Posts Tagged ‘Happy Holidays’

Happy Holidays (War is Over)

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My Facebook feed has been taken over by “War on Christmas” posts. Apparently, some peo­ple be­lieve there is a move­ment afoot by uniden­ti­fied forces to abol­ish Christmas. I don’t re­ally un­der­stand what this “war” means ex­actly, but from what I can gather from these mis­sives, Christmas is un­der at­tack and the only de­fense is to say “Merry Christmas” three times while tap­ping your boots to­gether. I think. It’s re­ally not that clear.)

My cold med­ica­tion is mak­ing me en­vi­sion what a war on Christmas would ac­tu­ally entail:

1. Someone wishes you “Happy Holidays”.

2. Get ir­ra­tionally up­set at the au­dac­ity of that re­tail clerk who failed to as­sume you’re a Christian.

3. Go on­line to find a photo of Santa or Jesus (or Santa with Jesus!). Use your Photoshop skills to af­fix a ral­ly­ing cry of “It’s not Happy Holidays it’s Merry Christmas! Share if you agree!” over the photo. Tip: Use large fonts and nu­mer­ous ex­pla­na­tion marks to re­ally show the world how an­gry you are. OR find an­other person’s post and share it.

4. Put on your flak hel­met and cel­e­brate the birth of baby Santa in your home/bunker. Come out in time for the in­evitable “War on Easter”.

This “war on Christmas” non­sense con­fuses me be­cause JUST TAKELOOK AROUND YOU. Christmas is freak­ing EVERYWHERE! If there is in­deed a war, the other side is los­ing. Big time.

I can’t walk into a store with­out be­ing as­saulted with Christmas car­ols blast­ing over the PA sys­tem. And it’s the same songs over and over. (How about adding “Back Door Santa” to the mix?) There’s even a ra­dio sta­tion that has gone full-on Christmas. (I feel so sorry for those dee­jays.) And every artist you can think of has put out a Christmas al­bum, even Bob Dylan. Bob! Effing! Dylan! put out a Christmas al­bum. (I think it’s a Christmas al­bum. I can’t un­der­stand a word that comes out of that man’s mouth, but the CD cover says it’s a Christmas al­bum, so I’ll leave it at that.)

And there are Christmas trees every­where. EVERYWHERE. There’s one in my condo lobby. There’s one at my of­fice. There’s one out­side of City Hall. I’m pretty sure one has some­how made its way up my arse (which would maybe ex­plain my prickly mood). And lights! Pretty, blink­ing lights, strung up every­where, suck­ing up electricity.

I miss my favourite TV shows. They all go on hia­tus and are re­placed with Christmas spe­cials. After re­peated view­ings (and a few glasses of wine) they all kind of blend into one an­other – a snow­man comes alive and is vis­ited by three ghosts who ar­rive on a sleigh led by a red-nosed rein­deer, pah-rum-pah-pah-pah.

And then there’s this: NO ONE IS PREVENTING YOU FROM CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS.

You can chop down a tree, drag its corpse into your home and fes­toon it with gar­ish trin­kets and sil­ver tas­sels. You can plop a na­tiv­ity scene on your front lawn with a big old baby Jesus smack dab in the mid­dle of it. You can also go to mass and cel­e­brate the birth of your Christ, singing hal­lelu­jah at the top of your lungs.

You can choose from hun­dreds of cards that say “Merry Christmas” to send to all your friends and fam­ily. (And here’s an­other friendly tip: Get some cards that are blank in­side and write “Merry Christmas” many times, in dif­fer­ent type­faces, colours…even glit­ter! Or, bet­ter yet, buy a card where you can record your voice, so when the re­cip­i­ent of said card opens it up you can scare them into a heart at­tack with a loud and proud “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”)

Happy Holidays” has be­come de rigueur this time of year. Because of the great cul­tural mo­saic that is Toronto, there are many Canadians who do not tick the box next to Christian on their cen­sus sheets. That’s how it is. You can­not be­moan that fact while you or­der Ethiopian food and buy chicken tikka masala at your gro­cery store. You do not get to take ad­van­tage of the mul­ti­cul­tural smörgås­bord that is Toronto with­out re­spect­ing the fact that some cul­tures do not cel­e­brate the birth of baby Jesus.

Happy Holidays” is not a bad thing to say. It is all-inclusive, wel­com­ing of all cul­tures and tra­di­tions. “Happy Holidays” can mean “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hannukah” or “Happy Kwanza”. It can also mean “Happy New Year”, “Happy Boxing Day” or “Happy Winter Solstice”. (For athe­ists, it could mean “Happy Nationally Mandated Days Off!”) It’s very Canadian.

So why does it mat­ter so much to some peo­ple? I could of­fer a lengthy dis­course on pos­si­ble xeno­pho­bia and na­tion­al­ism, but I lack the en­ergy or men­tal ca­pac­ity to do so right now. Instead, I’ll just go and stare at all the pretty lights.

Happy Holidays!


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