Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Have a Happy....

Hiya Steve,

I’m not religious and I don’t celebrate Christmas. That’s my choice and I don’t expect or require anyone else to do the same.

So far as I’m concerned (and so far as pretty much every other person in my position is concerned) it doesn’t matter to us whether you choose to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Cheese Day”.

In the same way, I’m sure you don’t expect me to say “Merry Christmas” when I don’t believe any of the religion and don’t practice the holiday in any way myself. Right?

So, here’s the thing….

A lot of public entities, stores, and other agencies have decided that they would like to include me in their holiday messages. It’s nice of them. I appreciate it. I didn’t actually ask for it, but some people have, because they feel a bit left out when they city government or local grocer says “Merry Christmas”.

But when you’re telling them to stop doing it, and to say “Merry Christmas”, you are telling them that they were wrong when they decided to include me in their holiday message.

Is that what you really meant? You speak below of the “standards and traditions upon which this great country of ours was founded and flourished.” These are not my traditions, and I’ve been around for more than a third of our country’s history.

I had always felt my contributions were part of what made this country great. My values – which include sharing and compassion and peace and understanding – are pretty bedrock for me, and I had always felt that they were fundamental to Canada too.

I know many people who do not celebrate Christmas. None of them minds if you say “Merry Christmas”, just as we respect and honour the practices of all religions. We understand how important it is for you to express your faith.

Please understand and let me live my life in quiet enjoyment. If I or anyone else chooses not to say “Merry Christmas”, it’s not because we’re oppressing you or your people, it’s not because we’re “waging a war on Christmas,” nor anything like that. It’s just that we’re doing something else that day.

I am particularly concerned about your enlisting of Canada’s military veterans to support your cause. Yous ay their sacrifice was so that we could “have the freedom to maintain these values and traditions in the free and proud country that we call our home.”

I think you should leave them out of this. I don’t think any one of them dies so that you could complain that some store is using the word “holiday” or that some politician has forgotten to “keep the ‘Christ’ in ‘Christmas.’”

Again – you and everyone else can use the word ‘Christmas’ all you want. I don’t care. But it's not "reverse discrimination" when somebody says 'holiday' or 'festival' or whatever, and it's really ridiculous to suggest it is. 

When you send messages like this, you’re telling me that you don’t regard me as equal, that you don’t value my contributions to this country, and that you even think that I am in some sense unpatriotic and dishonouring our veterans.

Maybe you might what to send me a different message for the holidays. I know that my message to you is one of peace and understanding. Have a happy Christmas.

-- Stephen

From: Steve
Sent: December 2, 2014 10:38 AM
To: Steve
Subject: Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...and a CHRISTMAS, too!

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...and a CHRISTMAS, too!
Well, it’s getting to that time of year again, when children get excited over the new snowfall so they can go out and play and make snowmen, while the adults cringe at the thought of how sore their back will be after all the shovelling. It also means that children, both young and old, will be looking forward to the arrival of that special day...now what is it called?

Last weekend I was sitting on the sofa, mindlessly channel surfing through the hundreds of channels on television, when I came across the old movie “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”. It reminded me of how, as a child, I looked forward with great anticipation for his arrival. Well, perhaps we only get to see his “representatives” in the stores or at parades. But Santa’s spirit lives in all of us who have it in our hearts to think of others who may be less fortunate than ourselves. We also look forward to spending time with the friends and family members that we love, and look forward to sharing this special time of year with them. But what are we sharing, exactly?

Everywhere you look there are the commercial trappings of the season, as stores do everything they can to attract shoppers and entice them to spend their hard-earned dollars. All through the stores, and in their glossy sale flyers, there are phrases such as “Holiday Super Sale” or “Best Buys of the Season”. But what “Holiday”, what “Season”? Even most company or professional association parties are referred to as a “Seasonal Celebration” or a “Holiday Reception”. I have become increasingly bothered by the fact that the word “Christmas” has taken on something of a blasphemous meaning in our modern society, thanks to rampant and unbridled political correctness.  The safe, benign and meaningless word “holiday” seems to have taken its place in our vocabulary.

Have we all forgotten or lost track of the standards and traditions upon which this great country of ours was founded and flourished? Are we all embarrassed to stand up for the founding principles that our forefathers, and others who have gone before us, worked so hard to establish? We have just recently observed Remembrance Day, a day to remember and honor the supreme sacrifices made by so many men and women so that we could continue to have the freedom to maintain these values and traditions in the free and proud country that we call our home, CANADA. Let their efforts and lives not have been in vain.

While I recognize that we have people from different faiths who do not celebrate the same holidays as the rest of us, I do not agree that we need to dis-associate ourselves from the true meaning for the season.  I respect the rights of others to celebrate the holiday season in whatever form their religion (or lack thereof) may dictate. Those of different ethnic and religious backgrounds are free to celebrate their own holidays, but they are not asked to change the name so as not to “offend” the rest of us. The attempts to “de-sensitize” the name of a holiday in a hollow attempt to make it more “inclusive” for the minority, is in fact a blatant case of “reverse discrimination”.

Let’s not forget why there is a Christmas holiday in the first place. Let’s celebrate our freedom to call it what it really is. Let’s keep the “Christ” in “Christmas”, and not be so concerned about what someone else might think or say. I think it’s a small price to pay, not only for our sake and our children, but for those who worked so hard and those who died to allow us to do so.  

So Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Rohatsu,  Happy Id al-Adha, Happy Saturnalia, Happy Sabbat, Happy Zaratusht-no-diso, Happy Fesivus, Merry Krismas, Happy Kwanza – whatever you call it in your own language or religion. And best wishes to all for a Happy and prosperous New Year!!!

And, yes Virginia, there is a CHRISTMAS…and a Santa Claus!

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