A very important side note:
I know people who say “Merry Christmas” and graciously accept any other holiday greeting in return. Like the people who offer up their prayers for atheists or others who don’t share their faith. In those cases, they’re synonyms for good-wishes and cheerful tidings. (Hi Mom.) If you’re one of those people, this ain’t aimed at you. Move along peaceably.
These images are aimed at those people who protest stores saying “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings”. The ones who correct others who wish them anything but a “Merry Christmas”. 1 The ones who aren’t happy unless their holiday – and only their holiday – is recognized. The ones who seriously think there’s somehow a “War On Christmas”. We all clear on who we’re talking about now? Cool.
End of the very important side note.
Seriously. I always, even at my most religious, assumed that “Happy Holidays” was meant to cover Christmas and New Year. Took me a long while to realize the object to “Happy Holidays” was simply a demand that ONLY one holiday be recognized, and to demand that all others be ignored.
You’re not fooling anyone when you emphasize “Merry Christmas” when someone wishes you a happy holiday season. Seriously. We know you’re being a superior, judgemental dick and trying to disguise your asshattery as something holy. It disrespects others and it disrespects your own religion.
I know honest-to-goddess serious pagans. Though the ones I know are largely Norse, rather than Greek or Roman, in denomination, the point stands. This is a pluralistic country. I’m sending out holiday cards to pagans of various stripes, atheists, Christians (of multiple denominations), Jews, Muslims, and Wiccans. I wish them all well as the world turns and seasons change.
You know how “repressed” you feel when people don’t explicitly say your religion all the time? WELCOME TO WHAT YOU DO TO EVERYONE ELSE.
This is one way that being raised Catholic was useful; in some parts of the country, Catholics are still referred to as “papists” and are routinely told that they’re not “Christian”. This is one of the reasons I didn’t particularly bash on Romney for his Mormonism; aside from knowing some really cool and thoughtful Mormons, I know how easy it is to be seen as the “other”. For one example of such, see this post about the trampling of my Easter traditions…by Protestants.
I shared this one previously on Facebook. It’s true. Again, if the above would make you feel uncomfortable, welcome to how everyone else feels.
1 What always drives me nuts about these people: It is NOT the Christmas season right now. It’s ADVENT. The Christmas season is actually from 25 December to 6 January.