Hey, everyone, you can relax now! There’s no War on Christmas. No widespread Christian persecution, no militant atheists, no liberal homo agenda to make your precious Christmas marketing machine go away. So quit fucking complaining about, especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom who spends upwards of 6 hours a day listening to Maroon 5 and linking your Spotify account to Facebook.
Claiming that your way of life is threatened by the phrase “Happy Holidays” isn’t only inaccurate (which is enough to piss me off), it’s ignorant and obnoxious and tells me that you have nothing better to do with your time or intellect. What’s your problem, really? Is it that people who don’t celebrate Christmas exist in the first place, or that the onslaught of “political correctness” (a phrase that nobody but people like you use anymore) has allowed them to have an opinion? Or do you think that anyone who doesn’t say “Merry Christmas” or completely subscribe to its accompanying belief system one hundred fucking percent should be barred from celebrating or enjoying it at all, and that maybe those people should be easily identifiable, maybe by wearing six-pointed pieces of flair? Do you honestly think that if Jesus exists, he needs you to defend his birthday? Are you stupid enough to ignore the history behind the appropriation of pagan festivals by early Christians who were both terrified of being found out and really savvy about marketing? Have you really deluded yourself into thinking that middle-class American Christians are the most persecuted group in the world? What in the fuck is wrong with you?
I’m an atheist who celebrates Christmas. Why? For the presents, of course. The same reason you celebrate Christmas, and if you deny this and are not a member of the clergy, then you are probably lying. Your status updates at midnight on Black Friday gave you away on that one. I also celebrate Christmas because my family celebrates Christmas, and because as someone who was raised Catholic to the point of having a Confirmation name and knowing what catechism is, there is a certain amount of tradition that sits apart from the rote practicing of religion. Plus, you know, Christmas is pretty. It smells nice. It can be fun when your family isn’t horking all the good booze or demanding to know why you don’t call more often (see first half of same sentence for answers). It’s fucking festive, okay, and I don’t have to go to Midnight Mass in order to think so.
It’s not that I’m offended by “Merry Christmas.” I don’t really care what you say or why you say it, as long as you don’t bitch long and hard about how anyone who says the opposite thing is wrong. I suppose that if pressed, I would say that I prefer “Happy Holidays” because it can be said for a longer period of time and therefore makes me feel like I’m on some type of vacation. Not a real one, mind you, because I’m a grownup with a job, but it’s nice to pretend like I can drink festive cocktails from mid-November until early January without being told that I have a problem. But because I’m tired of being chewed out by anti-“Happy Holidays” lunatics, I don’t say it to anyone. When someone tells me anything, I smile (or smirk as is my custom/limit of facial expression capability) and say “thank you.”
And eventually, this will be fodder for the Christmas avengers, too. Because it’s not about asking for fair and equal recognition, it’s about asking for special treatment to the point of beating everyone else off the face of the earth for a month and a half with a giant, gift-wrapped fist.