Thursday, November 12, 2009

A nation of grinches

File this one under "political correctness run amok:"

WASHINGTON — Officials in an Ohio town canceled their Christmas parade this year to avoid huge legal fees in defending the tradition from possible lawsuits by religious groups.

The legal hurdle surfaced when the private group that for 28 years had funded the parade in Amelia village recently announced it could no longer do so, prompting the village mayor to step in with public funds.

On a lawyer's advice, the mayor decided to change the name of the event from Christmas Parade to the more neutral "Holiday Parade" to avoid lawsuits and abide by constitutional rules about the separation of church and state. [...]

However, the name change did not sit well with local church officials, who promptly threatened to boycott the event if it was no longer called "A Christmas Parade."

We've become a nation full of Grinches.

And since LarryD reminds us to have a "Merry Tossmas," I'd like to share the "Holiday" letter I've sent to a few catalog companies in the past:

Dear Retailer,

I just received your (insert company name) "Holiday 20--" catalog. Though it was nice of you to send it, I'm afraid my family and I don't celebrate 'Holiday.' In fact, though I'm embarrassed to admit it, I'm not even sure what or when 'Holiday' is, though I suspect that it's sometime in late December.

My family and I celebrate a small, quaint religious day we like to call "Christmas." I don't suppose you've heard of it, but it has ancient roots, and many lovely customs and traditions. One of those traditions is to give our loved ones gifts on this day, and companies used to send me catalogs to help me pick out Christmas gifts for my family and friends.

I'm afraid, in recent years, I've very inappropriately been purchasing 'Holiday' gifts by mistake! You can imagine my chagrin--I wouldn't give a Jewish friend a Christmas gift for Hanukkah, so I certainly shouldn't give 'Holiday' gifts to my loved ones for Christmas. Now that I've realized this terrible faux pas, I no longer intend to shop from stores or catalog who advertise only 'Holiday' gifts but who do not use the word "Christmas" to describe any of their merchandise. I would be ashamed to fill my house with 'Holiday' decorations and 'Holiday' cheer when I don't even celebrate 'Holiday'!

So, though I appreciate your thoughtfulness in sending me your Holiday catalog, I won't be using it. Not unless the kids decide to cut it up to make confetti for our Christmas crackers.

Believe it or not, I got a few interesting replies to this one. :)


Kindred Spirit said...

What a good idea! I think I'll follow your lead and try to help these poor souls who "do not know what they do." May God bless you for sharing this with your readers.

Rebecca said...

LOL! I would love to hear about the replies!

KatieButler said...

At least one retailer has gotten the message--I was in Target earlier this week, and "Merry Christmas" was prominently displayed. I did a double take. ;)

Todd said...

Well ... Thanksgiving and New Year's and Guadalupe and Los Posadas and even Chanukah are all wrapped up in this, and they're already playing Christmas music out the wazoo on a few radio stations, so really, I have no problem with lawyers or whomever wishing my "Happy Holidays."

It strikes me that it's a new Christmas tradition to complain about people, real or invented, who have it in for the small, quaint holiday.

Feel free to wish me a Happy Advent and hold off on the Merry Christmas until after sunset on DEc 24th, ok?

Scott W. said...

All religious are equally superior to Christianity, which is an irrelevant faith but somehow the greatest threat to mankind. /rolleyes

Christopher said...

You should add a paragraph asking them to explain what is particularly "Holy" about their "Holiday" and why they think it's okay to celebrate "Holidays" (Holy Days) anyway?

Dino said...

The past few years, the "Christmas music" has tended to lean more toward "Jingle Bells" and "Chipmonks Roasting on an Open Fire". Where is "Adeste Fidelis", "Silent Night", and real Christmas music?

LarryD said...

Thanks for the link, Red!

And I like your letter idea. Brilliant!