Friday, December 09, 2005

No Offence, but Merry Christmas

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about being sensitive and considerate to others. But in the same spirit of openness and acceptance, I don’t think it would be a terrible crime for me to wish someone a Merry Christmas.

Yes, to me, Christmas has a personal, spiritual and religious meaning. And that’s fine, so long as I’m happy with it and not trying to thrust my belief system in everyone’s face all the time. Christmas as a grander seasonal and societal concept, of course, has a much broader meaning that typically means warmth, compassion, friends and family, love and the hope for peace on earth. And I’d like to believe that those things are universal.

So when I slip and forget to offer a generic “Happy Holidays” during this season which coincides with the winter solstice, and you catch me wishing you a “Merry Christmas” instead, please note that it’s an attempt to spread a little warmth, a little compassion and love as well as a wish for peace to you and your loved ones. And if you’d rather wish me back a Happy Hanukkah, a Blessed Ramadan or perhaps even a Happy Festivus, I will, of course, take your greeting in the spirit of love it was meant.

Sound good? Cool. Now let’s get out there and spread some love. Our world could certainly use it.


Franny said...

Merry Christmas to you too! Last year, some of my students got together to offer me warm Ramadan wishes (they were aware I was Christian).

I did not feel offended, or excluded, or pressured to become Muslim, or discriminated against or oppressed. I felt warm and happy.

In my lifetime I've been offered blessings by Allah, smiled upon by Buddha, and my ancestors sought favour from Jupiter and Juno. I may say "God bless you" - but the feeling being expressed is the same, just the object/subject is different depending on your faith.

You may have an apple to share, I may have an orange to share, but we are all sharing fruit.

In my life of warm wishes from the faiths of the world, I am still waiting for a Krishna blessing...anyone out there?

Unknown said...

Merry Christmas Mark and Franny.

And, I'd also like to wish you a Happy Chaoflux, even though that's still a while away. (Feb. 14-19)

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas everyone!

I will be wishing Merry Christmas to more and more people as that blessed day approaches...if I do say Happy Holidays, in my mind it means the christmas season...up to and including new years.

This is the season of giving and sharing. A time for peace and warmth. Who cares how we express it? Just as long as we do.

And as the very fabulous Christmas classic, The Christmas Carol (pick your favorite version), points out, it's a feeling that should carry out the whole year through and not just at this one time.

So again, Merry Christmas to all, and have a safe and happy holiday season!

snoproblem said...

Yeah, I don't get that "Christmas is offensive" thing, either. Is it really that hard to simply accept those well-wishes in the spirit that they're given?