I think I've finally hit rock-bottom. I've lost all care or concern for Christmas this year. At first I thought it might have been me, but I'm pretty sure you've all felt it in some capacity. There's that tiny gnawing sensation that has been growing in all of us, and I finally figured out what the problem is.
I'm tired of wondering whether or not I can wish anyone a Merry Christmas any more without offending them. Maybe they celebrate Channukah, or Kwanza, or Festivus. I'm OK if you even celebrate the Emperor's birthday. Whatever you celebrate, that's fine by me. I'm tired of people assuming I'm imposing my beliefs on them by wishing them a Merry Christmas. If you celebrate it, cool. If you don't celebrate it, no worries. I don't personally celebrate Channukah or Diwali, but if you celebrate those holidays, I hope you enjoy them too.
I'm tired of wondering whether saying Happy Holidays will offend people as well. Saying "Happy Holidays" doesn't mean I'm against religion or Christianity. It means I'm trying to be sensitive that other people may not be celebrating Christmas. Plus, as John Stewart so brilliantly pointed out, the New Year is just around the corner... ergo, there are two holidays together.
I'm tired of looking at a nativity and wondering who is offended, and who is working to get it removed. Just because there is religious significance to a nativity scene doesn't automatically make it a political landmine. Stop playing political football with the baby Jesus, please.
I'm tired of Christmas Music. I've gotten to the point where I dread this point in the year, because it seems that every artist decides it's a really neat idea to release a Christmas album. While that might have been a neat idea in the 1980s when Christmas albums were little treats, we now have a complete deluge of artists fulfilling contract obligations with shovelware Christmas offerings. Knock it off, people! It's no longer special, and while your fans may care, the rest of the world doesn't need to hear your stylistic assassination of a holiday classic.
I'm tired of surly retail people. I'm sorry you have to work over the holidays, and I'm sorry that 15 customers prior to me have made you question your very existence on the planet, but there's no need to take it out on me. I wasn't those people, and I'd like you to muster up a bit of that Christmas cheer that's been so drowned in Christmas music from hell, and send a bit of it my way instead of giving me grief for not spending enough to make it worth your while.
I'm tired of the Christmas arms race. I'm not inadequate because my electrical meter isn't spinning into oblivion trying to keep up with the 1,000 lumen Christmas display in my yard (with inflatable snow-globe snowmen!). It's a simple tree, and it's in my living room. Please cope.
Now, I don't want people to think I'm ungrateful this holiday. I'm just sick of all of the political and commercial bullshit that has become part of the baggage of the holiday. If people would just stop for a second and think about how silly we've become this year with our sensitivities to phrases, or our blatant commercialism, or our complete disregard for other people's feelings, we might all be able to sit back and relax with a glass of egg nog and enjoy the season. We can happily ignore the assholes who want to enforce their beliefs on all of us, and tell them to jolly well go screw themselves. Christmas isn't about commercialism or politics. Christians celebrate the birth of the one who came to redeem us from the ways of this world. Christmas means we get another shot, direct from God, for being better people. If you're not Christian, that's OK too; you can still give gifts and be with the people you love. Numbness shouldn't be part of the holiday season, no matter what you celebrate.
So knock off the political bullshit about whether we should say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" or whatever greeting you wish to make, and knock off whether or not nativity scenes are fair game. Whatever you celebrate, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and a happy holiday.