EDITORIAL: A merry Christmas to all, and to all, please don’t complain

Editorial Board

So, the holidays are entirely upon us. But if we were being honest with each other, the editorial board would say “Christmas is coming up.” However, our ever sensitive and reactionary society seems dead-set on sterilizing any, and all, traces of diversity at every impasse.

As a group, we have pretty diverse ideas about religion, which is why it was so surprising we reached equilibrium on this issue at all — let alone in only a few minutes.

The editorial board would like to wish you a “Merry Christmas.” That’s what we want to say to you, the readers, and people we meet. We’d appreciate it if you weren’t offended, because we’re simply expressing our goodwill toward you, and supporting the American way.

We can already hear that deep breath in to accuse the Daily of insensitivity. So stop, and keep reading first. We would never claim Christianity, or the celebration of its holidays is the American way. Our argument is that saying “Merry Christmas,” as an expression of good will toward each other is not offensive under any circumstances. The expression of one’s self in a non-violent matter is free speech at its essence and few would argue free speech is un-American.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, wishing you a merry one isn’t an attack on you, your beliefs or your life style. If someone wishes you a Merry Christmas, simply respond with “Happy Hanukkah, “Happy Kwanza,” “Happy New Year,” “Happy Holidays,” or any other statement of good will from our mixed bag ‘o holidays.

Would “Happy Labor Day” offend Canadians? Would a Brit take offense to “Happy Thanksgiving?” Likely, no. Those interactions would almost certainly lead to dialogue where the parties could share their culture with each other as they work toward mutual appreciation and acceptance. How often do you intentionally offend someone? Wouldn’t it be great if we could stop being afraid to be nice? In a world where people are growing increasingly detached, it’s a shame to see a time of year grounded in togetherness slowly pulled apart at the seams.

When a cashier says “Have a nice evening,” nobody has a problem with it, but as soon as they say “Merry Christmas” they’re oppressing and insensitive?

Why can’t we just relax? Merry Christmas is not the same as “merry holiday-that-proves-my-beliefs-are-right-and-yours-are-wrong.” In our discussion, we agreed we would love, and draw as much joy from, being wished a “Happy Hanukkah” as a “Merry Christmas.” In fact, we thought a Happy Hanukkah might be better, as it’s eight days long, and therefore eight times as happy.

The holidays aren’t about right and wrong, they’re about embracing the people you care about and starting a new year together. That’s something we can all identify with, regardless of how we acknowledge it, or why we’ve chosen to acknowledge it.

Freedom of religion is a beautiful thing, but freedom of religion isn’t the same as freedom from religion. The sooner we embrace religion’s existence, and more importantly its differences, the sooner we can all have “Happy Holidays” together. The American way of dealing with problems has always been head-on. Political correctness has gone too far, and as a citizenry we can push back against our self-imposed societal norms. If you celebrate Christmas, don’t be afraid to say so, and if you don’t, simply respond in a way expressing your ideals and beliefs appropriately and respectfully.

December 25th is a day, no matter what you follow, and whether or not you choose to acknowledge it as a holiday, the editorial board wishes you a merry one.