Happy Holidays or Bah Humbug?

The phrase made famous by Ebeneezer Scrooge has gotten to be synonymous with anyone who shows any kind of discontent for the Christmas season. It has gotten to the point where some Christians will actually accuse you of being a ‘Scrooge’ for not saying Merry Christmas. The arrogant assumption being that everyone celebrates Christmas and that anyone who doesn’t is in such rare occurrence that they don’t matter. Yes, they don’t matter. People who don’t celebrate Christmas don’t matter? According to Stats Canada that was over 6 millions Canadians in 2001. According to a Stats Canada projection that number could easily double even by 2006.

So millions of Canadians don’t count? It is doesn’t take a genius to understand how heartless this position is.

It’s the same situation in the United States, non-Christian and nonreligious account for 20-25% of the population and growing. Again, it is astoundingly inhuman and arrogant to assume that the other person celebrates Christmas.

This is not to say that the Christian celebrations aren’t appreciated. Over many centuries Christmas has grown to be a wonderful combination of Christian and pagan traditions.  As Tracey Spicer of the Telegraph rightly pointed out:

The point is this: Christmas means different things to different people…

But most Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists – and even atheists such as myself – aren’t in the least bit upset by Christian celebrations.

Depictions of the birth of Christ are on display in Malaysia, while the term Merry Christmas is becoming popular in China and Japan because of the influence of the West.

So, before we start singing Frosty the Snowperson, O Little Town of Palestinian Joint Rule, or Vertically Challenged Drummer Child of Indeterminate Gender, let’s remember what we all love about Christmas.

Peace on Earth, goodwill to all men, a drink with mates, a seafood barbie, and kids singing your favourite carols out-of-key.

Let us not cast ourselves in the mould of Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: “If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding.”

‘Happy Holidays’ doesn’t mean ‘Bah Humbug’ it means we are as excited about the holidays as you are but smart enough to know that it really does mean different things to different people, especially so in a growing multicultural society. Regardless of religion or ethnicity everyone wants to spread the cheer and wish everybody’ Happy Holidays’, except of course the ones who really a scrooge.

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2 Responses to Happy Holidays or Bah Humbug?

  1. thefieldmouse says:

    I’ve got some first-hand experience with this issue! I’m sure you heard all about this business with the governor of Rhode Island. (If not: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2070946/Christmas-2011-Rhode-Island-holiday-tree-lighting-ceremony-crashed-Scrooges.html).

    Last week, I overheard my mom on the phone with Gov. Chafee’s office making a formal complaint about putting the “Christ” back in Christmas.

    It sort of made me laugh. We don’t live in Rhode Island 🙂

    • bryanbr says:

      I can see that coming from older generations because of how dominant the Christian traditions were in our culture for so long but for anyone born I’d say after 1970 to have that attitude is an astounding display of ignorance and/or religious indoctrination.

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