Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas?

Season's Greetings? Happy Holidays? Great Solstice? Happy Hannukah? Joyous New Year? Um... whatever you do on Kwanzaa? (it is "Happy Kwanzaa?" I really don't know, but I'd like to get it right).

I'm from a Christian background, and my husband's is Muslim. When someone wished me a "Iyi Bayramlar!" when we lived in Turkey, I didn't get offended.  I took it in the spirit in which the person had said it, which was at the "Have a nice day!" level of social pleasantries. 

So, I put it to you in the comments: is it really offensive when people wish us well from within their own cultural framework? And it is really offensive for people to wish us "Happy Holidays!"--even if they don't tailor it to our specific beliefs? They're wishing us GOOD stuff, people! They aren't trying to offend us!

Just so we can all be clear on the difference, THIS is how you wish people ill:

"May your teenage daughter start dating a drummer."

"Have another piece of pie--it might be the final straw that gives you diabetes!" 

"May your job be outsourced and your house foreclosed on."

"I hope they declare caffeine an illegal drug, so you can never have coffee again."

Back in the trenches during First World War, some of the German and English troops declared a ceasefire on one Christmas Eve.  It wasn't something that the officers ordered; they simply... didn't feel like fighting. They even played a game of soccer on the silent battlefield on Christmas Day.

If they could do that, why can't we declare a ceasefire in the culture wars for a couple of weeks?

Oh, and if you think of another really good ill-wishing, please post that in the comments, too.


Disgruntled Bear said...

Yeah, this post is from when I was feeling reasonable. Now I'm thinking I should just tell people where they can stick their candy canes.

Jennifer L. Armentrout said...

"Back in the trenches during First World War, some of the German and English troops declared a ceasefire on one Christmas Eve. It wasn't something that the officers ordered; they simply... didn't feel like fighting. They even played a game of soccer on the silent battlefield on Christmas Day."

- This is such a little known fact, and one that always struck me. Two think these bitter enemies put their differences aside, celebrated Christmas, and then returned to killing one another the next day is hard to wrap your head around.

And telling someone Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays should never offend someone. At least, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

"May your teenage daughter start dating a drummer." ~ What if your daughter BECOMES a drummer? LOL

Yes, I often get frustrated with the constant political correctness. This time of year, though, it seems that people are generally happier so it can slide a little. I just wish they would take it for what it is: good thoughts.
Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas, and all that jazz. I hope your holiday season is fab. :)

aspiring_x said...

And a Festivus for the rest of us!
i love your ill- wishes! :)
and! have you ever heard that garth brooks song about that ceasefire?? generally, i'm not a fan of country music- but that song makes me cry everytime!

brandileigh2003 said...

May that donut ever stick to your thighs.

May you lose your eyesight and never be able to read again.

May you get pulled over for speeding on your way home from work.

May you perpetually be stuck in traffic.

LOL. Those came to mind. I love the may your daughter date a drummer :)

Okay. I am off to read Legacy now!

Disgruntled Bear said...

lsmurphy--my mother's daughter played percussion! I'm sorry, what did you say? What? What?

aspiring_x--my kids have the picture book about the ceasefire, and we read it every Christmas.

Brandi--the eyesight one is the harshest! I hope you enjoy Legacy!

Disgruntled Bear said...

And Jennifer, only 60 pages to go!

Cari said...

You are beyond awesome for this post. Oh and Yay I got my ARC! Happy (Insert any holiday you wish) to me!

Anonymous said...

As a teenage girl, I was the drummer. LOL. Drove my mother nuts. She learned to hate "Wipeout". :D

Disgruntled Bear said...

I hope you like it, Cari!

I was in the percussion section in college. We were the drum fraternity--KBB (Kappa Banga Banga).

Brenda said...

In the UK everyone says Merry Christmas and no one seems to mind. The school play this year was "Born in a Barn" and 2 Indian kids (non-Christians) were Mary & Joseph. The parents thought it was a little funny, but they didn't seem offended and didn't insist the school change the parts. Granted, religion isn't such a big thing over here in general, it's just the "spirit of the season" and all of that.

BTW...recently lent the babysitter Minder and she wants to know if she can pass it around at work, so expect some more fans in the UK. :)

Eliza Faith said...

I tend to always say Merry Christmas...hopefully I don't piss to many people of...

Disgruntled Bear said...

Hi Brenda,

I love the mental image of the nativity play (with the great name) and a cast of many different backgrounds.

Feel free to pass around MINDER! Thanks! We're aiming for world release dates for LEGACY that line up with the US release, and Book Depository has Adversary, if they're interested.

Eliza, it won't piss ME of, at least. Merry Christmas, right back atcha!

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