What do the Holidays mean to you? Well I am about to tell you some of the things I have recently seen and experienced in my travels and some of the impressions I have about the season.
What is a Holiday season? To me it is specifically the time right before Christmas, but after Thanksgiving and the week after New Years. Now I know many that make preparations for the “so called” Holiday Season and that means hanging lights on their house usually before or just after Thanksgiving. In my opinion the reason for this is the excuse to get out of the house and away from the battlefield of stress that most people I know experience over Thanksgiving. I also have to say that this stress is usually self induced and could be avoided, but maybe people just expect it and do nothing to avoid this stressful holiday, but give thanks just the same.
Once the lights are hung (and let’s be honest many just throw them up) and others (Christmas Vacation fans), take it to another level and in some eyes overdue it. Now as a child of the 70’s and where I lived people put up lights on their front bushes or their rain gutters and possibly a tree in the front lawn, but not much more than that. It seems that putting ten, twenty or more strings of lights and ornaments on the outside of your home seemed to have lost all meaning for me in my life, not that I have ever done it as an adult.
Currently I am making my way to take some time, getting the update of my grown siblings and my nieces and nephews for the holidays and sometimes that is a sticky situation. Now don’t misunderstand, for the people reading if you live in the same town, state or region of the country the situation I am referring to is more common than many know. The trick is to use all your best skill to not walk over family when you have been apart. Witnessing the different parenting skills and methods of multiple families and the dynamic of each and remembering to be Switzerland at the same time is the key.
So as I drift from topic to topic let me get back on track and to my original subject. It was recently brought to my attention and almost in the same sentence the hypocrisy over using the term “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”, like one is more correct than the other and the freedom of speech is somehow not in play in the month of December. So for me I have used both over this holiday season and had no kickback from people, well at least to my face. My meaning for the usage of these terms are simply this, for me Christmas is December 25th, not the day before or the week children are out of school, but the designated holiday to remember if you are a practitioner of the Catholic faith. I should also say to anyone reading this that the other and most common celebration of Christmas really has nothing to do with faith or religion, so to include as many shoppers as possible and the birth of “XMAS”. Don’t get me wrong guys and gals, people can say whatever they want, but with that they have to understand the fact of the matter is that some speech and the use of terms may offend others.
Just recently I got out of my car and made a stop at the local Denny’s for a quick and cheap breakfast, when I heard a boisterous patron go on a rant about “Some of these people”, and “How dare people use XMAS” or “It’s not Happy Holidays, it Merry Christmas G Damn it.” Yes I actually heard someone say this and yes after using what many call the Lords name in Vain in the same breath as Merry Christmas. Seems there is something a little wrong with the picture if you ask me, and for this reason I decided to write this article.
Getting back on track, in this country of ours (if your reading this and live in the United States) we forget that we are a melting pot of cultures and mixed faiths and at times we are just as pushy and judgmental as the most orthodox or fundamentalist in any country or any faith. So if you think because you are an American like I am and that we are somehow different than the people of different faiths in different countries, and then some self evaluation may be required. Almost every day I bet you can come across someone that has a lifestyle or faith different than yours and may have expressed their views or beliefs on a group of people directly or indirectly. So if you have that same experience or not understand that in my experience humans are the same all over the world.
Back to this period of time we call the Holidays. For me the Holidays from Thanksgiving to New Years are “The Holidays” and in this far too many think the time is restricted to a particular group of people. One of the greatest issues I have with the Holidays and this is directed at those that call themselves Christians, and how they call out others for not sharing the same faith and forget that other faiths celebrate during the same time of year. For the same I would also say how people become faithful during the holidays and are in some cases attend a religious service when they do not regularly. With that I would like to touch on the simple act of human interaction and the contrary everyday road rage and simple disrespect that is the norm. Let’s not forget that on or during the holiday season people join the service of “All is forgiven” and the next day it is back to business as usual treating others with disrespect. For many the blame goes to the holiday and not at the perception of what the holiday means and for me there is no correct answer, so if some have a different spin or focus, as long as people treat each other as they wish to be treated, they are spot on.
For me, we focus too much on purchased items of love that we call presents. Many people feel the need to purchase rather than live a life or charitable living without the expectation of return or payment. Think about this year and if you gave presents to people you know, what they were and what were they with regards to last year. Ask yourself a question, “Do any of you feel the need to outperform last year’s Christmas and if so what is the cause for that feeling?” I think we all need to Self Evaluate on a regular basis to keep ourselves in check and to not stray in a direction not desired personally, financially or socially.
This article has covered a multitude of topics and many opinions may not suit everyone and I accept that. The idea of expression is very personal and if you hear me say Happy Holidays I use it as a “cover the bases without assumption of anyone’s faith”. Now if I happen across you on December 24th or 25th and wish you a Merry Christmas, it is a greeting of well wishes from me to you, not a specific religious or faith, but if you take it that way that’s fine, just remember I may not share your same strong and traditional beliefs. That being said if I wish you a Happy Holidays consider it a greeting of friendship and good tidings with the hope that nothing bad happens to you and your family and those close to you. Compare it to the true meaning of a handshake or the open hand salute.
Lastly I do not need to explain “Xmas” because I never use it, but will not waste my time defending some that use it either. I consider it a term for advertisements and the people that use a holiday for a way to make money and Xmas fits better in windows and advertisements.
I hope everyone enjoyed the Holidays and really hope the New Year is all that you want it to be. Remember that things happen if you make them happen and that is in the categories of “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you all at the next live broadcast of An American Warning TV 8pm central time each Sunday, and the panel that will tell it like we see it and never show fear in the presence of the people who choose to keep their eyes closed in the presence of truth.