Well, Christmas has started, it seems. It's November 17, but actually, I've been dealing with Santa and his minions since before Hallowe'en, when the stores started putting out the trees and the lights.
And since it's only mid-November, that means that social media is already all ablaze with people whining about how it's "Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays," and how they're not allowed to repeat the fabled phrase. Depending on the person complaining, it's a either plot against them by (a) Muslims, (b) atheists, or (c) the politically correct. Sometimes it's all three, because dammit, they're out to get me! Even if that is nowhere near the truth.
Here's why I'm saying "Happy Holidays" instead right now: because according to my calendar, and to most of the Christian churches, Christmas falls on December 25. It's one day, not three months.
Would you wish someone a Happy Mother's Day on April 5? How about Happy New Year on November 23? Or how about Happy Canada Day at the end of May? If those examples sound silly, tell me why you're incessantly whining that some people are not saying Merry Christmas back to you more than a month beforehand.
Even though I'm not a Christian, I do like Christmas. I just like it in its place. If you got a turkey dinner every single night for two months prior to Thanksgiving, just how excited would you be to see the golden bird and the mashed potatoes once again on that day? I should think you'd be just as tired of it as I am two months of Christmas music, Christmas commercials, Christmas trees, and and everything else Christmas by the time the actual day finally rolls around.
Here's the scoop. You want to say Merry Christmas to me, knock yourself out. But don't whine if I say "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" in return right now. You own one day. You do not own three months, and I'll be damned if I'm going to play along just because you think you do.
No one's out to get you, and no one's out to squash your religion (even if the vast majority of glassy-eyed shoppers wandering the malls really don't seem to have the Baby Jesus on their minds, either). Happy Holidays to you, and quit your whining. In another 38 days, on the actual day (and maybe even a couple prior to it), I'll very happily wish you a very Merry Christmas, pour you some eggnog, and we can even talk about a Happy New Year.