JUNE VETTER: 'Merry Christmas!' There, I Said It
Happy New Year! Valentine's Day! St. Patrick's Day! Memorial Day! The Fourth of July! Labor Day! Halloween! Thanksgiving Day!
And -- oh, no. Must not mention THAT day! Christmas. No, no. How insensitive to do so!
We have a friend who leads workshops during which participants discover anew their personality traits and their natural and spiritual gifts. During a recent session, some in our group were surprised by what the various exercises revealed about them.
"Wow! I never thought " some said with a bit of astonishment. When they did, our friend would come up behind them, look at their exercise and comment, "It is what it is!" In other words, what you see really exists. It's a fact.
In all the hubbub over Christmas, I wonder why some would muzzle those of us who want to utter the words -- and hear the words -- "Merry Christmas!" After all, it is what it is. A holiday. Yes, a Christian holiday, but still a holiday. One that has existed in our society -- and the world -- for centuries. A holiday that has inspired some of the most magnificent music and art ever created. A holiday celebrating an event that changed the world calendar!
Suppose I began a campaign that said, "'Happy New Year' is repulsive to me. After all, every day starts a new year in life, doesn't it? Let's do away with 'Happy New Year'!" Would that make sense? The New Year is just that. A new year. It is what it is.
Suppose I were to begin a campaign that said, "Forget Valentine's Day. It is offensive to those who don't have someone who loves them. Should we not have more respect for the lonely? Why antagonize them with so much LOVE?" Would that make sense? Valentine's Day is what it is.
Suppose I were to begin a campaign that said, "Save the turkey! Forget Thanksgiving! What's the use of being thankful for the bounty we enjoy? What about those who have nothing?" Would that make sense? It is what it is. (And many use this time, and Christmas, to share with others.)
The month of December is being raped (strong word here, but I mean it) by attempts to deny that there is a holiday -- Christmas -- that "is what it is." A religious holiday, to be sure, but one that has been honored in our nation since its beginning.
Remember, a serious look at our history makes it very clear that the early settlers, and yes, our nation's founders, believed in God. (Quite a few of them actually had seminary degrees.) For more than 300 years, no one had a problem with Christmas being acknowledged for what it is. Why now?
I have no problem saying Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends. And whenever Ramadan falls in the year (sometimes December, sometimes September, sometimes July or other months), I am happy to offer good wishes to those who celebrate.
For those who do not believe in God, perhaps we should designate another day for them to celebrate their nonbelief and call it Atheist Day. (It is what it is.)
Just think of the jobs that would be created by Hallmark, American Greeting Cards and others if another holiday could be introduced into the year. That way, those offended by our Christian symbols, music and traditions would have their own special time to celebrate in whatever way they choose.
Christmas is what it is. The celebration of the birth of Christ. And so, I close with "Merry Christmas" to all, and to all the reminder: It is what it is!
June Vetter lives in Whispering Pines.
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