Friday, November 10, 2006

Merry Stinking Christmas

Wal-Mart will be using the phrase “Merry Christmas” in stores, products and ads this year instead of “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings.” Wal-Mart hasn't necessarily gotten a revelation from above as much as a recognition from here below that many religious groups last year boycotted retailers who dropped "Christmas" from their public vocabularies.

I don’t know which is more offensive: those who shun stores because they say “Merry Christmas” or those who do because stores use alternative, religion-neutral phrases.

Here’s an ugly little secret you will not hear in most media—Christmas—December 25th—was not Jesus’ birthday. Didn’t even occur in December. It may be the “reason for the season,” as some have liked to say, but the notion is historically inaccurate.

And I’ll share another deep thought with you, while we’re in this vein—and Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching: Why doesn't Thanksgiving get lot more consideration than it receives? You talk about a season with a reason—and there is a national need, a national hunger, I believe, for more public and private acknowledgement of gratitude for the largesse and success that our country enjoys.

We tend to mark Thanksgiving by sleeping late, cooking enough food to feed Sherman’s Army, gorging ourselves senseless at 2 in the afternoon, and spending the rest of the day in a food-coma in front of the TV set. Certainly we’re thankful, but we sure don’t act like it.

And the day after Thanksgiving should be named national “Let’s Go Get More Stuff” day, with the official launch of the Christmas shopping season, and a retail feeding frenzy that is unrivaled anywhere in the industrialized world.

The reason for the season is retail driven, ladies and gentlemen, don’t be fooled. I am not a Scrooge—but I fear for the collective soul of the country over the lack of thoughtful observance of the true intent behind Thanksgiving…which has become more of a day of Thanksgetting than was first intended.

How did we get off on that tangent?

Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day—a day on which the nation will honor the living and the dead who have served in our country’s military. Some businesses are closed today to mark Veteran’s Day, even though November 11 is tomorrow.

Do you find our system of holidays confusing? Why does Thanksgiving always fall on a Thursday, regardless of the date, but Christmas is always on Christmas, regardless of the day?

Ever wonder how long it’s going to be before the government moves Christmas to the Friday before—or the Monday after—and just leaves it there? Kind of like how the government has bastardized other notable days, like Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays in February, and we get an amalgamated President’s Day holiday on a Monday, somewhere between the two real dates. No surprise our kids don't know their American history.

Wonder how long it might be before Christmas and New Years are combined to a single “Festivus for the Rest of Us” on the last Friday of the year…A final, three day weekend before trudging back to the office for another 12-months of toil and worry.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if we celebrated holidays on their actual dates, and didn’t fudge an extra day off in the week when they fell on the weekend—like tomorrow’s November 11?
Why should the Post Office be closed today?
Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day—so close the Post Office on Saturday. Most of them are already closed on Saturdays anyway.

Why should Federal offices be closed today, when tomorrow is the real holiday?

That Veteran's Day falls on Saturday should be viewed as a bonus to taxpayers; Federal offices are already closed on weekends. Keep them open today to get the work done we pay them to do. State and Federal employees can rest on Saturday, with the rest of us, free to observe and respect Veteran’s Day without the distractions of traffic, jobs, and meetings.
I'd be thankful for that.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Why doesn't Thanksgiving get lot more consideration than it receives?"

Because nobody likes turkey. It sucks.

Ray said...

WE have escaped what the holidays are about. For example on Thanksgiving,Walgreens,7-11's, and Garden Ridge will be open. Surely they can afford to have that day off. Restaurants should be closed on Christmas( and Thanksgiving) They will make up the difference with hungry shoppers on the day after(s). Its called commercialized "Greed" NOT "need". Families are lost becasue of this. Only The hospitals, Police, Fire departments plus some mmedia need to work on those days. The Major Holidays are only three times a year out of 365 days( 366 during leap year). Surely employers, comaanies can afford to allow employees to spend time with their families. Then again the cash register is whom we bow to.

ray said...

Ray said... (Revised)
WE have escaped what the holidays are about. For example on Thanksgiving,Walgreens,7-11's, and Garden Ridge will be open. Surely they can afford to have that day off. Restaurants should be closed on Christmas( and Thanksgiving). They will make up the difference with hungry shoppers on the day after(s). Its called commercialized "Greed" NOT "need". Families are lost becasue of this. Only The hospitals, Police, Fire departments plus some media need to work on those days. The Major Holidays are only three times a year out of 365 days( 366 during leap year). Surely employers, and companies can afford to allow employees to spend time with their families. Then again the cash register is whom we bow to. "In God we trust",as long as its on a coin of silver or green paper with a watermark.

Anonymous said...

It’s appropriate to note that the pagan holiday from which Christmas received most of it’s traditions was started to help redistribute the wealth. In other words, the whole point of the original holiday was to spend money and give money and gifts to those who needed it. I think that the holiday is ending up exactly where it started and there is nothing wrong with that.