December 15, 2006

Chismes de mi Gallinero

Political Correctness and Christmas

By Julio C. Calderon

This is the time of year at the gallinero when the ladies are molting and egg production is at a stand-still or a trickle. This gives them time to gossip incessantly while growing new feathers. The big question is the debate over Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. It’s an argument that I got into while editing the California Youth Authority Newsletter a couple of years ago.

I have yet to understand the removal of manger scenes from public places and keeping the menorah for Hanukkah. I am among those who protest the removal of Christ from Christmas or any other public display, just to not offend people from other religions or atheists.

What’s with “Happy Holidays?” Do they mean Christmas and New Year, or all of those days in December…the shopping season? Last I knew Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and what ever Islamists or Buddhists or any other religion celebrates are not national holidays.

I can understand the theory of inclusivity; however, the removal of all signs of Jesus Christ from these holy celebrations is exclusivity. It all started with the invention of Kris Kringle, Santa Clause and his elves and reindeer – and retailers’ Holiday Sales.

These Holiday sales also cover Memorial Day and the 4th of July and Labor Day… making the Christmas season “Happy Holiday” useful on all nationally declared holidays.

The fellow who wrote “The Seven Days of Christmas” was a clever wordsmith or a fantastic marketing man. Think about all of those things needed to complete the song, and it all centers on acquiring each of those items from somewhere. I don’t think they had malls when he wrote the song, but surely, retailers existed that could provide them.

I am not anti-commerce. The more someone earns – the more they can give to their churches and charities. A rich person’s ten percent tithes are certainly much greater than my ten percent. God bless them.

Some people are too easily offended. If I find something or someone offensive – I avoid them. Certainly, if a manger scene offends an atheist – don’t look at it – just as they would a homeless person on a bus bench or with a tin cup or a Salvation Army bell ringer — people they don’t seem to see.

I guess I could argue the facts that this country was founded on Christian-Judeo principles; or that the greater percentage of Americans are of a Christian faith to support keeping Christ in Christmas – but I won’t.

Neither will I discuss what I ‘feel,’ only what I believe. Christ is making his way back into Christmas for the same reason He was being removed. Meeting the sensitivities of non-believers by retailers is slamming head-on with believers at the big chain stores. Mighty Wal-Mart has brought “Merry Christmas” back to their stores. They found out that even non-Christians liked being greeted with “Merry Christmas!”

Of course, this may never end the debate. We can expect the continued attack on Christ by the politically correct folks. The only way to mute the Christmas folks is to have congress pass legislation making “Happy Holiday” a national holiday. I know, that doesn’t make any sense to me either.

Nor does it make sense to mask over the fact the Christmas holidays are a celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. You can refuse to believe that He is the son of God, or not. I believe He is.

If you believe that worms are reincarnations of ancestors…that is your right and I am not offended. I must apologize to those of you that do…for the many that the chickens in the coop have eaten.

Once people get through the spend and spend period, they will gather in homes and churches; and once the happy voices of children fades; they will raise their voices in praise and remember the Christ child – who told us to be good to each other – and to love each other. “Peace on earth,” is another popular phrase at this time of the year – unfortunately, only at this time.

Merry Christmas!

Julio C. Calderon is a retired California state information officer. He can be reached at

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