What Is The Big Deal



It is time to embrace diversity. Time to “cool our jets” so to speak and be more accepting. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have some prejudices, some misconceptions, some things we do not understand, but very few of us are bigots. A bigot, according to Merriam-Webster is “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions….one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”

I have to admit that I am sometimes devoted to my opinion, but I like to think I am open-minded. It may take me awhile to change my mind, but if I find an argument compelling enough I can be swayed. For example, I used to get behind the motto “let’s put Christ back in Christmas” and was a bit anti “Happy Holidays” and pro “Merry Christmas”. But I have seen the error of my ways.

Sometimes we believe that the very fibre of our beings is being threatened, and when we do, we fight to get back what we thought was lost. But in the scheme of things, Christ was not lost and neither was “Merry Christmas”. We over-reacted, and in that over-reaction, diversity suffers. A friend of mine (yes, you Cindy) posted this on Facebook and I could not agree more. Derived from The ManKind Project, it reads:

I don’t understand

what the big deal is…

If you are Jewish, tell me:

“Happy Hanukkah”.

If you are African American (or Canadian), then tell me:

“Joyous Kwanzaa”.

If you are Christian, tell me:

“Merry Christmas.”

If you don’t prefer those, tell me:

“Happy Holidays.”

I will not be offended.

I will be thankful that

You took the time to

Say something nice to me.

That is really all it comes down to: being nice. Taking the time to notice our fellow earthlings and saying something nice. Niceness is way under-rated yet the thing that most of us crave, nay require, is connection to our fellow human.

As the holiday season is upon us, it is time to let our defences down, not totally—but at least at half mast. What our neighbours just went through with the recent election illustrates my point. Vast chasms of difference separate so many. They are going to have to get over it. Change. Not accept what they can’t change, but adjust to it.

The other day, again on Facebook, a friend put out a plea to everyone to “Just stop!” And I responded with one word: “agreed”. She was tired of the bloodletting, the vitriol, the negativity. Me too. And by the way, we are Canadian. There is not a darn thing we can do about the election. I know that the elephant that is the United States affects us, but we are going to have to find a way to come to some peace about it. We can only hope the elephant does not roar. I do not want us to be complacent. We are certainly entitled to our opinions, but if they differ with reality, we are going to have to find a way to face this new reality.

Sometimes life bites. We just have to learn to chew a bit more thoughtfully.

Christmas is a time for thoughtfulness. A time for those who believe in God and Jesus to celebrate the birth of their Saviour. But it is also a time for frivolity—even jolliness. Santa is the distraught parent’s best friend, and though I hate to admit this, I did use him to “teach” my kids to be kinder when they were small. Yes, I did invoke that old chestnut that “Santa is watching to see who is good and who is bad” a few more times than I like to admit. And it worked like a charm.

Sometimes we just do what works. And if “Happy Holidays” works for you–

it works for me!

How do you feel?

Published in: on November 23, 2016 at 2:25 pm  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love this post. The whole point is that someone is wishing you happiness. Well said. Happy Thanksgiving. :o)

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you. Mine was in October since I am Canadian, but I like your kind thought and wish of happiness…

  2. Happy Holidays,LouAnn! 😉 xoM

  3. Yes. Say something nice to me. Yes.

  4. For me it is Merry Christmas but not everyone does Christmas and that is ok with me, I only get annoyed when others try to push their beliefs onto me as I don’t shove my beliefs onto others.

  5. Happy Holidays Lou! Great post, well said!

  6. Oh LouAnn, I’m so glad that my little Facebook post meant as much to you as it did to me. There is so much negativity in the world nowadays, and I’m really getting sick and tired of it. If people spent as much time doing and saying nice things as they do complaining and being cruel and heartless, this world would be such an amazing place! I’m tired of all the division everywhere. I hope nobody misunderstands this, but I wish we could celebrate all our similarities AND differences together instead of whining about who is not included. For example, instead of telling us our kids can’t have Christmas celebrations in school, why can’t they have multicultural celebrations? Let’s have our children learn about and celebrate all the holiday traditions. When I was a child, I grew up in a neighbourhood with lots of Jewish families, and I was fascinated to go to my friends’ homes and learn about their Hanukkah traditions. No one tradition is the right one. We should feel free to have our own beliefs and to celebrate our own traditions while at the same time keeping our minds open to other cultures and their celebrations. Let’s not tell people what they can or cannot celebrate!!

    As for the situation down in the US, there is not a damn thing they can do about what happened, and I’m getting really sick of hearing all the negativity. Maybe, just maybe, things won’t turn out as badly as everyone thinks. Positive thinking is the key!!

  7. I agree somewhat LouAnn in that we got a little too precise with how we greet each other at Christmas..

    We do need to be sensitive to other religions etc. I guess for me.. it is more to do with taking away the Christmas pageants in school… now it has to be called Winter pageants No more mangers or baby Jesus because it may offend another culture. In some places it is even prohibited for teachers who are Christian to wear crosses.

    Most stores or companies now have to be so cautious in how they address people. Maybe that’s where some of the sensitivity creeps in about the ‘Merry Christmas’ vs ‘Happy Holidays’

    Anyway, just some of my thoughts. Diane

  8. It seems to me that many people get way too sensitive about political correctness or else swing the other way and decide that anything that doesn’t “fit” their world views is automatically judged as being “wrong” or “less than.” I couldn’t agree with you more that we should be focusing on how to be more open and adaptable, even if our current reality isn’t one that we had hoped for. I’m also sick and tired of all the negativity surrounding our elections and protesting does nothing except waste energy and time in my opinion. There isn’t much we can change at this point, so wouldn’t it be more productive to think about the things we CAN do moving forward instead of hollering on about how terrible things are? Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful post (as always) and happy (upcoming) holidays!

  9. Agree!
    I mentioned the Happy Holidays / Merry Christmas problem in my post yesterday.
    Kindness … not judgment.

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