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Bushes casualties in the "War on Christmas"

Bush 2005 Christmas Greeting Political correctness

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#21 Tricia

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 03:39 PM

I feel like if Bush had wanted to have the cards be Christmas cards he would have.  I would believe that he and Laura had some choice in the matter tho the Republican Party is footing the bill.  They chose to go with the general term of holidays as opposed to naming a specific holiday...or running down the entire list of celebrations this time of year. Then so be it.  

If the groups or people complaining don't like it then so be it. They can be left off the list if it offends their sensibilities so much.  

Anyone that doesn't like the card I send them...doesn't get another one.  Not many people do complain even if they are offended. They are just happy to get a greeting card period.



As to the rest of it....the holidays or specifically Christmas being left out of it.---

The truth is that a portion of the reason that schools etc are going to the generic "Happy Holidays" or leaving mention of holidays completely out has at least a basis in avoiding potential lawsuits.

It's not a stated reason and probably only a small part of the decision making  process but it does seem like evey time you turn around someone is suing over things like mention of religion in the school or a pledge or something.  

It just seems really sad that you have to monitor everything you say or do because it might potentially offend someone and then they decide to sue over it. IE being defensively politically correct so as to avoid a lawsuit

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#22 Cheile

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:14 PM

ya know for all those getting sick of the fundies "shoving" Christmas down their throats and getting pissy abt using "Happy Holidays", i'm getting really sick of anti-Christian people claiming we "stole" their holidays.

everyone has stolen from everyone else's religions and adapts it to fit their own.  GET OVER IT and stop lumping all Christians in with the fundie @#$@#%$ morons.  it's getting really old. >.<

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#23 Rhiannonjk

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:19 PM

Cheile - your post is the only place on this page where the word "stole" even shows up - so are you starting a new topic, or reponding to my comments?  If so - I in no way mean that christians stole any other holiday.  
All I was saying is that Christmas is an arbitrary date based on the solstice holiday that already existed.  

other than that, I'm completely apathetic about the whole subject.

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#24 Cheile

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:24 PM

no Rhiannon, i'm simply tired of my religion and my favorite holiday (oh excuse me--its name) being bashed by people who can't/won't/don't want to/choose not to believe in Christmas and think because the fundies make a lot of noise in their narrow, asinine way loud enough to catch the media's attention that all Christians behave like that.

every time this subject comes up, the antis on this board throw little fits and others praise them for it and i for one am getting sick of it is all.

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#25 Cheile

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:26 PM

and Schmokie Dragon did make reference to the "stealing"--she simply used a different term ("pinched").

to which i will repeat what i said.  everyone stole from everyone else thousands of years ago.  be quiet, get over it and celebrate what you want.

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#26 Tricia

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:40 PM

Cheile, on Dec 8 2005, 09:26 PM, said:

and Schmokie Dragon did make reference to the "stealing"--she simply used a different term ("pinched").

to which i will repeat what i said.  everyone stole from everyone else thousands of years ago.  be quiet, get over it and celebrate what you want.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'm not sure Schmokie meant in in that way exactly....but I can't say for sure

I took the comment as meaning that there are a variety of different cultures that celebrate some sort of holiday at this time of year and that the early Christians placed Christmas at that time, (not sure of the reason tho).  I'm thinking the comment was intended more to illustrate the diverse history of the holiday season. But that's the way I read it.

And you are right..all through history people have adopted/borrowed/co-opted other cultures holidays etc.

And no, I don't think that all fundamentalists are the same any more than I believe all persons of a particular political persusasion are the exactly the  same.  Lots of diversity in beliefs and actions within a group as much as there is amongst all peoples

Edited by trikay, 08 December 2005 - 04:43 PM.

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#27 Cheile

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:44 PM

trikay, on Dec 8 2005, 02:40 PM, said:

I took the comment as meaning that there are a variety of different cultures that celebrate some sort of holiday at this time of year and that the early Christians placed Christmas at that time, (not sure of the reason tho).  I'm thinking the comment was intended more to illustrate the diverse history of the holiday season. But that's the way I read it.

if that's the case then everyone should be throwing fits at the Jews for Hanukkah and the Africans/African Americans for Kwanzaa, especially on the latter because it just seemed to appear (or perhaps reappear--i admit to knowing little abt the history of Kwanzaa) into mainstream about fifteen years ago.  but no it's always the Christians who get bashed, harassed and mocked.

trikay, on Dec 8 2005, 02:40 PM, said:

And you are right..all through history people have adopted/borrowed/co-opted other cultures hoidays etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


at least ONE other person can admit this without acting offended.  thank you.

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#28 TravelerOfTheWays

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:46 PM

Heaven forbid the Bush family should show a little consideration to the non-Christian on their million-name greeting card list.  To me, 'happy holidays' isn't about political correctness, it's about showing consideration to the religious minorities and atheists/agnostics in this country who must be feeling overwhelmed at this time of year (of course, there are people in every faction who just don't care!).  Target might not tell them happy holidays, but I literally cannot go two days anymore without hearing the word Christmas, whether on the radio broadcast in the dining halls or in conversations with friends.  Christmas trees are everywhere, yes even in the university buildings; every time I pass on, I think of Christmas - not the holidays, not winter, but Christmas.

The whole notion of a "war on Christmas" is simply ridiculous in my mind.  There are no dark armies prepared to descend upon the US and steal Christmas.  And if there were, they wouldn't succeed.  What percentage of this country identifies as Christian, again?  Over three-fourths?  Just because some of the other fourth and people like me in the Christian majority feel like a little consideration is due doesn't mean a single person is going to abandon the Christian faith.  No one could even forget that the majority celebrates Christmas.  "Happy holidays" is not going to spawn those dark atheist armies.  Fundamentalists raising holy hell might just generate some more sympathy for 'em.

(edited for spelling and parantheses)

Edited by TravelerOfTheWays, 08 December 2005 - 05:01 PM.

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#29 Spectacles

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:53 PM

Well, what irks me about all of this is the effect: is anyone but me afraid to wish anyone a happy/merry anything? Years ago, I switched to the generic "happy holidays" because there are lots of Jews in Pittsburgh. Now, I worry that some FoxNewsified Christian is going to bite my head off if I wish them "happy holidays."

I'm not so crazy about this time of year, but I do try. This, however, has pretty much stamped out any efforts I normally make to nod at the "spirit of the season."

And at the heart of this campaign is pure mean-spiritedness. As Cheile seems to be saying, it's not a very Christian attitude. O'Reilly and John Gibson and all these media types who are playing this up remind me of my old second-grade teacher, Mrs. Fouchee. (I'm not making the name up and it's pronounced FOO-shay.) She looked a bit like Sybil's mother--appropriately enough. She was a mean old bat who thought it her Christian duty to persecute any kid who was not WASP. There was a girl who was a Jehova's Witness who didn't say the Pledge or celebrate Christmas. On at least one occasion, Mrs. Fouchee ridiculed her to the point that the kid broke down in tears. I remember it because it was one of the meanest things I'd seen a teacher do. (Though Mrs. Fouchee was full o' meanness and outdid herself frequently.

I'm sure that if Mrs. Fouchee were alive today, she'd be leading the charge against the alleged "War on Christmas"--in all her vicious and, to my way of thinking, UN-Christian self-righteousness.

And a lot of this is hype. Much of it is an opportunity for some to do some "War on Christmas" profiteering--like Gibson, who's even got a book out on the matter, just in time for the holidays/oops Christmas/oops holidays. :crazy:
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#30 Cheile

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 05:00 PM

i will start greeting customers at work with holiday terms in abt a week or so.  some have already started.  i think to cover the bases i will just use what i've heard some of my coworkers use.  "Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays."

if i obviously SEE a sign that they are a follower of something else (i.e. wearing a Star of David pendant or a pentacle or somesuch), then i can say "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Yule" (Merry Yule?  those of this path, help me out here?  would not want to say it incorrectly).  otherwise generic it is.

if i forget, they can just deal with "Merry Christmas".  i highly doubt management is going to have the time to listen to a non-believing customer who claims themselves offended for being wished such by their cashier.

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#31 Zwolf

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 05:11 PM

It's all just a bunch of noise with zero point to any of it.  You can't steal the unstealable.

If you want to call it "Christmas," no one's going to stop you.  

If you want to say "under God" in the pledge of allegiance, nobody's going to stop you.

If you want to pray in school, it's impossible for anyone to stop you, since prayer is something that can be done silently inside one's own head.

This is more a silly tug-of-war not about anything being "stolen," but for who gets validation.  Some fundies - lacking real faith in their own religion - worry that if words leave the public arena, their god will die off.  If the public doesn't bow to them and give lip-service to their beliefs, then their beliefs will somehow fade.   And people without the religion, or of a different religion, act like they're going to be injured if they're forced to hear words from some other religion.  

It's silly.  I absolutely know for a fact that there is no god, but it doesn't bother me if someone else believes that there is; it doesn't matter if anyone agrees with me or not - I know what I know, regardless.  So if they say "Merry Christmas," then that's cool.  I'm not Jewish, but if somebody tells me "Happy Hannukah," it's not going to jack my blood pressure, either - I know they're meaning well.  And I'm definitely not Islamic, but if an Islamic person wished me a happy Ramadan, I'd just wish them the same... and maybe it'd mean something to them, since it means nothin' to me.

Anyway, it always cracks me up when people get in these big mudfights over stuff that can't be taken away from them in the first place.  Nobody can steal your thoughts, your feelings, or your faith.   Nobody should expect anyone to go out of their way to validate 'em for ya, either, though.  

Cheers,

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#32 Shoshana

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 05:32 PM

For once, I think the First Family did the right thing with their cards.

Sending out cards from the President isn't exactly like sending out personal cards - it's more like the "Happy Holidays" cards people get from their insurance agent or real estate agent. The impersonal, sending a card to remind you that the sender exists.

I wouldn't be surprised if the cards the President sent out to close friends and families were actually "Christmas" cards. Not that I know for a fact that they sent separate cards to people like Jeb Bush and the rest of the clan, but I can't see anyone sending generic mass mailed cards to people close to them.

The "Holiday" cards were public cards ... any other cards would be private cards.

On another, connected note, I know people here have said they wouldn't mind being told "Happy Channukah" even tho they don't celebrate Channukah. I wonder how those people who are having a cow about the President's "Happy Holidays" cards would react if they'd been sent "Happy Channukah" cards instead??

Edited by Shoshana, 08 December 2005 - 05:34 PM.


#33 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 05:47 PM

Quote

everyone has stolen from everyone else's religions and adapts it to fit their own. GET OVER IT and stop lumping all Christians in with the fundie @#$@#%$ morons

I think you are the first person to present such an agressive view point! No-one here seems to be overly offended by this passage, and certanly no-one is attacking ALL Christians, mearly commenting on the silliness of a few of them.
And I am sorry you read my "pinched" as agressive. It was ment in an amused, almost affectionate tone. I wasnt insinuating that Xianity was in the wrong.
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#34 SparkyCola

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 06:07 PM

I know how you feel Cheile :hugs:

I think that it's sheer and utter foolishness. If you are a Christian, send me an invitation to celebrate Christmas with you, regardless of my own religion. If you are Jewish, send me a Happy Hanakah and I'll be very happy. Invite me to celebrate Winter Soltice, Yule, Satur-freaking-nalia for all I care- or indeed, Happy Holidays - whatever!! If you ARE that religion, what's the problem with celebrating that?

Christmas is a time when Christians invite all religions to join in a big party basically. Whatever religion you are- we're celebrating that Jesus was born. Ok, not in December -but since we don't know exactly when what does it matter? When two people get married and have a party to celebrate it, and invite you along, would you say 'No, I don't want to celebrate that because I'm not getting married.' Just because you don't believe doesn't mean you can't celebrate, you have an open invitation to. It doesn't matter if you don't want to either.

Likewise would you expect a French christmas card to say 'Joyeux Noel' or 'Merry Christmas' - you probably wouldn't care- but you wouldn't be OFFENDED if they put it in their OWN language, surely?

I can see the point though, why would 'Happy Holidays' be less "offensive" than Merry Christmas? Let's face it- the world in which we live dictates - there will always be 'the offended'. Fundamental Atheist or Fundamental Christian- one will be offended.

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#35 Anastashia

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 06:08 PM

Cheile, on Dec 8 2005, 05:00 PM, said:

i highly doubt management is going to have the time to listen to a non-believing customer who claims themselves offended for being wished such by their cashier.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Actually Cheile they are likely to especially if your employer happens to be a large company.

Zwolf666, on Dec 8 2005, 5:11 PM, said:

I absolutely know for a fact that there is no god

Your proof Zwolf?
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#36 SparkyCola

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 06:08 PM

Incidentally:

Quote

"Immaculate Conception" refers to neither the conception of Jesus nor to a virgin birth. It is a specific doctrine of Roman Catholicism decreeing that the Virgin Mary was preserved free from original sin by divine grace from the moment of her conception. Although this dogma had been argued since the twelfth century, it was not made official until 1854 by Pope Pius IX. Since then December 8 has been observed as a Roman Catholic feast in commemoration of the Immaculate Conception.

Which is today! So, happy commemoration-of-immaculate-conception day, all those of a Catholic orientation! :)

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#37 Nikcara

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 07:34 PM

While the perpetual "Merry Christmas's" of this time of year do annoy me, they annoy me more because I have too many bad memories of the holiday.  If I get Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or anything else I'm generally happy that other people are able to enjoy themselves.  I don't care one way or the other what they're believing.

Additionaly, I'm thrilled anytime someone says "happy winter solstice" (or merry yule, or whatever way they end up calling it) because it means that they are actually paying attention to my personal beliefs.  "Happy holidays" (or whatever else) is being polite, actually remembering what my relgion is and remembering it is personal.

Of course, you can't be personal on a list of 1.4 million.  These fundies need to get over themselves and recognize the spirit it was sent out in.
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#38 BklnScott

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 09:21 PM

Schmokie_Dragon, on Dec 8 2005, 12:56 PM, said:

To be honest, the Xians pinched the celebration/holiday/whatever from the Winter Solstice...

Not to be a nitpicker (but let me go ahead and nitpick): it was actually pinched by the first Christian converts among the Romans from Saturnalia and the feast day of Mithra (which was celebrated on December 25 with decorated trees. wrapped gifts--the whole ninel).  

Traditions that can be traced back to the Germanic traditions became part of Christmas later.        

Quote

I have NEVER seen a Happy Solstice card.

Oh, I have.  Then again, I live in NYC :)  One of my favorite things to do this time of year is the Winter Solstice celebration at a gorgeous old Protestant church on Bleecker...  a light show, music, etc., leading up to midnight.  It's lovely.

Quote

But the actual move to make "christmas" more generic is acceptable in my mind. It was[n't] even Christmas originaly anyway.

Agreed!  I hope the day comes when EVERYONE who wants to, regardless of their faith--or lack thereof--feels free to celebrate Christmas.  Where I grew up--on Long Island--there is a large Jewish population, a sizable minority of which feels free to "have Santa Claus" -- and I say, good for them!  And screw the crowd that will say it makes them "bad Jews" -- it's not like THEY don't have their own Christmas traditions: chinese and movies, anyone?   :devil:

For the vast majority of us, it's a secular holiday with traditions that are entirely  pagan in origin.  Some people add a trip to Church, but for most, it's Santa Claus, Christmas trees, presents, egg nog, "chestnuts roasting on an open fire," etc etc.  Which is wonderful, but not a bit of it has a damn thing to do with Jesus (something the hypocritical fundies who freak out about Halloween would do well to remember while they're wrapping their kids' new iPods and Xboxes).      

Schmokie_Dragon, on Dec 8 2005, 02:31 PM, said:

Yep, lets call a spade a spade. To be honest, if it wasnt for Christmas, there would not be a public holiday at this time of year....

Actually, most cultures DO celebrate holidays at this time of year, all over the world, and did so long before the birth of Christ, let alone the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine led to the "repurposing" of their own end-of-December holidays (see above).  

Cheile, on Dec 8 2005, 04:14 PM, said:

ya know for all those getting sick of the fundies "shoving" Christmas down their throats and getting pissy abt using "Happy Holidays", i'm getting really sick of anti-Christian people claiming we "stole" their holidays.

everyone has stolen from everyone else's religions and adapts it to fit their own.  GET OVER IT and stop lumping all Christians in with the fundie @#$@#%$ morons.  it's getting really old. >.<

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You know what else is getting old?  So-called "good" Christians getting pissed if anyone dares to notice that a vocal -- and rather large (not to mention, well-funded and politically powerful) -- number of people who share your faith (if not your interpretation of it) are giving it a really bad name.  

IMHO, "Good Christians" should clean up their own house before they go shooting the messenger.    

Cheile, on Dec 8 2005, 04:44 PM, said:

trikay, on Dec 8 2005, 02:40 PM, said:

I took the comment as meaning that there are a variety of different cultures that celebrate some sort of holiday at this time of year and that the early Christians placed Christmas at that time, (not sure of the reason tho).  I'm thinking the comment was intended more to illustrate the diverse history of the holiday season. But that's the way I read it.

if that's the case then everyone should be throwing fits at the Jews for Hanukkah and the Africans/African Americans for Kwanzaa,

Uh, they are -- just not the ones on TV.  

Few media personalities, even among the Right-Wing Talkers, dare to bash Chanuka in this day and age.  On the other hand, such remarks remain all-too-common in private life.  I've experienced them up in the Great Lakes region down South, and at home.  

My grandmother would rant every year, sounding a lot like a meaner, female Archie Bunker: "Chanuka was a very minor Jewish holiday until they decided to steal our Christmas thunder."  

Good times. (Detailed extensively in my play, "Nana's a Nazi"  :) ).  

The argument against Kwanza -- "it's a fake holiday" -- comes from a misunderstanding (sometimes deliberate) of its origins.  Kwanza is not some ancient, resurrected African holy day, nor does it claim to be.  

It is--overtly--a celebration drawn from the traditions of many cultures (of course, so is Christmas), reflecting the fact that the population it was intended for is itself, made up of the descendants of many cultures...  Cultures that were lost when slavery brought them to The New World.  

I don't care who "created" Kwanza, or what his story is... It sounds pretty damn American to me.  In the good way.  

Anyway, aren't holidays, by definition, a good thing?  The more the merrier!  (Gays have a great one, so great that of the roughly 1.5 million people take part in NYC alone, a couple of hundred thousand are straight.  It's my second favorite holiday after Christmas--parties, bbq's, a parade, a road trip dowm the shore for 4th of July.  That's almost as good as presents :) ).          

Quote

especially on the latter because it just seemed to appear (or perhaps reappear--i admit to knowing little abt the history of Kwanzaa) into mainstream about fifteen years ago.  but no it's always the Christians who get bashed, harassed and mocked.

Yeah, the blacks and the jews just got beaten and executed.  Oh, and enslaved.  But at least no one criticizes ttheir holidays!  Oh--wait: we did that, too.  :blush:

Anyway, I never understand how it's even possible for the overwhelming majority to face so much persecution.      

Quote

trikay, on Dec 8 2005, 02:40 PM, said:

And you are right..all through history people have adopted/borrowed/co-opted other cultures hoidays etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


at least ONE other person can admit this without acting offended.  thank you.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I've never seen anyone get offended by the notion of cultural cross-pollination, which--as you say--is quite common.  But what's your point?

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#39 Shoshana

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 10:41 PM

Channukah actually still is a minor holiday - altho one of the more fun ones, what with the dreidel spinning, candle lighting and latke eating.

Growing up, we always got presents (one each night) but they weren't of the xbox variety - it was likely to be a hairbrush, a new bed pillow or some chocolate coins called 'gelt'. Now, my friends and I exchange gifts, but since they all celebrate Christmas, they give me my "Channukah" present at Christmas.

And familywise, we tend to exchange small gifts - nothing extravagant. Well, except Gareth, since he does Christmas, h likes giving me cool stuff :).

Outside the US, Channukah isn't the time we exchange gifts - traditionally gifts would be exchanged at Purim, a festival that occurs in late winter/ early spring.

#40 Tricia

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 10:42 PM

Personally I don't see what there is to be offended about when it comes to as was said, the cultural cross-pollination of the holiday season....

It is just a given fact looking back at history that certain traditions, be they from pagan days or  other countries have been melded together or adopted by others not of that particular background, be it  religious, ethnic or whatever.

This is America....long known as the great melting pot...where all our cultures can blend together or be sampled by those not of that particular background.

Most people are not offended if they are Jewish and you wish them a Merry Christmas...or if they wish you a Merry or Happy Kwaanza or Chanukah or Ramadan or whatever they celebrate.  

And personally, I enjoy learning about these other celebrations.  The more we learn about other people and cultures, the beter we can understand one another.

It  is a time in the midst of winter to celebrate....life, family, or whatever you wish to celebrate. And the fact that it is more than one group of peoples celebrating makes it just seem that much better to me.

Edited by trikay, 08 December 2005 - 10:45 PM.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Bush, 2005, Christmas Greeting, Political correctness

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