These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Sunday, December 28, 2008


In the recent weeks I've received several emails about something, and I'm guessing that many of you have had similar ones in your mailboxes. It has raised some thoughts for me, and I've pondered this at length. These are things I've considered before, but this year, for whatever reason, I'm really stuck on this. So, I'm going to share my turmoil with you! Aren't I nice, sharing like this?

And first, a disclaimer: This is not a "dis" in any way, only a reason for thought and introspection.

Many people are encouraging me to say "Merry Christmas," not "Happy Holidays," as has become my habit. The thought is that it is a reminder of "the reason for the season." I understand and respect this. However, this time is also the time, the season, for Hanukkah and for Kwanza. I have friends who celebrate these holidays. All three, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza, are reflections of our beliefs, our faith, and reminders of the need for retrospection, introspection, and respect for ourselves and for others. As Christians, we are asked to remember to be kind to others, to call for peace on earth and good will toward others. It is in that spirit that I say "Happy Holiday." I want to give good wishes to everyone, not only on my own terms but on an ecumenical or international basis. Is that wrong? I don't think so. If I were not to say "Happy Holiday," in a universal way of greeting and extending my good wishes, I would have to say, "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Blessed Kwanza." Same thing, but what a mouthful to utter several times a day!

Now if it meet you on the street and know you follow Christianity, I would say "Merry Christmas." Period, end of statement. If I meet my friend who is Jewish, I would greet her with "Happy Hanukkah." Simple enough. (BTW, the friend I have in mind at the moment would respond with "Merry Christmas," because she understands and thinks as I do.) To my African-American friends I usually say "Happy Kwanza." But if I don't know your faith or religious practices, I would say "Happy Holiday." That allows you to pick the holiday of importance to you. To me, it is a matter of courtesy and respect, an extension of my good will toward another with deference to that person's beliefs and way of life. To me, that is what the Christmas spirit is all about, loving others and creating a peace between us. And a bottom-line observation .... the word holiday is "holy-day," so what in this does not show respect for "your Christianity," or "her Hanukkah," or "his Kwanza"?

Most of us live in a multi-cultural society, the cities more so than where I live now. But even here, there are many cultures to consider. The words "Happy Holidays" tells everyone that I am in the spirit and allows the Apache woman to take that in as Christian or in the Native American way, whichever she follows. It allows the Jewish gentleman in town to interpret it into his own belief system. And the African American lady that I run into often will understand my intent, whether she hears it as Christmas or Kwanza. My Buddhist friend? She gets it, too.

Again, I'm not dissing anyone, but I wonder .... what is your opinion?


  1. I say either Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. That's what I believe so that's what I say.

  2. spot on there ms. lyn!
    since when did saying "happy holidays" become offensive?
    OH! i remember! september 12, 2001.
    as i recall, before that date, it was a non-issue.
    the other day i was in evan's school office to pick him up early. a mother came in to get her kid, and as she was leaving she said "happy holidays." the receptionist, in a very smarky voice replied, "merry christams." and then rolled her eyes a bit. but i think she's also the same snotty b*&ch with a mccain sticker on her car, so ...
    point made.
    but you my friend, have thought behind your actions.
    that's all you need.
    and if someone is offended by "happy holidays" then just tell them "merry f*&k you" and all will be over.
    there! that's the holiday spirit!

  3. Cameo, actually, I remember there being issues with it before that date, but I think there was power given to the argument at that time. I'll continue to follow my own judgment anyway! I will simply refuse to give in to inequality and lack of respect of others. That's my bottom line! But you know that. :)

  4. Lyn, we are in agreement again. I've said Happy Holidays for a very long time...when I'm forced to say anything. Or sometimes I say Merry Christmas. My reason for switching to HH is that it covers the period from Thanksgiving through New Years. My celebrations are secular, not religious. The way Christmas is celebrated (with the tree, yule log etc) has pagan roots as well as religious. Well, I didn't intend to get into all that...just wanted to make the point that there are many reasons for the way people greet one another. And by the way, Cameo, I supported the McCain ticket... I guess that makes me a snotty b*tch. My apologies, Lyn, I know you don't like name calling.

  5. yikes Lyn - what happened? I just thought the song I sent you was cute, with a catchy tune, and didnt mean to open a can of worms.

    I guess I have said Merry Christmas all my life but not meaning to insult anyone who isnt Christian. Its like saying "have a nice day" when its raining like hell with a blizzard close behind.

    Sometimes its impossible to be politically correct no matter how hard one tries.


  6. see? i don't remember there ever being issue prior to 9-11. but maybe that's just because i wasn't paying attention.
    you just keep with what you're doing. because as i said earlier, there is thought behind your words. that's the good juju factor right there!

  7. hey anonymous at 7:17am
    wow! glad you voted for mccain.
    sorry you took offense.
    and sorry you termed yourself a snotty b8&ch becaus of it.
    i sure didn't.
    if you knew who i was, you would understand that was a ironic wisecrack on my part.
    lyn, my commenting days are over.
    love ya!

  8. Anon, I agree that if people are going to be sticklers about saying "Merry Christmas," they should also drop the paganistic practices from their observation of the "reason for the season." I think it is duplicitous and hypocritical, and of course that is a part of my point. The bigger point is in the simple act of treating everyone with as much respect as possible, and with equal respect to those who believe differently from myself. That is an every day behavior. I don't always achieve that, but it is my goal .... at Christmas time, and in the middle of summer, too.

    As far as the comment from Cameo, I understood that she was applying that term to one woman who was offensive on more than one occasion, *including* her insistence of the Christian greeting; I did not read into that that all McCain supporters are snotty b*itches.

    Now, back to the MC/HH debate ....

    Ruthie, yes, the song is actually cute and comical. You just had the "honor" of being the 4th or 5th person to send me something similar in a few days time! You didn't open the can; I did!

    I posted this because it is one of those issues that I feel a personal tension. Yes, as you say, it is sometimes impossible to be PC, and I sometimes question whether being PC is the right thing. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t try ..... just that it is sometimes worse to try and fail. Also, in this discussion, what is the PC phrase, MC or HH? Theoretically, if looking at “what is PC,” we are usually looking at what is most acceptable to the greater number of people. That means those who are purporting the use of MC are way out of line! I’m not wanting to “penalize” anyone. Others can say MC if they wish. I should be able to say HH if I choose. And I do choose. But somehow, I’m told I shouldn’t.

    I used to always say MC. Then, while living in KC, I had friends with different beliefs, and I became aware that our major holidays coincided (conflicted??) during this time of the year, and I wanted to be respectful. I shared Christmas and Easter with my Jewish friends, and they shared Hanukkah and Passover seders with me. It was a wonderful educational experience, and brought about mutual respect and intimacy. Did I consider converting? No. Did she/they? No. But we understood each other better. Same with an African American friend and coworker who helped me prepare for holiday celebrations in the residential treatment center where we worked. We had children whose backgrounds were Christian, Jewish, African American, Native American, and pagan!! All had important holidays in December! This is one of the places that opened my eyes to the similarities of all those, NOT the differences! As he and I worked on how to present something meaningful for all, I cam to appreciate aspects of all those. I think he did, too.

    Those who insist (as frankly some of my dearest family members do) on wiping out the greeting of HH threaten (or at least give me the sense of it) that I should not have respect for those who are different from them. In fact, I now begin to feel that I am different and somehow inferior because I place others’ beliefs, faith practices in a place of respect. I can respect something without buying into it. It seems that some can’t do that. Bottom line is, I will continue to show respect for ALL faiths that are not harming people (child abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse connected with a religion is not OK, religiously based or not).

    I’ll stop now. I have so many thought swirling in my head. Something tells me that this “can of worms” isn’t empty, so I’ll save some for later! No, Ruth, you did nothing at all to offend me. You innocently gave another spin on the can opener, and *I* popped the top off! Frankly .... thank you!

  9. Cameo, while I was composing that looooooong response, you came and went. Don't go away. Please. I value your ideas and comments. My blog is open to that, and if something is over the top, I'll take the comment down. Till then .... bring it on.

  10. Gee are always stirring things up aren't you?? :) I say both Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. I really only use Merry Christmas when it's x-mas eve or actually x-mas day.

    I have always seen blog posts about this same subject and I really don't understand what the big deal is by using either.

    I agree with cameo about when it became an issues. I don't remember it ever being a problem (except for JW's) before 9/11.

  11. Yes, Caroline, I guess I am. I thought this was a simple "survey," but there are many facets to it, so it seems.

    As to the 9/11 timeline, perhaps because of the work setting (mentioned in my long response above) I was more aware of that as an issue. We used HH out of respect for the kids and their backgrounds, and I used it with respect for friends. I donno.

    I agree that I use MC on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but then I usually see/talk to only Christians on that day.

  12. I see both sides of the coin and use both greetings as I feel like. Some people just have to get all up in arms about something!!!

  13. The way I look at it is this if I wish someone a Merry Christmas I would hope they would take the meaning to mean whatever holiday or religion you believe I give you good wishes. My friend is Jewish she sends my kids Christmas presents and I send her kids Hanakah presents. It shouldnt be a fight with one side trying to save Christmas and one side getting all offended.

  14. Red, No, it shouldn't, and in most situations it isn't. Yet some choose to make a big deal of it, and I figure they don't have friends like yours .... and mine .... to help them understand that recognition and respect of other ways of life doesn't threaten our own! Some people really don't get that, I think.

  15. Oh, definitely, I'm with you, Lynilu. The cards I make always read "Happy Holidays". Equality rules, in my book.


  16. Betty, equality, yes, and simple courtesy and respect, too.

  17. I totally agree with you.

    I don't like people telling me I CAN'T say Merry Christmas (the crazies that think it should be done away with completely) and I don't like people telling me I HAVE to say Merry Christmas.

    I could go on for days about my thoughts on Christmas, etc., - oh wait. I think I already did on my blog. lol So I'll just leave it here.

    Good post, friend!

  18. Jen, it's that old thing about getting church and state mixed together. I'm not opposed to "Merry Christmas" or anything related. I simply, like you, want to make my own choices.

    I'd personally love to see Christmas return to it's original, sacred purpose, and then let's have a secular "happy holiday" for *everyone* of *every faith* in December. C'est bon, n'est pas???


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!