A Christmas Rant
Before I get to the heart warming stories, I figured I might as well get this off my chest.
I'm so sick of hearing about people making a big deal over holiday and religious related decor/greetings/etc.
Christmas is a popular, nationally celebrated holiday in which government organizations close and people tend to get off work to spend with their family. In other cultures, regardless of religious or non religious, holidays are just part of the culture of the country.
It seems like in the name of equality and secularism we sometimes suck the tradition and culture out our country. Obviously this not universal, it is probably even the minority at this point, but it's enough that larger majorities are forced to tip toe around anyone they might offend.
I guess it's my opinion that part of tolerance and respect of others is being slow to take offense. It's one thing to be offended when someone is attacking you personally or taking away your rights to do something, but celebrating a holiday is not a personal attack. And I think this even applies to businesses and public places. Whether a business chooses to decorate with a Menorah, a Santa, or a Nativity, I think it's kind of obnoxious to take offense.
I recently heard a story about a manager (who was of a religion who does not celebrate holidays) railing on an employee because they off handedly said "Merry Christmas" to her as they were leaving work. How DARE they say that to her when she doesn't celebrate holidays! They received a long and somewhat hateful lecture.
I'm sorry but I think that is unnecessary and sort of mean. It's okay if you don't celebrate holidays, or don't celebrate them in the same way as another person, but yelling at them for not catering to you is silly to me. This employee was just trying to be nice, didn't know you didn't celebrate holidays, and shouldn't have to tip toe around trying not to offend people who don't celebrate Christmas.
You may not celebrate holidays or Christmas...but can't you just take the gesture of a "Merry Christmas" in grace, smile and knod and let it go? Christmas is an American holiday, it's the most popular American holiday and you live in America. I can't see someone going into another country, say Mexico on Día de Muertos and explaining to Mexicans why they shouldn't be talking about their holiday in public when you don't celebrate it.
Perhaps most people aren't this easily offended, but it's enough that many stores have created a policy of saying "Happy Holidays" and while I understand the neutrality of the phrase, it's seemed to leaked over into everyday life where people get offended if you say Merry Christmas (like the boss above) OR offended if you don't say Merry Christmas because the alternative annoys them (also dumb). People take offense over secular vs. religious decorations in public places, and decades old traditions are being torn apart because "it might offend someone."
I just find it hard to believe that traditions and decorations are hurting anyone. And freedom of religion doesn't mean that you get to go through life without ever being confronted with another belief system...quite the opposite. Regardless of your religious or non religious backgrounds, I think we're all missing the point.
It's just a holiday. It's meant to be fun. We may be taking the entire thing all too seriously. We can enjoy the season and explore the deeper meaning and still respect other people. Greet people in whatever way you want and don't be offended by the differences of others. That is my plea.