Once again, newspapers, broadcasters, and large merchants forbid their employees from wishing people "Merry Christmas" out of concern that the idea of a Merry Christmas may offend someone. Instead, they wish everyone the inoffensive "happy holidays." But on what holidays are we wishing happiness?
This year illustrates the absurdity of political correctness better than most when it comes to Christmas. Since school children are on "winter break" rather than Christmas break, I feel compelled to remind my dear readers that the holiday we are celebrating presently is Christmas, the birth of Jesus the Christ.
As a child, the first holiday that guilt-ridden liberals tried to inflate is the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.
Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights. During one of the many revolutions and civil wars in ancient Israel, on the 25th of the month Kislev, the Second Temple was being dedicated to God and the law required the temple be lit with oil consecrated by the high priest. Unfortunately, there was only enough holy oil to last for one day and it would take eight days to make more. The temple was lit with the oil they had. Miraculously, the oil lasted eight days.
Since Judaism is roughly 3,000 years older than Christianity, it is not surprising that this holiday has nothing to do with Christmas or the Winter Solstice, that under the Julian calendar, Christmas was set. Moreover, before Julius Caesar imposed his sun based "Julian" calendar on the world (later improved by Pope Gregory - notice the solstice migrated from the 25th to the 21st by the time of Pope Gregory's reign ), the Jews followed a lunar calendar with periodic corrections. Solar and lunar calendars never quite match up so peoples like the Jews and early Romans worked in corrections to periodically bring their calendars back in line with the seasons of the year.
This year, the 25th of Kislev fell on Dec. 1. Hanukkah ended on Dec.8. (The Jewish Calendar will soon be making one of it's periodic corrections.) I guess happy holidays didn't include our Jewish friends this year.
Then, about 15 years ago, we took note that Ramadan started in late December. Ever inclusive, we had to inflate that holiday.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. For the entire month, the faithful are to abstain from eating, drinking, and sex during daylight hours. Some of the faithful even ratchet up the suffering by whipping their own backs until they are bloody or cutting their tongues with knives.
Although Mohammed founded his religion in about 600 A.D., he was a Jew rather than a Christian and instituted a lunar calendar that does not make corrections for the solar seasons. (Ever notice that the most bitter fights are family feuds? See Ireland and Yugoslavia for confirmation.) Therefore, all of the Muslim holidays continue to rotate through the Julian (now Gregorian) calendar.
This year, Ramadan started on Aug. 11. Later, we tried again with the Muslim holiday EID. Unfortunately, this year that holiday fell on Sept. 9. I guess happy holidays didn't include our Muslim friends this year.
Who could possibly forget Kwanzaa? What is Kwanzaa you say?
Kwanzaa was invented by Harvard professor Dr. Maulana Karenga (born Ronald McKinley Everett in 1941). Professor Karenga founded the Black Power Movement in the 1960s and is a socialist activist who advocates for social revolution in the spirit of Malcolm X. He invented Kwanzaa as a seven-day celebration of black socialist values. (Remember, socialists poo poo God and religion.)
The word holiday is typically defined as "a day designated as having special significance for which a government or a religious group have deemed that observation is warranted." The problem is that Kwanzaa is not a religious or holy occasion. Moreover, it is not a secular holiday of any nation, African or otherwise.
Although the guilty conscience crowd feel a need to inflate this celebration of black socialism, I am not sure that it quite fits the definition of a holiday. I guess happy holidays doesn't really include our black socialist friends.
The only holidays left are Christmas and New Year's Day. To the best of my knowledge, there is no prohibition on declaring "Happy New Year."
So, this year, when the customer service rep on the telephone or big box store employee wishes you "happy holidays," to what are they referring? The only possible answer is Christmas.
Merry Christmas to each and every one of you and your families!