Friday, December 23, 2011

The War on Christmas

Here we are, during the Christmas season, in a country that is primarily Muslim.

I haven't been in the States for a year-and-a-half, but I can keep up with you all through my google reader, and CNN, and Slate, and the Washington Post (and even Fox, I suppose, if I'm feeling particularly windbag-ish). And it appears that, once again, Americans are in a snit about whether or not we are being properly wished a Merry Christmas when we go outdoors.

To which I say: bah, humbug.

Seriously, people. Get over it. As long as someone smiles, and wishes you well, does it really matter how they do it, with which exact phrase?

Yesterday afternoon, I drove to the Embassy to pick up Bart. The guard at the entrance, who I know is a God-fearing, practicing Muslim, stopped me at the gate and said to me, in broken, broken, English mixed with a smattering of Arabic, "may God grant you Merry Christmas. I wish that your beautiful children, with you, and husband, and all of this family, will have beautiful holiday."

He isn't the only one. Everywhere I go, people wish me a happy holiday. Most of them are Muslim, but they know we celebrate, and so they wish me joy. Frankly, I don't care how they wish me well. They can say Merry Christmas, or Happy Holiday, or Eed Sayeed, or anything at all. But I love that they wish me, a stranger in their land, a joyous day.

And with that small commentary, I'm off to straighten up the house. My in-laws are en route from Jerusalem, and I think the house should look nice, if only for the first few minutes of their time here.

Happy Day, everyone! However you celebrate - or don't - have a happy, happy day.


Kelly said... [Reply]


Emily said... [Reply]

I absolutely agree. If anyone has well wishes, regardless of the words, I am all about it!

Thanks for this post!

Becky said... [Reply]

Totally agree. Good wishes are good wishes.

DiploNerds said... [Reply]

That is wonderful!

Heather Dray said... [Reply]

Oh, so agree/like/love! I went out of our building here in Cairo yesterday and went shopping (we were out of milk on Christmas!) and was "Merry Christmas'd" by every person I saw and knew. And even some that I didn't know. It was beautiful.

R.Macd said... [Reply]

Here in Jakarta, 80%+ Muslim, there were trees, tinsel, garland, and Christmas music everywhere. Huge signs across the roads and extravagant brunches. Ok, apparently the brunches happen every week but they were extra extravagant on Sunday. The "War on Christmas", is really only in the minds of those that wish to split us apart rather than bring us together.

Shannon said... [Reply]

Exactly! If someone wants to be nice to you why be a jerk about the words they choose to express themselves with?

Please. Write your own stuff.