There are the groups that will tell you forget about pc. People in another group will gasp if they hear their words.
I always say I’d rather know what someone is thinking than wonder.
WHAT Color! She Asked
My first experience with political correctness happened when I was in high school in the early 70’s. I wasn’t raised prejudiced or in modern terms, “racist.” When I tried to describe a funny incident at gym and I couldn’t remember the girl’s name, and my friend asked “who?” I answered “the colored girl.” I said it like I would have said “the tall girl” or “the redhead.”
Well, my friend, who was much more politically tuned in than I started yelling in a quick staccato rhythm, “Color? WHAT color? Red, purple, black, orange, yellow, green?!!!” Her face leaned in toward me.
Yikes. I thought to myself: “I guess using the ‘c’ word is now the same as using the ‘n’ word” (which I would never do). I was mortified.
Which brings me back to holiday greetings.
Who else is having this difficulty? I know someone but I don’t know them well enough to be sure they are a Christian or not. Or are they of a denomination that is offended by Christmas? So what do I say? Everything inside of me wants to say “Merry Christmas.” I open my mouth, nothing comes out. I stutter…
Oh for the old days when everyone said “Merry Christmas” without any thought. We just said it because we meant it.
So What Do We Say?
We meant “Please enjoy this special time of year. Let it lift you up and bless you. Let the season fill your soul with joy and peace and a sense of renewal. Enjoy the lights, the music, the dance in your soul. Be at peace with the Creator. Feel loved. Eat good food and enjoy family. Sing Let it Snow, and Do You Hear What I Hear, and Away in a Manger, and Silent Night. Let the melodies wash over your soul.”
Saying “Merry Christmas” was a way to say “I love you” to strangers and people you knew just a little, or a lot.
It was a way of saying “Thank you for being in my life, for smiling at me every day as I passed you in the hall, for letting me sit next to you at lunch when I felt left out, for asking me to dance, or inviting me to a club or party, for playing the violin next to me in orchestra, for teaching me, for babysitting for me, for bringing me food after I gave birth, for praying when my babies were in neonatal even though I was an atheist at the time, for delivering mail and greeting me, for smiling when serving me at the cash register, for having a friendly face when you walked past our house. “
You see? You can’t tell these people “I love you” even if you are filled with thankfulness for what they do and you just do love them in a certain way just because you’re human, not because you feel a romantic attachment.
They’re just part of what makes the world a special place.
As a Christian today I am thankful that my Creator knit these people into the blessings that they are. They make the world a brighter place.
So when I said “Merry Christmas” in those days, I didn’t hold back. It was genuine. I had permission to gush over beautiful souls once a year.
Now some people are offended if I say this, so I must say “Happy Holidays” to them. That is their choice.
But if others hear me say “Happy Holidays” they might be offended because I’ve “taken Christ out of the holiday.”
But I haven’t taken Christ out of the holiday. Every. Single. Day. I try to live out the love of Christ. I look for the beauty in everyone. I fall short, but my goal is to reflect His love to the world around me.
If I don’t respect another person’s convictions and conscience and try to push my beliefs with words, I’m not living up to that ideal.
So if someone says “Merry Christmas” and you’re not a Christian, or “Happy Chanukah” and you’re not Jewish, or “Happy Holidays” and you’ve been taught to be offended at any of these, please take pause. Translate their greeting into the words “I love you” and just receive the blessing that another soul wants to give you.
It’s a gift, no matter what words are used.