Backstory: The Christmas complex has spread to other faiths
The fight over the greeting 'Merry Christmas' vs. 'Happy Holidays' may only be solved by speaking Spanish.
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We all know that thanks to our noble PC intentions, the country has managed to give Christians a complex over wishing people "Merry Christmas." But it turns out the complex has spread to other faiths as well.
Jews - assimilated for generations into American society and accustomed to the season's tidings being what they are - are catching themselves in the midst of well-wishing faux pas, too. Last week, the lady who cuts my hair told me that a Jewish client struggled as follows:
"Merry Christmas, Terri! - Oh, I'm sorry - I didn't mean ... Do you celebrate Christmas? I meant Happy Holidays!"
When one of the minorities on whose behalf we censor Christmas is worried about falling in PC line, we're really in trouble.
At the Starbucks cafe I frequent, they offer "holiday drinks." It's only when you get to the bathroom that Christmas is mentioned, on a poster reading: "Enjoy Starbucks Christmas Blend and be merry." We're hiding Christmas in the bathroom now?
Perhaps we should take a page from a culture that doesn't seem to suffer from such complexes. Latin Americans, for example, aren't about to alter the greeting "Feliz Navidad." Like the song says, "Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad! I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas...." It doesn't say, "Feliz Día de Fiesta! Feliz Día de Fiesta!" In fact, the Yahoo! dictionary doesn't even have a translation for "holiday" in Spanish.
And notice that recording artists still put out "Christmas" albums. (Try and get inspired to make a "holiday" album.)
Interestingly, the ACLU and the rest of the no-godniks who try to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, "In God We Trust" from currency, and tiny crosses from official county seals likewise don't suffer from this complex when things are in Spanish. As Boston Globe columnist Cathy Young points out, the county from whose seal the cross was removed from is called "Los Angeles" ("the Angels"), just as Santa Fe means "Holy Faith," and Corpus Christi "Body of Christ." So since God doesn't offend when he's Spanish, perhaps we could change the Pledge to "one nation, baja Dios."
While we're at it, let's nix "Happy New Year." It's only a new year according to the Gregorian calendar, which was decreed by a pope. The Eastern Orthodox new year starts Jan. 14 and the Chinese and Korean new years on Jan. 29. The Jewish New Year begins in September. So instead of "Happy New Year," how about: "Happy Continuations."
• Julia Gorin is a comedian and contributing editor to www.JewishWorldReview.com.