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I was just sitting here thinking about the "Happy Holiday" vs. "Merry Christmas" debate. I'm tired of hearing about it. A commercial on TV said "Happy Holidays"... and I was surprisingly unaffected by it. And then I started thinking about the Christmas "holidays" of my childhood. I assisted my father in shopping for and placing "Santa's" presents under the tree for my siblings. Never thought much about why we did it. But I now can remember that we did it because we were American. And at that time (about 50 years ago), being American meant celebrating the "holy-days". We actually had a nativity play in school! Without talking about it, there was an understanding that Americans were Christians. We were taught the Christian heritage of our history in public school! Although my parents were alcoholics, I'm sure, if they were to be asked if they were Christians, both would say "Yes, of course, we are American".

In middle school, I had a friend whose family was Jewish. All I knew about Judaism were the slurs and nasty remarks. And yet my friend seemed like everyone else I knew. Until the holidays came along. And I sat enraptured with her telling of the Hanukkah traditions.

She was not offended that we celebrated Christmas. I was not offended that they celebrated Hanukkah. It was what it was. As I got older, I saw the Jewish community and the Christian community, each separate on Sundays, but working together, shopping together, and being friends together during the week. Without finger pointing and judging each other. Getting along together, helping each other.

Gee, I'd like to go back to that time.

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Comment by Becky on December 27, 2010 at 1:45pm
Joan, I know what you mean. The whole debate over Merry Christmas versus "Happy Holidays" is ridiculous and a a sign of the erosion of respect for God. Someone said, "Happy Kwanzaa" to me yesterday and I thought, Why is it Happy Kwanzaa, or Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Ramadan, but NEVER Merry Christmas? Why do people insist on denying Christmas? We know why - but still it always amazes me that other religions are offended if you say "Happy Holidays" to THEIR celebration, but refuse to acknowledge Christmas. I think the time you long for begins with acknowledging and respecting our heritage and beliefs.


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