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PC police dampen holiday joy

December 12, 2006|by MADDIE WUNDERLICH

Rant

I believe that Americans should be able to celebrate their own holidays without interference from businesses. Holidays should not need to be politically correct or watered down to please anybody.

Take holiday greetings, for example. Most Americans celebrate Christmas, so it makes sense for store employees to greet customers this way: "Merry Christmas."

But it seems like, no matter what, some people in today's society will be offended. They might not celebrate what others celebrate, and they might think it insulting to be told to enjoy holiday that they don't observe.

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But I think if a Jewish man meets a Christian, he is right to wish the Christian a "Merry Christmas," and the Christian should wish the Jew a "Happy Hanukkah."

And what about holiday decorations? If you go into a store at this time of year, what do you see? In many places, there is a tree nicely decorated and maybe some evergreen wreaths. What I want to attract your attention to is not the dcor of the shop. Look at what the signs and gift cards say. In most cases they read, "Happy Holidays." This generic greeting is intended to encompass Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Now think, how many holiday are celebrated with a tree and evergreens? There is only one - Christmas, which is celebrated by Christians.

So why would a store decorate for one holiday but try to celebrate two or three? To truly celebrate under the banner "Happy Holidays," I suggest stores decorate with trees and menorahs. Christians use a tree, Santa and evergreens. Most Christians celebrate Christmas from Dec. 25 (the day Jesus Christ was born) to the Epiphany (when the three wise men saw Jesus) on Jan. 6. Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday that recalls the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago, is Dec. 16 to Dec. 23 this year; Jews use a menorah to celebrate. Kwanzaa, a seven-day celebration based on African festivals, is Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.

The politics that have been creeping into religion have downplayed the point and spirituality of holidays during the month of December.

Just celebrate a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah or happy Kwanzaa - some families even celebrate more than one.

Use your traditions. Even if that means mismatching holidays, nothing and no one should stop you.

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