It appears that the tone of this post may be more angry and emotional than I intended. I wish everyone who celebrates Christmas a joyous day. I'm not ranting or raving, merely expressing my thoughts on this holiday's unique place in our world.
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I hate seeing consumer capitalism on overdrive.
I hate that a Christian holiday is a national holiday in nation where Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Sikhs, atheists, Shintos and pagans - and whoever else - are supposed to be equally welcome.
I hate being told that Christmas is no longer a Christian holiday, that it's now a secular holiday. I don't know if that's wishful thinking or amnesia or maybe guilt, but as far as I'm concerned, it's bullshit.
I hate the assumption I need to substitute some other holiday or tradition for this holiday that I don't celebrate. I know people mean well, but asking me what I celebrate instead of Christmas makes as much sense as asking my Christian neighbours what they do instead of Rosh Ha'shana.
I hate being asked "Did you have a nice Christmas?". And when I answer, "I don't celebrate Christmas, but I had a nice winter break, thanks," I hate being told, "I don't mean the holiday, I just meant the whole winter holiday season." If you meant how was my winter break, why didn't you say so?
I hate hearing about other people's Christmas shopping.
I hate being asked if I've finished my Christmas shopping.
I hate hearing Christmas muzak.
I hate people remembering food banks and other charities once a year.
During the last US presidential election, many of my Canadian friends were sick of hearing about the campaign for so long, disgusted by the volume and the omnipresence. That's how I feel about Christmas. It wouldn't be so bad if you could just tone it down. Just go have your holiday. Stop expecting everyone else to care.
I know there's no war on Christmas, only the rantings of aggrieved entitlement, people so accustomed to wielding all the power and holding all the cards that the slightest murmur of the minority viewpoint causes them to claim endangered species status. If there were a war on Christmas, I'd think about signing up.
To everyone who is celebrating today, have a happy day. Could you be a little quieter next year?