have already pointed out the problems with the finger pointing as to who is responsible for this supposed war, but I want to challenge whether this war actually exists at all: and if it's just a myth, why is this myth being perpetuated, and what purpose might it serve?

If someone chooses to say "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas", it's usually not because they hate your baby Jesus. It's about choosing to be inclusive, like how I wouldn't assume anyone's partner is of any particular gender without further information. I use the gender neutral term partner so that those who do not identify as straight know that I am not making assumptions about them, not because I am declaring war on heterosexuality. 

It drives me nutty that somehow using inclusive language when it comes to the winter holiday season is being constructed by some to be anti-Christianity. Happy holidays INCLUDES the possibility that what you celebrate may be Christmas. And also many other traditions popular at this time of year. I also have a hard time figuring out exactly which group of non-Christians are supposedly SO OFFENDED by being told "merry Christmas", because I've yet to meet someone who feels that way. I don't believe in Jesus, but I am happy to hear and also often wish people a Merry Christmas. 

Yet this concept of a supposed war on Christmas seems to have really taken root. Perfectly nice, reasonable people, who I would like to believe are not active and deliberate participants in oppressing people from minority cultural groups repost Facebook statuses and other related materials lamenting about how they feel so persecuted in celebrating Christmas. Seriously? Your nationally recognized holiday, combined with a myriad of social and cultural rituals that are based on the birth of your savior isn't enough to make you feel secure in your celebrations? What more could you possibly want? Christmas is everywhere, pretty much starting in July (which is when Hallmark rolls out their yearly ornament collection). Do people really believe that their Christmas is somehow in danger because some people opt to use the more inclusive happy holidays??

I ask this because I've found the stories I've heard this year about Christmas versus some other more generic term have been really rampant this year, and, ironically, really takes away from the Christmas/holidays warm fuzzies. If Christmas is really so important to you, I really wish you'd focus on being kind and good to others, instead of focusing on the mistake and extremely self-centered "oh my god  Christians are under attack" propaganda.

Oh, and for those of you who are upset by the use of "Xmas" versus "Christmas"? I can't speak for everyone, but I use it because I am LAZY, not because I hate your religion. I'm pretty sure Jesus taught that being self-centered is not a good thing. So get over yourself.

Happy holidays, everyone! And yes, that's for the Xmas people too. :P

1 comment:

  1. Further, X looks like a cross, kind of part of the whole point of celebrating the birth of Christ....