Though Christmas may be over we are still in the midst of the Christmas season. A season where people buy and receive gifts, get time off of school and work, indulge and enjoy the company of friends and family. In North America, one of the common phrases heard during this festive period is “Merry Christmas” or at least it had been until recent years where people have fought for equality amongst religions. These acts have prompted governments and businesses (which more or less are synonymous) to take action and to celebrate the season with neutrality. Nowadays it is much more common hear and to see “happy holidays” opposed to “Merry Christmas”. For some, this is a victory. It’s acknowledging that there are other religions out there besides Christianity and their traditions and beliefs need to be recognized and celebrated as well. For me, it’s a small distraction from the bigger picture. ‘Our calendar year is Catholic in origin. Different religions and different cultures subscribe to a different calendar format and we consider the Christian one to the only one that’s right. If I was to tell people that it’s the year 1434 most people would assume that I’m crazy, but for Muslims, it is year 1434, does that make Muslims crazy, no. I have a friend who is Hindu so she celebrates Diwali (which isn’t a word according to Microsoft Word). If it weren’t for something I saw briefly on television I wouldn’t have known, and even after I had been aware of it I still had no idea what it was. That probably wouldn’t happen the other way around though. It seems highly improbable that someone living in our modern society would not know what Christmas is.
This gesture is a small sacrifice for Christianity to make; they concede the right to explicitly promote their religion and the other religions take that as a huge positive. Don’t get me wrong, I think that it’s great to see other religions receiving recognition but they basically have to ask Christians for permission. “That’s ridiculous” but is it really?
For the most part, stores and businesses have different hours of operation throughout the week, the shortest of those being Sunday (the Lord’s day). This is something we all know and accept, but with little reason. For places such as TD Canada Trust, the fact that it is open on Sunday can almost be seen as a blessing. I came to this realization at work last week when someone called to place an order and I had to deliver the disappointing news that the gentleman wouldn’t be able to receive his food because it’s the Lord’s day and if the Christians say you can’t get food then thou shall not feast. Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration but hopefully you see the point I’m trying to make. We are constantly being force-fed Christian beliefs and operating under Christian rules, so much so that we see it as the norm.
I have beef with Christmas because it’s not originally a religious holiday (as a matter of fact it’s the exact opposite, and the things it used to celebrate are frowned upon in Christianity, which is probably why they stole it and changed it until they deemed it was appropriate) but it’s not like Easter, or Shrove Tuesday where the religious aspects of the holiday are still very much a part of the celebrations.
To me, it seems like the most-wonderful-time-of-the-year, is just that because Christians made it to be.