Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Holidays

So it's that time of year again. The time when people pretend there is a war on Christmas. Now I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas. I tend to see winter shopping season as a reminder that I'm poor, fat, cold, and hate crowds. Religion doesn't even come into my equation. What other people do at this time of year is their deal, not mine.

And yet I've already seen multiple posts by more than one of my Facebook "friends," saying that it's "their" holiday, and anyone who doesn't like it should "go home." I posted this as my status last night in response:
Before you copy/paste somebody's status complaining about how you are getting your rights trampled on if you don't get to dictate the cashier's greeting at Target, please consider how that sounds to everybody who isn't you. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays, and asking stores to force, for example, Jewish cashiers to wish you Merry Christmas is more than a little unreasonable.

And then ask yourself how it is in keeping with the spirit of whatever winter holiday you celebrate to tell me that if I don't celebrate the same thing, in the same way, and using that same words that you do, then I need to "go home"?

What does that even mean, "go home"? Like to where I was born? You want me to go to California?? Or do you mean to where my ethnicity originates? Because I'm an adopted person, and I don't know where that is. So I guess Africa, like everybody else. Are you coming with me, then, since you're from Africa, too? Africa's going to get crowded.

Plus if we all go back to Africa, shouldn't we be celebrating whatever it was we celebrated when we were all Africans? What did we do back then, make antelope paintings on cave walls or something like that? This seems overly complicated somehow. Maybe we should just forget it and tell everyone that we hope they enjoy their holidays, and let them worry about how they want to celebrate them.
What I would be interested in learning is whether or not these same horribly oppressed people would be OK with a Jewish cashier wishing them Happy Hanukkah. Is that OK? How about a pagan cashier wishing them a Blessed Yule or a Happy Solstice? Can I say Joyous Saturnalia just to be contrary? Because Saturnalia was apparently way more awesome than Christmas. What if this hypothetical cashier is a Puritan (are there still Puritans?) or a Jehovah's Witness, and doesn't celebrate Christmas? Can s/he say Have a Nice Day? Or is it that everyone needs to just celebrate the modern religio-retail version of Christmas with its Coca-Cola Claus and STFU about their own beliefs and/or traditions? Because it feels a lot like that last one.