One of my favorite holiday tradition that I had in Chicago was that my 2 best friends and I would got see Chanticleer (an all male acapella group) for their holiday concert in early December. This year I got to go to my uncle’s men’s choir concert for the holidays. My favorite thing about all male singing groups is the lack of squeaky female voices. After a fabulous concert in an old church that featured some really amazing solos we went to a local farm house for a great dinner. The whole night was a huge success.
At the dinner I got to talking with the couple across from me and we discussed the political correctness of holiday parties. Recently in Sweden there was a discussion in the media about the poltical correctness of some natinoal holiday traditions that are now considered offensive to people of other religious or ethnic backgrounds. For a long time Sweden was a very homogenous society but in recent years the number and veriety of immigrants have increased making some of the older traditions be seen in a new light. Now I think some of these political corectness questions are a little silly since the context of the references came about in a time period where mulitculturism wasn’t a problem but we have similar issues in the US about the holiday season. While our government is supposed to be separate from religion some religious culuture permiates all level of society. This becomes even more evident at the holiday time with the fight about wishing people “Merry Christmas” and how to celebrate holidays at schools, in public settings, at work, in the government, and on TV.
Now I have a few friends (most Jewish) who are highly offended if someone wishes them “Merry Christmas” at a store or in a public place. I feel this is kinda silly. I do send out holiday cards each year, not Christmas cards. I always say “Happy Holidays” on my cards because a few of the people I send cards to are Jewish or simply don’t celebrate Christmas. However as a non-christian who celebrates Christmas and loves the holiday I don’t really understand being offended by any good wishes during this time. I feel like Christmas is a cultural phenomena in the US and thus wishing someone a Merry Christmas is the same as wishing them Happy Holidays or Happy New Year.
so Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to you all!