Happy Holidays!

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by Steve Buschbacher

So, the Christmas season is in full swing. And being a nation that is a majority Christian, the greeting that is appropriate for that majority is “Merry Christmas”.

A few years back, Bill (I am NOT an angry old white man) O’Reilly physically assaulted a department store Santa because the Santa said “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Let me drive home that point a bit more. During the season which, for Christians, is supposed to signify peace on Earth and goodwill to all mankind and a season in which the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated, Bill O’Reilly physically assaulted someone playing Santa Claus simply because he didn’t like the holiday greeting he received. And then he goes on TV to play the victim and talk about “a war on Christmas”.

A few facts –

  • There are 1.2 million Buddhists in the United States.
  • There are 2.23 million Hindus in the United States
  • There are 5.3 million Jews in the United States
  • There are 2.75 million Muslims in the United States (but, I’m sure we’ll get a better number once Trump completes his registry of Muslims)
  • There are in excess of 18 million atheists in the United States

That is over 29 million people for whom “Merry Christmas” is a meaningless greeting. And let’s take it a step further. Except for Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, there is no other “holiday” during December. So, even “Happy Holidays” is meaningless to over 20 million citizens.

The Starbucks holiday cup not “Christmasy” enough for you?  Then bring in your own mug or stay out of all Starbucks locations until the offending cups have finally gone away and you feel ALL BETTER.

For the last 50 years, Kwanzaa has been a holiday celebration during December. While not specifically religious, it is nevertheless a cultural celebration with deep significance to many African-Americans. Does Kwanza bother you? Why? Because it is a “Black Only” celebration? Christmas is a “Christians Only” celebration and that is OK with you? Does the existence of a cultural holiday during Christmas Season detract, in any way, from your ability to be filled with the Christmas spirit? If it does, then I suggest that you are no where nearly as religious as you want to believe you are.

Do you pass by the Salvation Army Santas outside the malls and downtown department stores? You could donate your spare change and help someone out. Do you give extra in the collection basket when you go to your Christian church on Sunday? Many don’t. Hey, I’ve got mine and the rest can fend for themselves, right? Is that being a good Christian?

If I see you on the street or in a store and I say “Happy Holidays”, please do not attack me. I’d like to spend Christmas with my wife at home and not in the hospital.