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Honestly, It Is Still OK to Say Merry Christmas

The war against Christmas

By Edie J. Adler, Contributing Writer
Published on LatinoLA: December 18, 2013


Honestly, It Is Still OK to Say Merry Christmas


One of these years, when Christmas time is here, I would love to be able to write about something other than what I call "political correctness gone wild." It gets worse every year. Not only are you supposed to say "happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" but now things have gotten so out of hand, that an elementary school has even banned the colors red and green.

Nichols Elementary in Frisco, TX has prohibited its students from wearing the colors to their "Winter Holiday" party, in addition to banning Christmas trees and of course students cannot wish one another a Merry Christmas! Whatever happened to freedom of speech? As Mamita used to say, you give them an inch, and they'll take a yard. In an effort not to offend the easily offended, many people have compromised and used the "holiday" greeting instead, and look at what is happening.

Thank goodness not every elected official has been drinking the proverbial kool-aid! David Fried, Mayor of Robbinsville, NJ has had enough of this nonsense and declared that town's festive tree a Christmas tree! Good for you Mayor Fried!

In the last few days I have seen the controversy unfold in social media, with people claiming conservatives are offended when someone wishes them happy holidays and reminding everyone who will listen or read that Christmas is really a pagan holiday.

Even the race card is showing its ugly face! Megyn Kelly of the Fox News Network has found herself in hot water for saying (tongue in cheek, by the way) that Santa Claus is white!

While it is true that no one knows for sure the exact date when Jesus was born, and many of the Christmas traditions had their origins in pagan celebrations, such as the Winter solstice, the time of Saturnalia which honored the god of agriculture, and Juvenalia, a celebration in honor of the Roman children, the truth of the matter is that Christmas has been observed on December 25th since the THIRD CENTURY.

By the eight century it was widely celebrated throughout Europe. And when Prince Albert of Germany married Queen Victoria of England in 1848, he brought with him his country's old tradition of decorating a Christmas tree. When their picture in front of their beautiful tree was published by a magazine in the US, the tradition quickly caught on in this country.

The figure most associated with Christmas nowadays is based on Saint Nicholas of Myria, a Dutch saint famous for his love of giving gifts; he was known as Sinterklaas. A Dutch saint..I think Megyn Kelly is on to something!

Perhaps because I grew up in Mexico, or because my parents taught me to be accepting of other people's costumes, or simply because I love any excuse to celebrate, I have always enjoyed Christmas. Even Neal, my husband, who refers to himself as a "born again Jew" because he became more observant of our religion after we met, has always enjoyed celebrating Christmas with his Christian friends. We both love having a beautifully decorated tree in our home at this time; we call it a Chanukah bush and decorate it in white and blue, the colors of Israel! We continue to go to temple almost every Saturday morning, and celebrate Shabbat with a special dinner every Friday.

Guess what, you don't need to be Christian, or even believe in God to join in and enjoy the festivities. For those of you who insist on saying "happy holidays" do everyone a favor: if you mean happy Chanukah, then say happy Chanukah! If you mean happy new year, then say happy new year! If you mean happy Kwanza, then say happy Kwanza! Otherwise call it what it is or don't say anything!

Once again I invite you to join the campaign started by my dear friend Amalia Gonzalez a couple of years ago: the next time somebody wishes you happy holidays, say "and a Merry Christmas to you too!"

You'll be surprised how many people smile!

About Edie J. Adler, Contributing Writer:
Edie J. is an actress, public speaker, and author. She and her husband Neal live with their 5 dogs, 4 cats, 3 birds, 1 turtle, 1 frog, and a flying reindeer.
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