Thursday, December 10, 2009

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like HOLIDAY?

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Okay. So I was watching a commercial on television with my nearly grown children (who undoubtedly were basking in the glow of my presence) when onto the screen loomed a mother, Christmas shopping with her teenage son. Said son whipped out a gift he bought to give to a sibling and mom replied to him in surprised tones, “You bought a holiday present for your brother?!”

“A holiday present?” my children and I replied in unison.

And this would go under the holiday tree? What holiday would that be exactly? I don’t know……Christmas?

I know retailers, in an effort to be financially correct and carve out any possible green from all wallets of any persuasion, have assumed the position of neutrality. “Holiday” and “Holiday Tree” are the new correct terms. But there IS no neutral and there is no need for correction. Guess what? It’s Christmas! It’s about Christ. Being born. For us. In a manger. In Bethlehem. Around this time of year.

When Meredith Wilson penned the now famous words “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” she had an opportunity to use the term “holiday.” She didn’t. And there’s something about, “I’m dreaming of a white holiday,” that just doesn’t have the same warm, fuzzy glow to it. Irvin Berlin knew what worked and called it "the best song he, or anyone, ever wrote." And he was proudly Jewish.

But if the word “Christmas” isn’t safe, what other words might become fiscally or politically offensive to those who want our dollars or would seek to control our beliefs?

What will we do with the song, “O Christmas Tree?”

O holiday tree, O holiday tree,

Thy leaves are so unchanging (well, except of course we understand that nothing is cast in stone and if you want to change we will support your decision),

Not only green when summer’s here (or rather, we mean that time of year when the position of the earth – be it northern or southern hemispheres – is closer to the sun….it is not our intention to limit you to the term ‘summer’),

But also when ‘tis cold and drear (understand that we are not attempting to cast judgment by intimating the positional rotation away from the sun is in any way negative),

O holiday tree, O holiday tree,

Let’s just forget we sang of thee.”

And can “A Charlie Brown Christmas” ever be the same if we must now call it “A Charlie Brown Holiday?” What will we sing when we hear the theme song? This?

Holiday time is here……”

Perhaps we should change ALL special days to reflect greater inclusion of every possibility and build in apologies as well. Maybe New Year’s Day could be “Culturally and Historically Egocentric Day of Western Civilization Time Marking.” Definitely makes you feel like popping a cork on the bubbly.

We in America err gravely I’m sure to celebrate Independence Day each July Fourth. Far less divisive to call it, “Lack of Cultural Sensitivity Day Wherein We Did Not Strive to Be Good Citizens by Working in Unison With A Somewhat Oppressive, Albeit Temporarily Misguided, Overseas Monarchy That Seemed Unwilling, Or Perhaps Unable, to Represent Our Interests.” Pack that in your fireworks and explode ‘em.

And in celebration, as we raise aloft our sparklers, let us not hail that Star Spangled Banner over the “land of the free.” Let us sew a picture of the whole world onto one flag so as not to celebrate that we in America, with our stars and stripes, are the home of the brave. We may be sending a message that “you, over there, are not.”

So, lift your spiced egg milk product, throw a cement log on the gas jet, let Jack or Jane Frost nip (no, that sounds distinctly like drinking and could be misconstrued as an alcohol endorsement), er, touch you on the nose (if that’s agreeable to you and you do not feel it creates a hostile holiday environment), and sing your non-descript carols. And have yourself a happy little holiday now.

Wow. I feel sort of tingly and sentimental. Don’t you?

© Copyright 2009

Photo Courtesy of: FreeChristmasWallpapers.net

39 comments:

  1. I love Christmas - the traditions the food the advent. I am not particularly religious but I embrace Christian values and the whole point is that it is about Jesus!

    I wish we could get over this idea that neutralising everything makes it somehow less offensive.

    I am looking forward to the time when we can all celebrate our own traditions and days of religious r faith events, without having to apologise.

    We have a ways to go...

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  2. Ha Ha! No touching on the nose...you'd be invading my space!

    Merry Christmas!

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  3. Day-umm, Robynn. Couldn't you give me a little warning before you AGAIN force coffee up my nose? You have said it very well, exposing the whole politically correct world we live in. Sheesh! Let's get Christmas back, okay? Not the shopping part, not the decorations part, but the real live Jesus was born let's celebrate his birthday part!

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  4. Oh dear! You aint gunna like my card. Not one little bit.

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  5. I love all the lights and knitting for those who need a hug.
    This year I knit my first doll for one of my girls hubby is knitting the other one for our youngest but he isn't far enough on it yet to take pictures I'm done so I tease him he is slow and needs to catch up;)Hugs Darcy

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  6. te he he....Auntie Rob's done it again. Had to read it twice; once just for me, and then again out loud for Connor and mom. :-D

    Hey, are you CHRISTMAS caroling with us this Fri.??? I feel all warm and fuzzy when I get to sing next to you. I love harmonizing with you and Hannah Banana <3 <3

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  7. Amen Sister - You're preach'n to the choir.

    Merry Merry CHRISTMAS!

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  8. oh wow.... holiday present?!! lol... I hate how the government and everyone else is tryingn to take CHRIST out of everything.... even CHRISTmas!!! if you take Christ out of Christmas there wouldn't be a reason to celebrate!! ... jeezy petes!! What is this world coming to?! It saddens me!! I'm glad someone else feels the way i do!!
    **HUGS**
    Zaneta

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  9. MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone!
    In spite of what 'they' may think ( those politically correct, chicken livered bustards)
    Jesus IS the reason for the season!!!

    But hun, this isn't just about the US... it happens here in Oz too.
    All the time, unfortunately! In Melbourne last year, a Muslim butcher placed a Nativity scene on his countertop, as a sign of respect for his Christian customers. And the damn shopping center made him remove it immediately - in case 'someone' took offense! (may God or Allah or whoever, bless that Muslim man, because "goodwill towards man" and celebrating the birth of Christ is what it's ALL about!)

    Then last year at the ermmm... 'holiday' pagent for the local special school, the kids did a skit where they carried around cans of beer, slurping pretend beer, burping, and slapping the girls on the rumps... and hollering "HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE!
    And not one-single-person complained!
    Then when Santa came out, he had to shout HA HA HA, just in case any HO's in the audience took offense!!!

    Okay... now we need to figure a way to get this post published in the newspapers. Everyone needs to read it! It's going on my FB page, and it will be linked on my blog as well...
    Oops... I'm about to rant some more, so I'll shut up for now. ;-)

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  10. Well said!!! Can't think of a one that coulda said it better! But do know of several that I'll be passing it on to!

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  11. Love the pic you chose ...yeah, umm, my house will never look like that. BUT, that's okay, love what I got... okay, back to my point.... ??....um... just a minute.... I AM donating brain cells , you know.... OHH, the pic, beautiful holiday (choke, gag).. I mean, ... CHRISTMAS pic.!
    And WHY, oh WHY, do you say it SO much better than I can .... for that matter, a LOT of people can?!?
    Am, obviously, on your page. Merry Christmas!

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  12. Bahahahahahaha! Well put!
    Christmas is the reason, Christmas is the season! I think it's funny here in Australia how some shops get out the fake canned snow and decorate a winter wonderland when it actual fact we are sweltering in 100F temps! I don't even buy Christmas cards with snow scenes on them.

    By the way, Happy Holidays! :D

    Joolz

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  13. Oh Robynn, I do miss reading your blog! I'm laughing at your writing (always so entertaining) and feeling sort of melancholy about the truth of your words. You go girl! We need people like you with the ability to articulate so well what the rest of are thinking to keep doing what you do! Love you!

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  14. I love Christmas! ...

    On the other hand, I wonder how we can include other celebrations like Hanukkah for example, for those who don't celebrate Christmas - and yet that occur at the same time as Christmas?

    Merry Christmas anyway!

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  15. It doesn't offend me if someone uses holiday in general terms in a sentence-you never know, they could have been out shopping for Hanukkah presents (it does start this Friday)! I only bristle when someone tries to replace an already existing "Christmas"...as in "We wish you a Merry Christmas" with something neutral.

    If it's not a title or a proper name, why should we not include everyone and share a happy season? After all, with the exception of Kwanzaa, Christmas was the last of the big holidays to pull up a chair in December.

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  16. Do you realize that the song - Happy Holidays sung by Bing Crosby and made popular by him in 1942 was written by Irving Berlin!!sigh.......
    Bring it on Merry Christmas, Christmas Blessings. At the Dr. yesterday with 4 medical team in the room as we were finishing up - Dr. said Happy Holiday to us...Oh gasp...We replied with Merry Christmas and a we like Merry Christmas. To which he says...never know what to say to people these days. Then they all said Merry Christmas!!!!

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  17. sas: Indeed.

    ABamaMom: Your nose is safe with me.

    DJan: Do you think a pop up disclaimer would be helpful? But that might be a little presumptious. I am very concerned, though, about the effects of hot caffeine on sinuses.

    Scurra: I would expect nothing less from you. No, that's not true.

    Darcy: Your taught your husband to knit? And do you give lessons in husband training techniques? I still haven't mastered "Clothes on The Floor 101."

    Kaylee: This is bad news because I will not be able to holiday carol with you. Company Christmas party. One of our favorite nights - usurped!

    Libby: And without doubt you are in that choir singing Christmas carols!

    Superwoman: I can't imagine them wanting to call Ramadan or Hanukkah something different. A Christmas tree is still a Christmas tree just as a menorah is still a menorah and not a candleabra.

    Lil Mama: Blogging is nothing if not an electrified soap box. Be careful, however, if you stand on it in your barefeet.

    Katie: The Holiday Pagent? That one even caught ME by surprise. I will now start saying "ha ha ha" instead of "ho ho ho" so as not to offend.

    Teresa: I'm sure many could have said it better but you know that never stops me.

    BZ: Would you believe me if I told you that IS my house? Yeah. Me either.

    Joolz: I've always wondered how people in the southern hemispheres feel about all the songs referencing snow at this time of year? Maybe it cools you down.

    Lori E: And that is enough. :)

    Reg: And I miss having you here. Anyone who says such complimentary things is required to show up regularly.

    Lady Fi: I agree that we should give each tradition its due. Consequently, I do not believe Hannukkah should be replaced with the term "holiday" either. I'd much rather wish someone a happy Hannukkah. Especially if they were Jewish.

    Mrs. M: I'm with you. I am not offended with the generic term, Happy Holidays as another way of offering good wishes. I DO think we go too far when Merry Christmas cannot be spoken (and in most businesses it can't), and something is obviously part of that Christmas tradition - like a Christmas tree - and it must now be referred to as a holiday tree. Why? It is not part of Jewish tradition, Muslim, or Kwanzaa (historically). And it usurps the meaning behind the celebration.

    For instance, I don't believe someone who celebrates Kwanzaa would want to be forced to say it is no longer about black history but, instead, must now include all cultures or it is exclusionary. Black culture and history is at the foundation of Kwanzaa, so how would that work? I think we go too far.

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  18. Wait. So you are advocating some sensitivity training for people in power?

    I think we have become too much of a nation of "pleasers". Let's not hurt our children by disciplining them, let's not offend those that don't celebrate specific holiday's, let cater to every little subset of every sector...

    I totally got your post and at the end, I understood your frustration. You, my friend, though are a mover and a shaker and I love this post.

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  19. Merry Christmas, Robynn! And I toast you for a post well said!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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  20. Well said Robynn...I like the terms "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings" in their place... but I do not agree when the politically correct folks feels the need to replace the word Christmas with a generic term...it is "Merry Christmas"... as it should be!!!!!

    Cheers

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  21. I love the fact you're putting the Christ back in Christmas with this post!! And we're all laughing at the funny but painful truth of your words! If we don't speak out against it, "Holiday" will get commercialized along with the rest of Christmas! Thank you for your timely and humorous take on a growing trend!! Merry Christmas, Robynn!!

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  22. BUT ... it IS holiday time .. there's Hanukkah first this year, then Christmas, then Kwanza .. and of course Festivus ... AND in defense of the whatever company or product the commercial was for .. they spent big $$ on airing that spot and to get the biggest bang for their buck its likely to run for more than just whichever holiday occurs first ...

    What, IMO, we should all be objecting to is the COMMERCIALIZATION of these holy days ...

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  23. I chewed a guy out at a Christmas tree farm for wishing me "Happy Holidays" a couple of years ago, pointing out that no one here was buying a Hanukah bush or an Islam whatever. He just didn't get it. I told him he was offending his customers by not respecting our views of what we're celebrating this season, but he was welcome to wish happy holidays at the multi-cultural store.

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  24. They are just trying to capture all of the markets. Buy, buy, buy.

    Car Goes Boom

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  25. OK, let me get this straight. I know we are not supposed to say Merry Christmas. But, what about Happy Hanukkah? And Happy Kwanzaa? What about Happy New Year? Are those now out, too? Are we supposed to lump all of them together into one generic Happy Holidays?

    How ridiculous!

    Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year, everyone!

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  26. How about "The Grinch Who Misappropriated the Upcomming Seasonal Bipartition Gathering"

    Merry Christmas

    Robin

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  27. "Well, Buddha is legal, but Jesus ain't, the saints are all sinners and the sinners are saints, it's not how you play, it's the final score, they don't show MASH on the tube anymore...CHEAP BOURBON WHISKEY AND PEARL SNAP SHIRTS, two things that stay the same, so when the world starts spinning and your head hurts, it's CHEAP BOURBON WHISKEY AND PEARL SNAP SHIRTS!!" sung by Jason Boland and the Stragglers. When I get irritated over things like this, I usually start singing this song at the top of my lungs, consequently, my children can also sing it. Hmmmm.... probably should have them unlearn that, before I offend someone with my terrible parenting.

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  28. Howdy Sweet Robynn
    I am so blessed by your kind words on my blog.
    Thank you for the love .
    I have been enjoying your CHRISTmas blog :)
    My grown son has been thinking about having some of those magnetic signs made up that say "Merry Christmas" to put on his work van but the boss wouldn't go for it .
    So he has settled for a bumper sticker on his car.
    I am so sick and tired of being expected to apologize for saying Merry Christmas or for asking store clerks where their Christmas items are.
    For some reason this year I have just had enough.
    I also discovered I am not alone.
    There are other people in line at the store ,gas station etc...
    who will wish you a Merry Christmas back if you say it first :)
    So like you I say Merry Christmas.
    Thank you for sharing all the beautiful photos .
    I really enjoyed seeing the Christmas parade.
    Blessings of joy to you and yours as you celebrate this glorious season.
    Big Hugs
    Happy Trails

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  29. I love me a good Robynn rant! Christmas it is!!!! :)

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  30. Robynn.......
    MERRY CHRISTMAS MERRY CHRISTMAS MERRY CHRISTMAS MERRY CHRISTMAS MERRY CHRISTMAS MERRY CHRISTMAS Meryy CHRISTmas Merry CHRISTmas.....Merry CHRISTmas.....Merry CHRISTmas....Merry CHRISTmas!! I celebrate for a month, the Savior's birth!

    "OH HOLY NIGHT....THE STARS ARE BRIGHTLY SHINING...IT IS THE NIGHT OF THE DEAR SAVIOR'S BIRTH. LONG LAY THE WORLD...IN SIN AND ERROR PINING...'TIL HE APPEARS, AND THE SOUL FELT'S IT'S WORTH, A RAY OF HOPE...THE WEARY WORLD REJOICES. FOR YANDER BREAKS...A NEW AND GLORIOUS MORN!!!! FALL!! ON YOUR KNEES.....OH HEAR THE ANGELS' VOICES!! OH NIGHT DIVINE!!

    I'LL FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER SING THIS! IT'S MY HEART SONG!

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  31. 'Holiday tree', indeed! We don't have a tree at Halloween or Veterans Day. That's so overly PC that it's insulting!

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  32. Amen!!!

    Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Keep on Truckin!

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  33. Amen!

    It seems to me that if you're gonna take Christ out of the holiday, maybe they should just get rid of the holiday all together.
    After all, he is the reason for the season.
    Can't see that happening though.

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  34. What a breath of fresh air to read your post. Amen sister and Merry Christmas too!

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  35. Hilarious, searing satire!!!! Robynn, you are genius!!! Have you thought of submitting this to a local paper as an editorial column? It's fantastic!!! Love you, my friend!!! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!! Janine XOXO

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  36. Robyn, tonight Glenn Beck displayed a poster that is being put up in some schools. It is the Pledge of Allegiance to the WORLD!!!
    How many of those morons realize that the word Holiday is the derivative of Holy Day? If they were smart enough to figure that one out, what word would they be able to substitute?
    Great post, I agree with others, you should send it to your paper as a editorial.

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  37. "Financially correct" hysterical.
    Why does the celebration of something offend someone else? Join in....or don't. Who cares. I don't care if someone celebrates Hanukkah, Ramadan or Diwali.
    Any way I am going to email all my friends a link to this post because you have done a most awesome job.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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