Friday, November 01, 2013

It's the holidays -- get over it

With October come and gone, it is, as far as I’m concerned, the holiday season. Or “the holidays.”

There are lots of holidays coming up. Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s. Lots of holiday. So I find “happy holidays” to be an appropriate greeting this time of year.

Some people will tell me that I’m un-American for saying “happy holidays” because when Jesus wrote the Constitution, he declared that if you weren’t a Christian, you might as well just go back to Mexico … or something. At least that seems to be the gist that I get from people.

I’ve mentioned in this space previously that I’m a proud Christian. I’ve also mentioned before that my religion and my country are not as intertwined as some would have you believe. We are, after all, the great melting pot. Or at least we’re supposed to be.

If you take all your Halloween candy from yesterday and stick it in a pot and melt it, it doesn’t all become Snickers bars, no matter how much you might want it to. America is similar. If we’re truly a melting pot, then not everyone is going to be a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Christian. Which is good, since I have a thing for brunettes.

Bill O’Reilly will tell you that there’s a war against Christmas. That anyone like me who prefers to be inclusive by saying “happy holidays” is simply trying to subvert the founders’ Christian beliefs. He’s been on this kick for years and it gets more annoying every year.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. As far as I’m concerned, Christmas begins the day after Thanksgiving. That’s when I’ll start decorating, put up the tree and switch to 24-7 Christmas music.

But loving Christmas doesn’t have to mean hating other holidays. Just as being Christian doesn’t mean hating other religions.

So let me be the first to say “happy holidays,” before someone in Congress gets the bright idea to make the phrase illegal.

Scott Leffler is a big fan of all holidays. Except Thanksgiving. Follow him on Twitter @scottleffler.