Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas.
Who gives a flying-eh, it’s not worth breaking out the profanity.
This has been a massive political debate that makes me want to vomit profusely. And when I use the word “profusely”, I really mean it.
The only reason why we’re debating this is because Tom DeLay might lose his position in Congress, President Bush’s approval rating is at an all time low and all sorts of Republicans are under investigation. It’s time to fire up the religious base that got them elected.
So let me help you get focused back on the path to real news by ending this controversy.
Why are we questioning the use of Happy Holidays this year? Of all years, this makes absolutely no sense.
First off, it’s very commonly known that this time of the year is a huge time for holiday business. I chronicled the joys of holiday shopping just two weeks ago.
Now if stores are depending on this time of the year to make their biggest profits, then why would they risk the chance of alienating any part of their customer base?
What people miss this year is that Christmas may be on the 25th, but both Hanukkah and Kwanzaa start the day after. If stores are going to close or cut hours for Christmas, then clearly people are going to be trying to do their shopping at the same time as people are shopping for Christmas.
Why would stores only pander to one religious group and leave the rest to their competitors to take, completely unchallenged? Simple: they wouldn’t.
And to be honest, Christmas isn’t exactly cemented as Dec. 25. Historians and scholars have said that the martyr of the church was likely born in September. Seems as though the stores had it right all along.
Why Dec. 25 then?
Pope Julius proclaimed in 350 B.C. that (and I’m paraphrasing) those silly goose Roman pagans needed to knock off all that pagan nonsense and, “Let’s have a totally fabulous holiday to make them forget about it.”
In other words, Christmas isn’t the only holiday sparking consumer and Julius was busy hanging the red and green curtains for his super party.
But why are people in such a fury about “Merry Christmas?” The same reason why the Church Lady would be furious about a teen in black greeting her with “Hail Satan.” It’s not what they believe in.
Is either side right? Hell, no!
The entire point of “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” aren’t to have a religious debate on the sidewalk. It’s supposed to be a token of good will. It’s meant to be a tiding of joy, if you will.
The next time someone offers you holiday joy, don’t clench your fists in rage. Just say hello and walk by.
Now here’s where I bury the part of the column that you wouldn’t have read if it was at the top.
This is likely my last column for awhile. I’m going to be getting my 1,000 words out a lot easier by shooting photos for The Orion next semester. No, I didn’t drop dead or have a massive fallout with the editors or decide to become a recreation administration major.
But before I finish this, I’d like to thank a few people at The Orion.
First off, I’d like to thank our outgoing managing editor, Becky Regan. When you were a sports editor over a year ago, you got a rambling response to a top ten sports movie story and saw promise in it. These words wouldn’t be here without you.
To keep the thank you train rolling along, I want to thank the entire Fall 2004 opinion staff who helped me take my writing from rambling about the olympics to rambling about something that people would actually read.
I’d like to also thank the one member of our online staff whose name you haven’t seen attached to a story, but has made every story this semester the successes they have been. Greg Leben has put in countless nights staring at a screen, waiting for that midnight soccer story to come in or that urgent piece of breaking news and made sure they’re flawless.
Finally I’d like to thank you for at least reading this last sentence.