Musing on “Happy Holidays”

I’m crabby, and out of sorts. The first reason, is simply that I already have a grade dispute already.

The second reason is that I am still working because I started the outline for Chapter Three, and now I need to finish it before taking off for Christmas. I don’t want to stop in the middle of the outline, so I have to work until it’s done.

But mostly, I am not in the Christmas spirit because of all the dumbshit “War on Christmas” stuff has now moved Christmas from the category of “Fun festive thing we could all enjoy” to “Divisive political issue where yer either fer us or agin us.”

To wit.

I used to say “Happy Hanukkah” at the beginning of the month to friends I knew were Jewish. And I’d say “I hope you have a wonderful holiday” to my students at the end of classes. And I’d say “Merry Christmas” the week and a half before Christmas. And after Christmas, I’d say, to few folks I know who celebrate Kwanzaa, that I wish them every blessing because I don’t know the separate daily greetings. But my wish to them always seemed to make them happy. And I’d say “Happy New Year!!” as we got towards the New Year.

It was fine.

And it was also fun, learning what my friends and acquaintances celebrate, and wishing them well.

But with people making an issue out of saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”…well, if I say “Merry Christmas” now, I wonder if the people I am saying it to think I am doing in the aggressive, you-MUST-be-a-Christian-celebrating-Christian-Things-for-me-to-want-happiness-for-you kind of way that newest silly sally in the culture wars have wrought, or whether now it means the same thing it has always meant when I said it before: “Hey, I wish you well.” I’m an atheist myself, but winter is long, and there can never be too many holidays and celebrations as I far I am concerned.

I never said “Happy Holidays” before this, but now I feel like I kind of have to in order to avoid more nonsense. And I don’t like saying “Happy Holidays” because I DID like to wish Christians well in the same way I liked wishing Jewish friends well, until a particularly dunder-headed group of Christians decided to make it all about themselves and *demand* I say Merry Christmas all the time to everybody, no matter what or whom, or I was, somehow, being disrespectful to them and their practices.

I also had to drag myself up to La Crescenta last week in order to place a dog with my rescue, and I saw all the lights up, and I have thus made a decision: I am upping my outdoor decorating game next year. It was such a lovely gift to be able to see all the pretty decorations on such a dark evening that I have decided that NOT decorating, other than throwing up a wreath and plunking down some poinsettias, is ungenerous. So next year, this old house on Victoria Ave is going to be lit. For Festivius.

And I’m not doing it for Christians. I’m doing it for everybody, to light up the dark.