Christmas, Yule, the Solstice, Festivus, Whatever

I'm an atheist who celebrates the winter holidays. My favorite day is Christmas Eve. In the evening, lights and ceremony beckoning to the sun, enticing it to come to us with the warm red of romance and the green promise of an earthy birth in spring. Christmas day is it's return on a bright dawn of promise that settles into comfort and family.

Prior to the "War On Christmas" I was never offended by the phrase, "Merry Christmas!"

It was always a greeting is given with sincerity, a smile, and warmth, it honestly doesn't matter what people say in the personal realm of the winter greetings. In the end, it all means the same. The person is wishing you happiness, comfort, and good tidings in the year to come. What could be nicer?

I generally say Happy Holidays when I greet someone unless I can tailor the greeting to the individual's personal celebration, or unless they greet me first with their own version. I understand that we live in a Christian-centric country, and I try not to be rude. However, when I do not know, Happy Holidays, it is. It's simply the more civilized, the more polite thing to do; it has nothing to do with politics or so-called political-correctness.

Professionally, it's more polite and dignified to greet people in a generalized manner when their personal beliefs are unknown. Again, it has nothing to do with so-called political correctness, whatever that is. It's about being polite and respectful to others. It's about living in a civilized society and playing nice in the big sandbox. Acknowledging that others may not be exactly like you makes the season a happier time for everyone.

Unfortunately, for some, the season is now a spitting, snarling bit of nastiness. You know, people who are into the whole "War" thing. They they give off body language and verbal cues when they snarl a challenge of "Merry CHRISTmas" at people they greet and it's just plain rude, really. Still, the most they are likely to get from me is, "Uh, same to *you*!"

Merry CHRISTmas

They will go back home and sit alone in their easy chair, muttering about the lack of godliness and Christian behavior in society, failing to look at the miserable gifts they give themselves.

Oddly, I'll take my version of happiness and leave the persecution of the majority out of it.

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