Funny line, huh? Conjures up the old Saturday Night Live skit by Eddie Murphy, I’m Gumby damn it! Demanding respect, forcing his way unto others, this was Eddie Murphy’s Gumby; the Rodney Dangerfield of cartoons, no wonder Pokey was always in the background. Take the same idea and wish someone a Merry Christmas and some people may look at you as you just shouted out a curse word. The fact is though; we are getting farther and farther away from wishing each other a Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays is a wonderful saying, a great way to say hello to many, why, there’s even some wonderful songs singing the praises of ‘Happy Holidays’. One is a nostalgic song by Andy Williams. There is a real catchy version from Steve and Edie. Ask your parents who Steve and Edie are, and why Andy Williams thinks this is the most wonderful time of the year.
Andy Rooney said that nothing mystified Americans more than the cotton in the pill bottles. Well that may be true rest in peace dear Mr. Rooney, but nothing makes me scratch my head more than people who think nothing of taking the Lord’s name in vain and yet can’t wish you a Merry Christmas as fear of offending you.
Go to the local malls and they say Happy Holidays. Fill you stockings with these lovely gifts. Not fill your ‘Christmas stockings’ with lovely gifts, but ‘stockings’. This year it has been reported that they have been record sales and filled to the brim shopping malls. It should also be noted that there will be record returns as people suddenly get the Holiday ‘bills’ in the mail and realize they cannot pay for them. Guess the prayers to Santa’s elves aren’t working.
Members of the House of Representatives cannot send out e-mails saying ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Chanukah’ as it may be viewed as promoting religion, and God-forbid, we can’t do that now can we?
I too, have been guilty. When I worked in corporate America the ‘Holiday’ version of our company newsletter could not have anything in it specific to Christmas, or any other specific religious Holiday observance. I could not even place an image of Santa Claus in the newsletter. The meeting was borderline insane, ‘...but it’s Santa I said! ‘No No’, I was told, you can’t do that, it’s not in the Holiday Corporate Spirit - you’re ending up on the naughty list’! Personal! I swear you cannot make this stuff up!
People are afraid of losing money and customers by appearing to be showing an affiliation to a specific religion. It is not popular to be spiritual, and it may even be a downright sin to be religious. Let’s face it in the world of political correctness, ‘Merry Christmas’ does not fit the bill.
Was it always this way? Back in the day when the Mona Lisa was sitting there smiling that Giaconda smile maybe she knew something the rest of us didn’t. Maybe she saw change coming.
There is much meaning in the word ‘Christmas’. In its purest essence, Christmas is the Birth of Christ, a symbol of peace and love. ..which is one reason why we want to keep the Christmas spirit going all year long.
There is the beautiful Chanukah celebration in December. One in which I participate each year and as we all get together the first night it is one of my favorite nights of the year. My sister Gayle married into a wonderful family and they are Jewish. Together we all participate in each other’s Holy Days and Holidays. We will send them a Chanukah card. They will send us a Christmas card. As Captain Renault said in Casablanca, ‘It is very convenient’.
There is Kwanzaa which is a wonderful cultural message and of course, Festivus, a Holiday for the rest of us. From ‘Seinfeld’, the show about nothing showed you can even have a Holiday about nothing. Although the downside of Festivus is that with having an aluminum pole instead of the Christmas, errrrr…sorry, Holiday Tree, there is no place to hang the Christmas.. oops again Holiday ornaments.
Perhaps better days are coming. Perhaps we can see that behind all the craziness that comes with the Season of giving, perhaps we can ‘get it’. Perhaps others can understand that for those of us who do believe in Christmas that it is offensive and tired to just continue to be passé’ about it and wish us ‘Happy Holidays’.
Maybe Santa will put a little something extra in our Christmas stocking this year. Maybe we will all get a bit of moxie for the Holidays. So perhaps in that spirit, we can hope for a Festivus miracle and wish each other a Merry Christmas. Even now, as you sit and read this you may even have your Mona Lisa Giaconda smile going and you are saying to yourself …