Thursday, January 12, 2012

Keep the Christ in Oh For Christ's Sake

I know I've been an absent blogger, but I had to make a last minute trip to the wild lands of New Jersey, just after Christmas. But now I am back in business.

So as I was driving around the beautifully bountiful suburbs I noticed signs on lawns and bumper stickers on cars (both the ultimate American suburban form of self-expression offline) adorned with 'Keep the Christ in Christmas.'

Now, while I do understand that sometimes Christmas feels like Santamas, the anger this year seem to be aimed at all of those well-wishers who say 'Happy Holidays,' instead of Merry Christmas. If you are in Sweden this might seem new to you, but when you are from a culturally diverse area such as the suburbs of New Jersey, sometimes it is a lot easier to say Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year. (I would LOVE to be able to just say 'Good continuation...' but we don't have that sentiment).

Anyways, apparently some people don't take too kindly to being wished a Happy Holiday. This is some how insulting to their sense of Christ, since we all know Happy Holiday is PC code for Merry Christmas.

Whatever. Maybe I was just wishing you a Happy Holiday. Maybe I couldn't read your ethnicity. Seriously, if you believe in Christ and celebrate his birthday, why does it matter what I say or do not say to you. I DO NOT GET IT!

Now let us look at Sweden. Sweden is where most of the people I know self-identify as card carrying atheists and non-believers. Sweden is where I went to a church children's group because it was the only music class that wasn't full in town where the clergywoman told us that the virgin birth story was crazy talk and the resurrection, well, it wasn't really a miracle it could probably be explained by physics.

Here, in this peoplehaveforsakenGod land, everyone and their mother will wish you a Merry Christmas. God Jul is hung from all the signs in the shops. Your boss will wish you one as will your neighbors. Ok it is true, Swedes took the Christ out of Christmas centuries ago by calling it Jul instead of Christmas, but God Jul is still the same sentiment isn't it? Or are Europeans automatically damned due to linguistics. Should we be saying God Christjul or Joyeux Nochristel?


  1. To me this anger seems extreme and unfair. It is impossible to keep track of everyones religion when you live in the US. So isen´t it better to get a nice and cheerful Happy Holiday wish instead of no greating at all or an incorrect greeting? Don´t people have more important things to fuss about.
    Well that is my opinion.
    I wish you welcome back home to Sweden and hope you had a nice visit to the States. :-)

  2. I've heard it's a liberal conspiracy.. Americans don't seem to like each other very much. Don't think you could find 5% of swedes (including immigrants) who dislike any other 5%, but americans all seem to be at each other's throats..

    I prefer to think God made some of the things happen for symbolic effect. If you're God, why not?

  3. I suppose we should all be saying Happy Yule, or Yuletide, since that is what we are really celebrating on that date or thereabouts - the winter solstice. I hate the way it's all got so PC., surely the fact that strangers are actually greeting you with a smile should be enough!

  4. I love this post, I can completely relate! Working as a cashier and then a dental assistant you are TOLD by your employers to say Happy Holidays, and I think that is fine. You do not want to offend anyone by assuming they are going to be celebrating Christmas. People are too easily offended by this intentionally well meaning gesture. (Just say God Jul in the US and then you can always claim to have put God into it, instead of Christ :P) - Meg