Monday, December 19, 2005

More on the Happy Holidays "Controversy"

I just read a defining article in The Washington Post about the controversy over saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" (see last week's article here). The fact is, there is no conspiracy to remove the Christ from Christmas ... nor a conspiracy to eliminate Christmas as a holiday altogether. I highly recommend you read the article by Neely Tucker titled "Have a Holly, Jolly Holiday." (

The fact is -- and just a little bit of actual research shows this -- the controversy comes from a bit of hype from Fox News Channel, Libert Counsel, and the American Family Association. I'm sure they will downplay a story run in the supposed liberally biased WP, but honestly, the only ones running away from unbiased reporting is Fox News Channel and the league of conservative radio "journalists." Really, read the article. I dare you. Learn instead of just listen.

Happy holidays to you -- whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannakah, Kwanza, or some other holiday that occurs at this same time of the year. Especially if you're an Ebenezer Schrooge type looking for a way to mend your ways.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Controversy over "Happy Holidays!"

I'd like to address the whole controversy over changing the yuletide season greeting of "Happy holidays!" People feeling their new-found political muscle think we should say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy holidays!" Talk about political correctness!

The supposition from the side of conservatives -- Christian conservatives mainly -- is that non-conservative Christians, in fact anyone not pretty much a fundamentalist or evangelical Christian, are trying to "dumb down" the notion of Christmas and turn it from a solemn acknowledgment that Christmas is all about -- and nothing more than all about -- the birth of Christ. When someone says "Happy holidays!" instead of "Merry Christmas!" they are failing to acknowledge Christ as the center of the Christmas holiday and, as secularists, they are trying to drive religion out of the holiday. Maybe, but not on a sizable scale.

What conservative Christians are missing is that there are a number of holidays -- holy days, even -- that occur at this same time of year, and most people I know who say "Happy holidays" are not trying to rob the holiday of its religious origin as much as to wish the various groups celebrating the season much happiness. When I want to wish a Jew a "Happy Hanukkah," it doesn't make sense to wish him "Merry Christmas." When I want to wish someone in the African American community a happy Kwanza, it doesn't make sense to wish her a "Merry Christmas." Would it make sense to wish a Christian "Happy Hanukkah"? Of course not!

Just as important, I don't know what someone I meet on the street is celebrating other than the holidays, so it makes sense to wish him or her "Happy holidays!" Then if she wants to respond "Merry Christmas" I can then say "Yes, and a Merry Christmas to you!"

This sense by conservatives that the world wants to rob Christmas of its Christ is nonsense. It illuminates their myopic sense of self-importance that the world revolves around their faith and the self-perpetuated myth that the world is attacking them and they're martyrs for suffering through it. Again, nonsense! But "Happy holidays" anyway.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Some still find offense from "anodyne" quote

Word discovery: Anodyne
Citation: Salon, “
The Senate’s Bad Intelligence,” July 16, 2004 (may require log-in or watching a brief video ad).
Usage: “The conclusion is apparently based on one anodyne quote from a memo Valerie Plame, my wife, sent to her superiors…” [color font mine]
Meaning: not provocative (see “
anodyne” [2] from Merriam-Websters online dictionary)
Comments: I wonder where Ambassador Wilson first discovered this word. Under what circumstances did he first need to use it? It’s an interesting word, but not one I have run into before.