Friday, December 31, 2010

The Holiday(s)

Whether or not saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" is considerate or a war on Christmas is not something I wish to get into- everyone knows that the majority of the American population celebrates Christmas and a couple of substitute words isn't going to threaten it.

I only wonder why many of the commercials I see this year ('10) on television have people saying "Happy Holiday", using the singular rather than the plural. I actually think this is more offensive than the plural, because it implies that there's only one holiday. What they really mean is "Happy Holiday Season", I think- which is what everyone is celebrating, unless you're an atheist (or Scrooge).

What bugs me more than anything is when people set up a "holiday" celebration- calling it a "Holiday Festival" or something- and everything about it is Christmas related. There's Santa Claus, there's Christmas trees, Christmas music, Christmas this and Christmas that, and maybe even a Nativity scene. There are no menorahs or kinaras (although there are plenty of semi-pagan symbols), so claiming that their festivities are wintertime holiday neutral isn't the truth.

This actually happened to one festival we usually go to every year, once called "The Festival of the Trees" because it was primarily a display of artists' decorated trees- its name was changed to "Holiday Festival". There aren't any dreidels or anything, and the old name didn't even have the word "Christmas" in it!

The same can happen on television- a channel will claim to play "your favorite holiday movies", and all they play are Christmas movies and specials, and not a single Hanukkah special. Part of the problem here is that there aren't very many Hanukkah specials, but still. I'd just prefer a little honesty, that's all.

Actually, all this pales in comparison to my irritation with the mudslide of commercials using traditional carols with rewritten lyrics about their stores and products, telling me that I haven't been buying presents the right way. It was sort of funny two years ago, but now it's getting annoying.

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