December 23, 2010

Festive Christmas Rant

Sooooooooo many letters to the editors of several papers filled with the usual outrage this time of year about how we are having our Christian rights trampled over because people don't say 'Merry Christmas'.

Would you give it a rest, people? There is a particularly vitriolic number in the Star. She goes so far as to declare that Canada has become anti-Christian. Bah. Choose your words more carefully. It's not anti- anything, it's simply non. Yeah, that's right. Government is not in the business of pushing a religious agenda of any kind, or at least it shouldn't be. The word usage here smacked me as very much the same as when pro-lifers use the term 'pro-abortion'. See how that works? It's a wicked slant off the deep end, and totally unnecessary.

I don't give a rat's ass if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, or tells me to have a nice holiday, or says thank you for choosing Rogers. I don't know if they mean any of it, and I don't much care. Anything pleasant is fine by me. As long as people are smiling at me and being helpful and generous without fondling any of my body parts without my consent, I'm good.

I do take huge offence to those who take huge offence. Decorate your house any way you choose, buy your spawn anything you want and pass around the icky fruitcake. Not to sound like a petulant 8 year old, but it's a free country. Literally. You are free to festoon your home in 6,000 twinkle lights and clog all traffic on your street for a month each year. You are free to accuse those who might sigh and object as having no Christmas spirit.

You are free stand ahead of me in the line up at Zellers yesterday (I was buying the game Operation to play after Christmas dinner; I figure with sober children and drunk adults, it's a game we can all play on a level playing field) and just as we inch towards the lone checkout, you are free to have your mother step in with her arms laden with a huge assortment of ugly sweaters, pajamas, candy and other rubbish. You may piss me off, but you are free to do this.

You are free to park in the spot that isn't a spot; you are free to stalk me back to my car like I am a gazelle and you are a lion; you are free to blow cigarette smoke in my face as you huddle outside the mall waiting for whoever is inside buying ugly sweaters and other rubbish.

I think you should save your righteous outrage for more sensible things. Why do companies that I pay send me Christmas cards? It is not personal, it is a waste of money, and I put them straight into the blue bin.

Why do the Tories keep slashing funding to groups that help women in this country? Why is that okay? If there is duplication, clean it up, but it's certainly not very Christian, if you ask me, to stomp on people while they are down. Oh, you didn't ask? Maybe you should. Those fabulous officials spend the earlier part of this month dickering over who got the bigger Christmas tree in their office. Your tax dollars, hard at work.

I have never, ever heard, in decades on this planet, someone take offence to being wished a Merry Christmas. I worked retail for ten long years - not once did anyone haul back and crack me one across the snotbox for saying 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Holidays' (thanks, jmd=).

Our intrepid Star letter writer equates the persecution of Christians around the world to the fact we can't say Merry Christmas. Really? With a reach like that, you must have not trouble getting the star on top of your tree. People have been persecuted, murdered, tortured, raped, pillaged and destroyed in the name of religion - all of them - since there have been people. And you're peeved that your favourite television station flashes a generic Happy Holidays rather than the Merry Christmas that your hard little heart is aching to see?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: do what you want. Tattoo 'Merry Christmas' on your butt and run naked down your street if you want. With the megawatt showcase occurring on some city streets, you probably won't even get noticed.

Canada's churches are proclaiming a steady drop in numbers, which makes me question the chronic seasonal outrage. Maybe, just maybe, there is a bigger line up for Santa's knee because people are making their own choice. Maybe, just maybe, people will define this time of year any way they choose, and believe you have the right to do the same.

Merry Christmas. May your days be merry and bright, and may your hangover not last longer than the visit from your inlaws.

Oh, just read this on Slate. Good piece that examines why North Americans aren't nearly as religious as they self-report themselves to be. Canadians and Americans are called 'outliers' in their declaration of faith; I'm thinking 'outliars' might be the more appropriate term....

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Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Interesting take on a familiar topic. I am still getting over our daughter's elementary school stopping the Christmas shopping for grades 1 through 5 because little "Johnny" (we'll call him) felt awkward not shopping because he doesn't celebrate Christmas. And it made him feel left out. So the whole frickin' school stopped what had been a 15 year tradition. And then we had to go to white lights only. No coloured lights because that said "Christmas". And then no more Christmas songs in the "holiday" pageant.

As you know we help out the Salvation Army at Christmas (for very personal reasons) and this year they were banned from ringing their bells in malls. Donations in those malls are down 50%. If you don't hear them, you don't see them. But the 20 people who complained about the noise, noise, noise are happy. Because they don't know any teens who need a shelter from an abusive parent. So it mustn't exist.

Anyway... I love my country, and I love my rights. If anyone tries to stop me from celebrating my Christmas my way I will plunk their sorry little heiny on a very slow boat to no destination in particular. Or not. I am, after all, an excellent procrastinator.

December 23, 2010 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a proud Canadian, I always say Merry Christmas to everyone I deal with. We also have a number of friends who were not born here and the interesting part is, that ALL of them wish us Merry Christmas AND celebrate the season with lights, trees, Santa and food. We do go to church (personally, I am a C&E). We also sponsor less fortunate families at Christmas and through the year.

This rant that set off Lorraine is an example of the many small minded people (on both sides of the equation) who think that their way is the only way.

Thanks for posting this one Lorraine. Glad to see you back in fine fettle.

Merry Christmas to all.... See you in the New Year!

December 23, 2010 10:35 AM  
Blogger Webgod Jeff said...

Bah Humbug

December 23, 2010 11:40 AM  
Anonymous PJ said...

Festive Christmas Rant

Merry Crabbyapplesauce Face...

December 23, 2010 5:02 PM  
Blogger marcelleqb said...

I like saying Happy Holidays. (It's the alliteration.)

And I just can't understand people who believe that me wishing them happiness is some how oppressing them religiously. Or taking the merry out of Christmas. Seriously, happy is better than merry. Merry just means that I hope you are pleased. Happy means I hope you are lucky. I'd rather be lucky than pleased...

I'm sure that now someone out there is going to get all etymological on me and say that believing in luck is witchcraft and now we should erase any word that has hap as part of its root. I can't wait to use "Tattoo 'Merry Christmas' on your butt and run naked down your street if you want."

December 24, 2010 2:02 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Don't worry, Marcelle. Anyone who can spell 'etymological' isn't going to get any flak from me...

Happy Christmas! (that's what my British Mom used to say. We used to cringe; now it just makes me smile).

December 24, 2010 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Surly said...

Joyous Kwanzaa!

December 26, 2010 12:20 AM  

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