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'Happy Holidays' is not 'Bah Humbug' - Ed Brock

In light of the Christmas spirit, I'll be as nice about this as possible.

There's nothing wrong with a few department stores using the term "Happy Holidays" in lieu of just "Merry Christmas." This is not political correctness gone mad, this is political correctness living up to the latter half of its name.

It's funny how such a positive term has been twisted into a curse in the mouths of so many. Why is it wrong to be correct?

Manuel Zammarano seems to be the latest person to decide that Christmas is under attack by the evil forces of secularism. Zammarano, who I'll just call Z from now one because typing that name is giving me cramps, is the founder of the Committee to Save Merry Christmas.

According to Z's Web site, there is some kind of dark conspiracy by Federated Department Stores, Inc., which includes stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's, to eliminate the term "Merry Christmas" and replace it with a simple "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings."

Z is offended by this. Z needs to get a life.

As Federated put it, the term "Happy Holidays" includes all the non-Christians out there who are also paying customers at their stores. Jews celebrate Hanukah during December, Muslims celebrated Ramadan and Eid al Fatr in November, and Seinfeld fans celebrate "Festivus," the "Celebration for the rest of us," on Dec. 23.

No, really, they do.

Having many friends of varying faiths, I find the term "Happy Holidays" very useful. Also, bear in mind that the holiday season includes Thanksgiving and New Years as well as Christmas, so even for Christians the term makes sense.

Political correctness gone mad would be the term "Chrismahanukwanzaka" which was fortunately created as a joke, part of a TV commercial for Virgin cell phones.

A more likely example is the decision of leaders in the city of Denver, Col. to exclude a church group from its holiday celebration because they wanted to sing Christmas carols. I agree completely with the city's policy of inclusiveness and its decision to put "Happy Holidays" on the city's buildings instead of "Merry Christmas."

But inclusiveness means, well, including. As long as the other holidays are represented, including secular Christmas, then the city fathers (and mothers) are being truly politically correct.

This is not the first time those of faith have bemoaned the loss of what they consider the true meaning of Christmas. I think it really started when people began using the abbreviation "X-mas" more frequently about 30 years ago.

Well, here's the thing about that, though. Apparently the X in X-mas is based on the Greek character "Chi" which is the first symbol in the Greek word "Christos," which of course means Christ.

Indeed, using X as the abbreviation for Christ has been the practice of many of the faithful since at least the 1500s, according to the Christmas Past Web site.

Also, allow me to once again remind all of you that Dec. 25 is not actually Jesus' birthday. The early church picked that date in order to hijack the Roman holiday of Saturnalia, from which many of the Christmas traditions (giving gifts, feasting, singing) sprang.

But to be fair, the Romans were incorporating the pagan worship of the sun god Mithra, so incorporating other religions' celebrations into their own is a trick the Christians learned from Rome.

So, the Christians stole the date from the pagans and now the pagans, or at least the secular humanists, are stealing it back a little. Fair's fair.

Let's all just celebrate the holidays in whatever way we see fit individually and cut a little slack to organizations like the government and Federated Department Stores who must seek to appease everybody. Let's share the season, shall we?

After all, being greedy is the biggest Christmahanakwanzaka no-no you can commit.

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or at ebrock@news-daily.com .