OPINION by MATT McEACHRAN
Ahhh Christmas; time for fun, time for cheer, time for…. guts?
Yes, time to for guts. As in its time we got some backbone about saying “Merry Christmas”.
Normally above the whining and hand wringing that occurs about petty issues of the day, I found myself suddenly drawn into this quandary with both guns blazing.
It was a particularly obnoxious card that did it. One that couldn’t even call itself a Christmas card, but instead a “holiday card”. The rest of the card, inside and out, went on to bend over backwards to describe the merriment of the season using every word imaginable except the word “Christmas”.
The extreme amount of political correctness caused an uneasy feeling to slowly cover my body, like a creepy layer of slime. You know that kind of glossed-over, vague reference you recognize when reading a thank you card from someone who doesn’t remember what you got them. “Thank you for the thoughtful gift, we will certainly enjoy it”. That kind of thing. But this time it was about Christmas!
A quick survey of a few other Christmas cards on my mantle revealed a similar trend. Interestingly, the first three were all from institutions, and none of them had the spine to say “Merry Christmas”.
Canadians are started to get tired of the cowards in this country who won’t say or display “Merry Christmas”. Whether its school buses in Kingston that are banned from having Christmas decorations, or Service Canada offices in Quebec, or new names like “Holiday Tree” and “Holiday Cards”; it’s high time we take a stand.
If you can’t stand up for Christmas, what can you stand up for?
And no offence, but in case anyone hasn’t noticed, it’s not like the commercialization of Christmas hasn’t already driven out nearly ever reference to Jesus anyway. There is no way on God’s green earth (oops, there I go!) …. on plain green earth that you could accuse today’s Christmas decorations as pushing religion on someone. Heck you’d be hard pressed to find any religious message in Christmas decorations these days! (Which is a real problem, btw)
But even if Christians were pushing Jesus at this time of year, so what?
According to the 2001 census (the last year data is available on religion) a total of 72% of Canadians identified themselves as Christian. There was no data to show how many celebrated Christmas regardless of religion, but that number has to somewhere north of 90%.
So who exactly are corporations, institutions, bus companies and politically correct card senders afraid of offending exactly? It obviously isn’t the 72% of us who are Christian.
Don’t we matter?
Apparently not. Well it’s time to fix that.
And don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you can’t celebrate other holidays. Of course you can. But this nonsense of not saying any holiday name for fear of offending anyone, has to end. And no offence, but if we aren’t going to mention a holiday by name, it certainly shouldn’t be the holiday celebrated by over 90% of the country.
If you want to say Happy Holidays, no problem go ahead. That’s not the problem. The problem is when you (or businesses/institutions/bus companies, etc.) feel like they aren’t allowed to say “Merry Christmas” for fear of offending someone.
Go ahead and send me a Happy Hanukah or Merry Kwanza card. I won’t be offended. In fact I’ll be glad you took a stand and let me know which holiday it is your celebrating.
In the meantime, I’ll be saying Merry Christmas and sending cards with enough spine to do the same.