MERRY CHRISTMAS! (yes, I said it)

There’s this hangover 60s gene that resides in my person that simply says “let it be” when it comes to most things but when one of my grandkids’ school cancelled a Christmas concert because a number of the kids attending that school have different beliefs my “let it be” gene steps aside and my “what the hell” gene leaps to attention.

I’m all for diversity in cultures and peoples…it makes life interesting and a big part of my early life (in that decade of the Sixties) was steeped in tolerance and understanding. We weren’t forced to be ‘politically correct’ but unknowingly most of us were. Most believed that we all share this planet and each of us had the right to live his/her life the way they chose.

What brought this to a boil was a media report that certain groups felt that celebrating Christmas by way of a group of kids singing and dancing was somehow trying to sway these children to Christianity and away from their own beliefs. Yeah, right. These are probably the same people that get upset when you wish them Merry Christmas on the street or in stores. Sorry folks you’ll get a “Merry Christmas” from me every time…like it or lump it.

As far as should Christmas concerts be cancelled…anyone ever ask the children?

Another of my grandkids did have a “Christmas” concert (a big shout out to the staff of Summit Elementary School for keeping this tradition). On that stage were children of all ages and seemingly every race and, I suppose, religion. From kindergarten to Grade 7 they worked together on a particularly impressive presentation. They were all smiling and laughing, wrestling with each other before the lights came up and helping each other when lines were forgotten. A little United Nations brought together to sing in peace and harmony (well…kinda harmony).

It just happened to be called a Christmas concert and when something that simple can bring people together (even as young as they are) isn’t that the bigger message?

Ye of other beliefs…I respect your traditions and even take part in some of your holidays and customs. I don’t get cranky when one of your celebratory parades ties up downtown traffic for an afternoon and I will never try to convert you to whatever beliefs I have. All I ask is that you do the same.

So like it or lump it…Merry Christmas. I hope you and yours have a warm and peaceful whatever you call it and a happy and prosperous New Year.

santa

Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Gesëende Kersfees, Gezur Krislinjden, Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah, Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo, Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat, Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo, Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw Sun, Kung His Hsin Nien bing, Chu Shen Tan, Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito, Mitho Makosi Kesikansi, Sretan Bozic, Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok, Glædelig Jul, Zalig Kerstfeast, Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!, Hyvaa joulua, Froehliche Weihnachten, Mele Kalikimaka, Shub Naya Baras, Mele Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou!, Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket, Gledileg Jol, Selamat Hari Natal, Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah, Nodlaig mhaith chugnat, Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut, Ojenyunyat osrasay, Buone Feste Natalizie, Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto, Sung Tan Chuk Ha, Merry Keshmish, God Jul or Gledelig Jul, Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia, Feliz Natal, Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom, Hristos se rodi, Vesele vianoce, Nollaig chridheil huibh, Sretam Bozic, Vesela Nova Godina, Hristos se rodi, Srozhdestvom Kristovym, Chung Mung Giang Sinh.

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POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

It’s an interesting term, “politically correct”.

Basically it means you must say the right things to the right people at the right time in the right place…the theory being that four rights can’t possibly make a wrong. Personally I’d rather be forthright than first wrong so I tend to not say anything to anybody at any time in any place. Needless to say I lead a pretty quiet existence.

I would probably be the poster boy for the politically incorrect because I can never remember what country we’re mad at any given time, what fruits we’re not supposed to eat because we’re mad at the country that profits from them, and what writer I’m not supposed to read because he comes from the country that exports the fruit we’re not supposed to eat.

It seems the only way one can be assured of not offending anyone at a gathering is to never discuss race, religion, politics, sexual preferences, sports involving animals, unions, management, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, endangered species, foreign policy, equal rights, environmental issues, salmon, interest rates, atomic generators and submarines, strip mining, pet shops, red meat, 50 Shades of Grey, cosmetic surgery, art, education, m’ladys dainties or the detergent in which they are washed. That leaves oatmeal…unless we’re mad at Scotland for some bizarre reason.

I suppose it is testimony to our times that we are even concerned about this type of correctness. I remember anything going as long as it didn’t hurt another person. Do Unto Others and the like…but the times they have a’changed.

I have a couple of characters in White Wolf Moon that try to maintain a certain level of PC (sometimes without success) but they are also from an era when the word “respect” had a certain meaning. These guys may not agree with your arguments or beliefs but they will allow you the floor asking only for equal time in return.

What started this post was a clip on the news this morning.

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Remember “the stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.”? A British Columbia author has updated the classic bed-time Christmas Eve poem to exclude any mention of Santa’s bad habit. Really people? After careening around the world in one short night behind eight tiny reindeer the old boy deserves at least a puff or two don’t you think? (We won’t even mention that Santa wears (gasp) fur!!!)

Maybe I’m being silly but why didn’t the author go that one step further and eliminate the word “Christmas” from the title?  School concerts have dropped it because, well, some folks don’t celebrate it the same way that I do, if at all…and that’s fine. That’s their choice or their faith and far be it from me to censure those beliefs…all I ask is that they offer me the same courtesy.

We are not all alike. That’s one of the beautiful things about the human race but we have to respect what each of us brings to this planet. We can learn from each other’s beliefs and cultures but we must, as was the standing order in Star Trek, observe and not interfere.

Yes we will always have ideological differences. However, as Evan Morris states in White Wolf Moon, “…the realization of differences can create barriers but accepting those differences can just as easily tear them down.”

Merry Christmas to all….