Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas Bashing Alternatives

Usually about this time of the year we see a flurry of radical religious nuts donning their normal defensive posture of attacking anyone that fails to use the words, “Merry Christmas” in favor of “Happy Holidays,” or some other phrase. This time of the year many are overly sensitive to the words that people speak and make severe judgments on their spiritual worth, based on simple vocabulary. I can recall when the word “Xmas” was the final confirmation that Christ was officially “Xed” out of the season. Later in life I learned the historic fact that the Greek letter “Chi” was simply an abbreviated “C,” which still stood for Christ. So Xmas is no different than any other abbreviation or acronyms such as WWJD, PYW or even the ancient Ichthys (ΙΧΘΥΣ) fish that you see on the back of some cars.

This season seems to be a bit different, however, as I see a lot of businesses using the “Merry Christmas” phrase. I was just shopping at WGs and the cashier actually wished me a “Merry Christmas,” and this has been happening in many stores where I’ve been shopping. What’s up with this?

Rather than immediately assuming that the world has turned its faith-ear toward our creator, my hunch is that with all of the infuriated (and many times wealthy) religious zealots, the marketing departments decided that to re-introduce this phrase would be a huge and positive marketing strategy, not cow-towing to those that may be offended. It’s a simple matter of statistics and once one business goes down this path, then the others must follow. Just go to your local mall and you’ll see many businesses following suit.

Enter “Merry Christmas” again.

So assuming that this is at least a partial explanation regarding why we’re hearing more “Merry Christmas’,” it begs the question, ‘what are the radical fundamentalists going to gripe about during this Christmas season?’ Here are some Holiday suggestions:

•Admittedly, this assumed marketing strategy has not been universally adopted so there still is room for chastising those businesses that still do not embrace the “Christmas” words, so there’s still some “Happy Holiday” bashing that is available.

•Another griping option would be to attack the Salvation Army’s bell ringers that clearly are a distraction when going into retail stores. They are noisy and are just after your money. I never wanted war anyway, and so why do we need such an army?

•Or how about a huge gripe-out for the crowds of idiots at the shopping malls or the traffic jams in parking lots; never mind that people are simply trying to share some love or that they are searching for that perfect gift for that special someone.

The Christmas season started when Jesus was born, which is an undeniable historic fact.

No other person, ever, has made such an impact on the planet. What other individual’s birthday generates over 18% of our annual GDP? And we’re still arguing over the whole deal some 2,000 years later. Instead of trying to ‘make a statement’ this season by criticizing, condemning or complaining, why not try something different this year? Love.