Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Holidays, Youse

I remember growing up in the 1950s when "Happy Holidays" was in common use as a shorthand way of wishing people "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year." Shorthand. That's all. Trust me, there was no intent to elbow Jesus aside in order to be politically correct or multi-culturally sensitive. There were no Muslims or Jews or Kwanzaa-celebrating African-Americans in my social circle, or anyone's social circle in my ethnically pure hometown in the 1950s. The biggest cultural divide was between the Irish Catholics and the German Catholics.

It's a shame that Robert Jeffress, the Grinch at First Baptist Church of Dallas, now insists on misinterpreting my friendly greeting of "Happy Holidays" and spoiling my warm memories of childhood. The growing insistence that I and others use the greeting of "Merry Christmas" in order not to offend him or other sensitive Christians is a demand for political correctness itself. There's irony in that. But, hey, at the heart of political correctness is a desire to avoid giving offense, an attitude very much in the Christmas spirit. So, Merry Christmas, y'all, even the Grinches at First Baptist Church of Dallas.

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