Yes, just about one month away and I am drawing up my Christmas shopping list.
No, not the one where I list my choice of colour for the Maserati Quatroporte, or the wish for that new faster than lightning Toshiba laptop, not even the endless list of gifts under $100. that I would gracefully receive. I am drawing up the list of STORES that I might shop at.
You might have noticed last year, it kind of started, no more Merry Christmas in the display windows, it was changed to Happy Holidays. Why? Because these wise retailers, in their desire to get every dollar in the highest buying time of the year didn't want to OFFEND anyone. In their perception of what Christmas is all about, they seem to think that Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Shinto priests, medicine men and Shamans of all esoteric tribes will quit shopping at their chain stores if they dare have the words Merry Christmas on their windows or in their advertising. Macys in New York won't say it. The Bay in Vancouver didn't last year. I hope they rethink it this year. The Body Shop refuses to say Merry Christmas, as does snooty old Holt Refrew. Maybe they think they'll sell more head scarves to Muslims.
So who exactly ARE these retailers offending?
Tradition in North America at least, seems to point to Christians as the core of this buying spree built around December twenty-fifth. They are buying gifts to loved ones in celebrating the birth of Christ. Sure it has gotten out of the basic concept of a religious time of deep spirituality. Yet the spirit of love, acceptance, toleration, forgiveness, and brotherhood remains amid the feelings of well being at Christmas. We are all nicer people at Christmas.
Yes it is a buying spree. Yes it has become commercial. And you needn't go to church services or mass to celebrate a special time of year.
I know MY list of Christmas buying will be made around those who actually have the Christmas spirit instead of those who perceive some imagined offence at this time. Public Relations departments don't get it. Happy Holidays doesn't cut it. Xmas doesn't either. Merry Christmas does.
I am offended by those who are afraid to express it when they want my dollars.
Merry Christmas to all you who have tolerance, bah humbug to you who don't.