Wednesday, December 22, 2004

You People . . . .

. . . Who've become recently charmed by your capacity to see the world in only two of the primary colors - red and blue - need to settle down. Whether we say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays is not a red or blue thing.

I was in a Borders yesterday here in Portland and I overheard somebody observing to a companion how surprising it is that a song repeating the word, "Christmas," over and over and over was being played over the store sound system. The companion agreed, noting that most of us here in blue states were aware that not everybody is a Christian. Saying "Season's Greetings," is more inclusive.

Being inclusive is, of course, good. So is being aware. Store clerks are now saying "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings," or some such. How far we've come.

But I don't consider it's about being blue or red or inclusive at all. I think it's just that people want to say something nice and appropriate to the season, and are attempting to adjust as best they can to a world in which recognition and reward comes to those who take loud offense at every instance where a normal human interchange can possibly be condemned as being insufficiently mindful of another's tender self-esteem. You know who I mean. Green Weenies. Nihilists. Race Rangers. Cult Commandos. Lifestyle Lieutenants. Defenders of the Faith. Any Faith. Cycle Soldiers. Anti-capitalists. Celebrities. Gender Guerrillas. And Guerrillettes. A*Holes. And A*Holettes.

(And how did people and places that used to be more than a little pink, get blue?)

I say, just relax. And if somebody says, "Merry Christmas," to you, oh, just say it back.

And if anybody says "Seasons Greetings" to you, or "Slippery Soltice" or "Whoopee Wica," or some such, first, be aware that they may not be Christian. Nevertheless those persons should not be made to feel excluded. Give them a response appropriate to their sentiment. Say, "Bite me."

Oh, and Merry Christmas.

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