Last week, I was at a holiday party. Or a Christmas party. Christmas decorations have been up since Halloween, and I just can’t tell anymore. And we had to have THAT conversation about it . You know the one. It goes something like this.
Drunk Guy: Merry Christmas!
Grumpy Hippy: Uh, don’t you mean happy holidays?
Drunk Guy: Sure, happy holiday.
Blah blah blah. Defensive hand gestures. Now someone is crying in the bathroom, effectively taking us all away from the goal of friends, family, and a holiday hookup.
And we’ve all been there. Everyone has that conversation at some point about how to define the “right” version of Christmas or the PC way of sharing a season composed of several religious and secular holidays.
Granted, “happy holidays” is a pretty safe bet since Thanksgiving, New Year, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah enjoy the same part of the calendar, but it’s more than that. We want to get caught up in the minutia of specific details at the cost of the real point.
One could argue that folks of different religious denominations are celebrating a different Christmas from each other since they are celebrating a different Christ. Or no Christ at all.
A lot of folks out there are celebrating a day with friends and family, separate of a specific religious association or even while observing another religion. It happens. So much so that “Christmas” has effectively become a catch-all for a bunch of different ways to celebrate different things.
Which really brings me to my point: We are all celebrating a different Christmas. And we are all celebrating the same Christmas. Not in a new-age sense, but in that we are all observing different specifics of a holiday season, while at the same time enjoying some common meaning.
Family. Friends. Joy. Goodwill.
These are things we can all get behind whether you’re celebrating the Cthulhu-like corporate Christmas of the retail industry or a more traditional Bing Crosby affair.
That’s what secular Christmas has become. Not to say there’s anything wrong with celebrating a different meaning. Just the opposite. I’m trying to say that the point of Christmas is not the point of Christmas. And arguing about it is, ironically, counter to the holiday!
So, I’m of the mind to celebrate a new secular Christmas. Not the secular Christmas that some fear is eroding family values–the one that is a war on Christ’s birthday. Instead, I’m ready to celebrate a secular Christmas made up of all of the Christmases. A Christmas that lets people simply be. An inclusive holiday of holidays that celebrates us being happy, alive, and joyful.
And isn’t that what we all really want? To enjoy these simple things and maybe, just maybe, spend a whole lot of money on cool stuff?
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons