It's Still OK to Say Christmas!
Enough with the political correctness, already!
Edie J. Adler
Back in 2003 I wrote a "politically incorrect" column after attending the lighting of the official holiday tree downtown Los Angeles at the 7th Street Plaza, across the street from my office at the American Heart Association. Back then I shared with my LatinoLA friends how "deeply offended" I was to hear everyone refer to it as a holiday tree, rather than what it really is ÔÇô A CHRISTMAS TREE.
Published on LatinoLA: December 18, 2010
Seven years have gone by and every year the political correctness crowd, which is really just a few bitter folks, are making this season a little less joyful for the rest of us. Not only are people wishing you "happy holidays" or referring to the tree as a "holiday" tree, but now even some business are refusing to blatantly refuse to participate in the festivities. Case in point: if you go into any Chase bank branch, you will notice the lack of any decorations. I don't bank at Chase, but if I did, I would complain to the manager, and take my business elsewhere!
If you have read my columns before, you probably know that I am Jewish, and not just a secular Jew, but a deeply religious one. I attend services regularly, and I do my best to honor my religion. The thing that bothers me about people being so darn politically correct, to the point they cannot even utter the word Christmas, is that they have no clue as to what is offensive to others. The nerve of these people! Do they really think we non-Christians are so fragile, that they need to protect us to that extent?
Besides, since the beautifully decorated tree is not a Hannukah Bush or a Kwanzaa Fern, then what holiday does it exactly represent?
I am not offended if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. Even if they know I am Jewish! To me that simply says they like me enough to want to share their holiday with me. I would be deeply touched if someone wished me a happy Kwanzaa.
What is wrong with Christmas any way? Isn't it supposed to represent peace, love, and goodwill? We all could use some of that.
And as far as Santa Claus, you can do what a friend of mine suggests, and simply tell your kids that this is not our holiday representative. Or, you could do what my dear, wise mother did for me when I was a child. Having been raised in Mexico, a country not exactly known for its Jewish traditions (although there's more than one Jewish family thereÔÇª.take my word for it), I was exposed to Christmas, holiÔÇª.I mean, Christmas trees, and of course Santa. Mamita explained that Santa was a very generous man, who took it upon himself to reward good little boys and girls on the kid's special holiday. So good ol' Kris (Kringleman in my case) delivered my Hannukah presents, which I got to open on Christmas Eve!
If you celebrate Christmas, please do not be afraid of offending anyone by saying the word. If you don't celebrate, chill out and don't be offended. There are worse things people can say to you than Merry Christmas.
Every year, as we light the Hannukah lights, we pray that their light reaches the "enlightened", and help them see beyond their own limitations, so they can let people enjoy the magic of the season. And for God's sake, don't change the name of the Hannukiah to "holiday candle holder!"
Happy (belated) Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, and Feliz Navidad!
Edie J. Adler:
Edie J., a regular contributor to LatinoLA is an author, voice over artist, and public speaker. She and Neal will be having Christmas Eve dinner with dear friends, along with their 5 dogs, 4 cats, 4 birds, 2 frogs, 1 turtle and 1 turkey.
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