“Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal”

2004 vacation 095The title is a quote from the movie “Home Alone” which has been repeated in commercials and printed on T-shirts. It carries with it seemingly conflicting messages. However, it shines a light on a dilemma I have been pondering for the past few years.

When I was a teenager, the circle of friends with whom I hung out practiced a different type of communication. It is not uncommon but for many people it could easily be viewed as “off-putting”. Many people curse when angry or experiencing pain and others do so to place emphasis on an extreme situation. My friends and I used obscenities for regular communication. When we greeted each other it wasn’t with a casual wave, we acknowledged one another’s arrival by giving the finger to whoever was arriving. We didn’t gesture with a nod of the head, we flipped each other the bird.

This was how we knew that we loved each other. One of my friends might say to me, “F— you!” But I knew that the spirit behind that F-bomb was one of deep friendship.

Our emphasis on political correctness is molding us into a race of people one might have seen on an episode of “The Twilight Zone” where social compliance was dictated apart from one’s true sentiments.

I don’t begrudge people saying “Happy Holidays” during the holiday season but many of us choose to celebrate Christmas and extend the greetings of the season by saying, “Merry Christmas”. Aside from a few militant zealots who use that phrase as some sort of a dare to be confronted, the vast majority of us who wish others a Merry Christmas are doing just that, extending a greeting of the season. It is intended as a wish for the greeting’s recipient to have a happy holiday season filled with joy, peace and laughter.

If I am greeted with any common greeting apart from Merry Christmas I will not be offended. I will receive it as a kind wish from a fellow human being.

Let us please celebrate our diversity by receiving the greeting “Merry Christmas” or any other holiday greeting as a sincere and heart-felt gesture of good will not as religious indoctrination.

However you choose to observe the upcoming season of good will permit me to wish you a sincere Merry Christmas, a prosperous New Year and the Happiest of Holidays!

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