Monday, December 12, 2005
Seasons Greetings from Bill O'Reilly
The cards are all sent, most of the presents have been bought, and the decorations have been up since November 15th...I think I am all done for Christmas. We've even visited the Winterfest of Lights(http://www.beach-net.com/events/winterfest/winterfest1.html) already. But now I am getting that "bah-humbug" feeling. Maybe I started celebrating too early. Or maybe (by which I mean definitely) it is because I work in retail. Have you ever noticed that the closer we get to the big day the more hurried and impolite people become. They get mad when they cannot find the perfect Christmas card for their Dog..."What do you mean you only have 10 different cards for dogs, where is the selection"....Hello, the dog doesn't care, give him a bone and call it a day, they can't even read... "I cannot believe that these decorations are so expensive, I could get them so much cheaper at Wal Mart,"...Then why didn't you go to Wal Mart to begin with...
I have to say the most annoying by far is this whole "Happy Holidays" controversy. I guess we have good ole Bill O'Reilly to thank for this grossly old fashioned propaganda. On his website (http://www.billoreilly.com/blog) he has listed which major stores use "Happy holidays" and "Season Greetings" as opposed to "Merry Christmas" in their advertising. He thinks that there is a "war on Christmas." More and more people are taking away the true meaning of Christmas by saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Does using the word "holiday" really offend you? Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season, as they say, but there are other holidays that coincide with Christmas. Hanukkah begins at sundown on the 25th of December this year, Kwanzaa is traditionally celebrated on the last day of December, and of course there is New Years. They are all legitimate holidays that millions of American celebrate. By saying "Happy Holidays" I am not trying to offend Christians, but just making an umbrella statement that covers everyone, even those who don't celebrate anything at all. Generally I try to gauge my greeting by what the customer buys. If some lady buys 3 boxes of Christian-themed Christmas cards, I will wish her a Merry Christmas, or if some guy buys Hanukkah cards I will wish him a happy Hanukkah, but most of the time I just say "Happy Holidays. The truth of the matter is that I really don't care. I don't do a lot of the "cash register" stuff at my job. We usually have the part timers handle that aspect of the store. But since December is a busy time, I find myself up there helping out more and more. When I am being rushed I don't have the time to form the "just right" greeting in my mind. "Have a nice Holiday" just comes out automatically, just as saying "hello" comes automatically when one answers the phone. Would it be better if I said nothing at all? I have encountered a growing number of people that have been offended by my "Happy Holidays" statement. One even went as far to lecture me on the commercialism of Christmas and how the true meaning has been lost. Hello! Lady, you are in a store buying a $40 Star Trek tree ornament, it doesn't get much more commercial than that, does it? Can this many people be watching the Fox News Network? Has Bill O'Reilly brainwashed his minions into thinking that a simple "Seasons Greetings" is a direct attack on Jesus Christ? I do admit that Christmas may have lost a bit of its original meaning. And I am not a religious scholar, but I do believe that God just wants us to be kind to each other. So be nice people! Wave to your neighbors as you pull out your driveway, let the little old lady cut in front of you in line at the store, give money to the bell ringers standing outside the mall, bring cookies to a friend that can't cook and most importantly...Have a HAPPY HOLIDAY!!!