It hit really early and hard this year for many fellow Christians (self-proclaimed, anyway) to declare the War on Christmas and Christianity.
Facebook is already awash in an avalanche of memes declaring they’re putting the Christ back into Christmas, and if that offends anyone then who gives a flying fff… reindeer.
Or the other lovely one that screams that they’re going to insist on shouting MERRY CHRISTMAS (spittle spraying from their frothing, Santa-red faces) to anyone and everyone, most especially to anyone who says, “Happy Holidays” to them. Because anything other than acknowledging Christmas is anti-american AND unchristian, y’all.
I’m sorry for those of you who have to deal with the shit that’s so bad you need Comet to Blitzen it away with.
Bah dum bum.
Well. This whole Holiday Greeting Fiasco is more complex than one would think, for those that choose to think. I mean, yeah, there are almost countless various non-Christian holidays both religious and secular that are celebrated between Thanksgiving and the New Year. That’s why it’s the Holiday Season, and that’s why so many of us choose to generally be inclusive by stating with as much joy and genuine wishes for blessings with, “Happy Holidays.”
There are those of us, though, who are reformed or attempting to become reformed retailers.
You know who you are. You started retail when you were 16 and you were so excited to start working. Or maybe you started even earlier in your family’s shop. In any case, you were young.
I started when I was 16 years old and didn’t get out for 11 or 12 years.
It’s ingrained in me to say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Blessed Holiday Season, etc. I was trained quickly to start out with,
“Good morning/afternoon/evening! What can I help you with?”
After I received the appropriate-per-customer holiday greeting by them first, that’s what I returned to them.
This worked most times. If it wasn’t apparent based on some indicator of jewelry, ugly sweater, special head adornment, specific other language that they used to indicate what greeting other than, “Good afternoon,” they wished to receive but still wanted a customer-specific holiday greeting, I would inevitably hear,
“Why didn’t you greet me with Merry Christmas immediately, young lady? Don’t you respect your elders?”
And so I’d get paranoid about not greeting someone upfront to acknowledge the holidays first, and resort to
“Happy Holidays! What can I do for you today?”
Honest to God, most people were fine with it and smiled. They accepted it for what it was. Well wishes for the entire season.
But then… sometimes I’d get,
“What’s so good about it? At this stage of life, no one can help me now! Smartass!”
That’ll teach me.
Please imagine, though, how it felt to me as a 16 year old girl who was so excited to be working for the very time, who was just learning the ropes, and was trained with a very specific script for almost any situation, to have people screaming red-faced with rage that I hadn’t greeted them with Merry Christmas, how thoughtless was I, and what was my generation coming to?
I was crushed to know that my attempts to show kindness and thoughtfulness for each and every customer I had wasn’t appreciated or welcomed, and in fact was viewed as disrespectful.
With the dawn of social media and the non-troversies that abound on a daily basis, the one that keeps coming back more vengefully each and every year is this one. It’s hateful, self-centered, bitter, and grotesque and the only war on Christmas is being waged by those who believe war is being waged with the simple phrase of, “Happy Holidays” or wishes of another holiday that occurs during the season.
When you go shopping this year and the retail workers, either on the floor or at the cash register, greet you with a neutral but bright holiday greeting and they’ve got a smile on their faces, don’t you dare go reindeer-shit on them with your war-on-Christmas non-troversy. Christ remains in Christmas for all Christians. It’s just that not everyone is Christian. During this season, we’re to love everyone and wish everyone blessings. Even those who aren’t just like we are.