Is it presumptive of me, when encountering a stranger on the street, to wish that stranger a cheery “Good Morning?” It seems innocent enough. It intends no harm. It is only my wish that this stranger have a good morning. But wait. What if this stranger, unbeknownst to me, is not a “morning person?” What if he actually hates mornings? He stays up late at night and maybe drinks heavily, suffering possible hangovers. Besides he is just crabby and out of sorts in the morning. He decides to take offense at my cheery greeting. Am I supposed to care if this stranger is offended?
Today’s political correctness would have you believe that my greeting, while innocent on every level, might be considered “passive aggressive.” What? Are you kidding me? What could be aggressive about wishing someone well? I apparently should never assume that this stranger or anyone would welcome my cheery greeting and that I should care if they are offended. Sorry. I really don’t care.
Of course this brings us to the point of this column. I regularly wish people at this time of year “Merry Christmas.” I don’t pre-qualify whether they are Jewish, Hindu, or anything else. I regard them as human and wish to share with them the joy of the season. How could anyone, unless they just happen to be a member of the “habitually offended set”, take offense at such a greeting?
Again the PC police are quick to point out that, under their interpretation of the rules for this time of year, some people don’t celebrate Christmas. Okay. I don’t care. I do celebrate Christmas and a part of my celebration is sharing the joy of this season.
In my zeal to tweak the humorless and the Christmas season impaired, I often will ask of someone saying “Happy Holiday” to me, which holiday are you referring to? While I am not at all offended, I am often amused. The lame attempt by some to de-Christmas Christmas is silly on so many levels. Like renaming the Christmas tree a holiday tree. What other holiday, pray tell, uses a lighted, decorated evergreen tree as a part of the celebration?
Life is all about choices. I have little interest in your choices, as long as they don’t affect me, and you should do the same for me. Some folks enjoy prime rib for Christmas dinner. Some have ham or even lamb. I even know of some who order takeout Chinese. I’m really, really okay with that. I’m even okay if you don’t eat anything for Christmas or any holiday. You can even have a veggie burger. That is your choice.
To me and to most traditional Americans, we celebrate Christmas. It is for us first and foremost a religious holiday as we are remembering the birth of Jesus Christ and secondly as a family time together. At my house we exchange gifts, eat great food, occasionally drink some adult beverages, and listen to the most beautiful music ever produced. It is a time filled with joy and love.
You are welcome to share in our joy. You are welcome to wish and hope with us for peace on earth. You are welcome to share in our prayer of good will to men. You are equally welcome to ignore my greeting and good wishes. That is your choice.