Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:First let me get this out of the way, this is not to be a religious debate nor a conversion ground. I would like honest opinions.I am currently involved in a Victorian Christmas show. This year we have a new producer so things are up to question that never were before. Recently this one came up and it is really confusing the cast....On an average day we meet between 200 and 700 people a day at this show. We are to entertain them and extend holiday wishes. Many of the cast are saying "Happy Christmas". One girl on cast is Jewish and said it is rude to say that to everyone assuming they celebrate Christmas. Personally I say "'Appy 'Olidays" to avoid the whole thing. However, I think that no matter what the greeting as long as it is extended with the warmest wishes and best of intentions that I will happily accept it (and I am pagan, no one really wishes Merry Yuletide anymore).What do you think? Is it rude or is it spirit instead of particulars? Woud you be offended?Thanks....and Happy Holiday Season, no matter what you believe!
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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foobaa
foobaa

spinning for ages
Location: Christchurch
Member Since: 16th Sep 2001
Total posts: 125
Posted:I think that as long as you are offering a heartfelt wish of happiness for the holidays that it should in no way be taken as offensive. People who take offense at someone trying to be nice should be shot. We should all just be a bit more accepting and smile and have a good time, who cares what religion your neighbour is, as long as they are decent people.....------------------fe fi foo fun

fe fi foo fun

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Dm
Dm

AlterEgo
Location: Londonish
Member Since: 15th Aug 2001
Total posts: 128
Posted:I'm a strong atheist. My tupence worth:I celebrate Christmas as a holiday as it's become to symbolise, for me, a relaxing (hopefully!) time spent with family and friends. For others it's a commercial spend-fest, pressurised by society's competitive nature to buy the best presents for each other (sod that!).The people who could be offended are devout Christian's who have seen a celebration of christ hijacked by capitalism. Also pagans could get annoyed as the Christian's stole the traditional pagan festivities, but Pagans aren't likely to get too annoyed. They are allowed to be slightly smug about it.For everyone it should be a few days to relax and have fun. Nothing about that is bad. Anyone who feels 'Merry Christmas' is offensive or rude in a sense needs to hear it more to know that it means nothing religious. Christmas is not a religious time any more, Christmas is spirit behind a happy time, when everyone is actually nice to each other for once.So, pack up your religions and go have fun!it might have been possible to say that more eloquently, but I have a headache.Dom

We're nothing but the nerds they think we are

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Dom, I gotta disagree. I understand what you're saying about Christmas not being religious BUT if you are one of the majority of the planet who believes in a religion without Christ I think Christmas does imply Christianity to many non-christian religions.Personally, I'm with you. And for me it's no big deal. But I can see some circumstances where it would be rude.I interact with a large population of Jewish and Muslim kids and for them it can be frustrating to not be included in Christmas. COUPLED with the not getting presents like all of your friends do, it can be depressing. I think it's important to recognize that not only is Christmas something that some people celebrate, it's also something that people specifically do not celebrate. The overbearance and "spirit of christmas" can even be opressive at times to those that chose not to follow it.Reguardless of what you personally believe, it's obvious that some people (Christian or not) would associate Christmas with Christianity. I think it can be rude to a minority group to assume that they won't mind being presuemed to be part of the majority group.I just think of an Arabic kid that I have in one of my classes. He's new to the school district, the kids can barely pronounce his name (and sometimes made fun which I had to lay down the law about), he's ostracised for being the new kid, he's getting hate email for being arabic, he's not getting anything for Christmas like most other kids, he doen't go to the same church or temple as anyone else in the school, he's been threatened and cursed out since the Sept. 11th attacks... and you're going to wish him a Happy Christmas? [OR WORSE: tell him to "Pack up his religion and go have fun!?]
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This isn't just PC mumbo-jumbo, it's a respect for the other cultures that exist and the option that people have to not want to have a Happy Christmas or any Christmas at all. I used to think it was no big deal but since I have exposed myself to other cultures I see how oppressive it can be...


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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:I understand where most people are coming from on this point, but think it should be considered in a more worldy way as well as an individual opinion.Please note I have a strong Jewish background, am marrying a lovely Muslim lady next year and have lots of Christian friends as well as an Anglican Minister for a grandfather)....
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Anyway, I actually see the Xmas period as a western cultural issue more than a religous one. There are those who take it as religous, and I feel that is the best approach, however we also have to recognise that there are millions of people every year who don't see it that way, but nethertheless still celebrate it in their own ways.To sum up, if you are in a country where Xmas is celebrated each year, be prepared for people to say "Merry Xmas" or "Happy Xmas" to you. If you take offense, then perhaps you are being unrealistic about the culture surrounding you, for they will undoubtedly say that to you at some point.As an example, a devout Christian in a western coountry does not get offended when a known devout athiest (yes, i think devout is the right word to use), says "Merry Xmas" to him. They merely return the phrase.It could be taken in this way...That this person, who is known for not believing in the existence of God is pretending to celebrate the birth of Christ. Literally taken, this is how it should be.But Xmas is a cultural event, Christians expect non-christians to recognise it, and aren't offended.Xmas is as much a time of year now, deeply imbedded in western culture, as it is a religous event. Even though it has deep Christian roots, it needs to be recognised as a time of year that is important to different people to different reasons.In short, be prepared for people to wish you a "merry Xmas" with different reasons for how you might wish them a "merry xmas". Otherwise, you will end up being disappointed and offended every year for the rest of your life, and that's not a very nice Xmas to look forward to next year is it?
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------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggling.co.nz


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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GodlovinSponge
member
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Member Since: 24th Nov 2001
Total posts: 125
Posted:Hey.. Im Christian and hardcore into it.. But if someone said Happy Hannuka (sorry dont know how to spell) I wouldnt be offended.. *granted that their are a lot of really stuck up and dumb christians out there, but then there are just as many stuck up non christians out there as well*As for Happy Christmas.. It is a wishing of good celebration and and merry time, and even if you dont celebrate it, you still can enjoy the spirit of joy that surrounds this holiday.God BlessMERRY CHRISTMAS
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------------------May the fire of God burn its impression on your heart.


May the fire of God burn its impression on your heart.

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Cantus
Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road
Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 15965
Posted:It's in the singing of a street corner choir,It's going home and getting warm by the fire,It's true where ever you find love it feels like christmas.It's in the giving of gift from another,A friendly smile froma friend or a loverIt's true whereever you find love it feels like christmas.Or something like like that...

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Dm
Dm

AlterEgo
Location: Londonish
Member Since: 15th Aug 2001
Total posts: 128
Posted:OK, Charles said is far, far better than me
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I know I can come across a bit extreme sometimes.NYC - Fair enough points, and I know where you're coming from. I was brought up in a Muslim country in asia, so I know exactly what being a minority kid is like. It's weird and it's tough.We, an atheist family, celebrated Christmas along with a small community of other westerners as it is a cultural event, and so being a western family it's something we did. We also celebrated other events in the Chinese, Malay and Muslim calanders as they part of the culture we were living in. Best of both worlds
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We never got upset when people were wishing us happy new year in Feburary, or parading down our streets for a religious festival, we just enjoyed it!My mother wore a head scarf and we stuck to local customs. We never dream of objecting as we were of a different culture or belief system. Our own beliefs and practices were accepted and allowances were made, and in return we accepted the majorities beliefs as being valid for them, and as we lived there we had to live by these as well.Dom


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Oottat
member
Location: Wheaton, IL USA
Member Since: 29th Aug 2001
Total posts: 10
Posted:Pele,To answer your question, I beleive since it is a Christmas show, go ahead and say merry christmas. These people are going to a christmas show, so if they are offended by saying merry christmas, well then good!!! they went to a show about christmas!!!Now for outside of that show, that's a different story. I have to say that happy holidays really is the way to go. It's like the saying says: You can't please everybody all of the time. But in this case happy holidays kind of does... It encompasses everyone and excludes none. nice and safe (boring, but safe!)Being a Hardcore Agnostic (loosely translated: too lazy to pick a religion!) I find most of this amusing. Merry christmas really has been turned into an empty platitude(sp?). It's just like how most people will ask you how you're doing but don't listen to the answer. It's just the proper thing to say at that time. I don't even think some people realize they are saying merry christmas, it's just a kneejerk reaction.Oottat ------------------It's only funny until someone gets hurt.... Then it's a COMPETITION!!!

It's only funny until someone gets hurt.... Then it's a COMPETITION!!!

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Interesting responses. My own theory is this: Just because you are not offended by something, doesn't mean that it's ok to assume that other people won't be.I think you need to ask "Is it reasonably understandable IF someone could be offended by this?" Rather than "Would I be offended by this?"Context is also important. As a white male growing up in America (granted a diverse section but white-dominated none the less...) I have had the luxury of not having my race be an issue. I don't care what you say about my race because I've never been opressed because of it. If I HAD been opressed as a result of my race it would have been a different story. Wishing me a Happy Chanukah is not the same thing as I have not grown up in a context of smothering Judiasm fighting to preserve a minority religion.I'm not going to get much further into this, but asking me to have a Merry Christmas is asking me to honor a tradition of worshiping Jesus Christ. Like it or not, that's were the tradition came from, and that's what a majority of people who wish it are directly or indirectly implying.Do I care? No. Thanks, Happy Christmas to you if you celebrate it...But do I have students who's family members have been killed in the name of Jesus? Yes. Do I have students who were beaten this week because they are not Christian? Yes.A stupid and oversimplified example MIGHT be if someone wished you a happy Satanic holiday. As a Christian how would you feel? You don't accept those ideals and might be offended. OK GRANTED IT WAS A STUPID EXAMPLE but maybe it helped someone gain some understanding (please don't jump on this point, it was my weakest one, granted). There are people out there who don't accept Christianity or it's ideals. I know that you would hate to infringe on their rights...I understand that it is difficult to step back from your own god and be objective. I just don't think I could look my little muslim kid in his now black eye (true story) and wish him a Merry Christmas. Not because of what it means to me, but because of what it might mean to him.

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:While I appreciate the heartfelt responses this is not to be a debate, as I stated in my first post. I am working a show titled "A Dickens Christmas", people are coming to the show, we are not going there, and yet there is still a cast debate...that is where my question lies. (thanks ootat for the pointed response)Many thanks to all who have responded, but since emotions seem to be running high, I am asking that you all maintain perspective and respect of others opinions or I fear I will have to lock down my own thread.
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Besides, this is very interesting on the whole and many fantastic points have been brought up, so of course I am encouraging input!!!
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:True, I respect the fact that it's called "A Dickens Christmas" so clearly wishing everyone a Merry Christmas is a bit different than most contexts. (Again, the importance of contexts...)

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phuzzz
member
Location: saltspring island, bc , kanada
Member Since: 5th Nov 2001
Total posts: 160
Posted:have a sexy solstice. it's the 21st .

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Thanks phuzzz...I hope to!
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Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Cantus
Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road
Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 15965
Posted:Have a sultry xmas - it's the 25th.

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:C@ntus, it is not the 25th Xmas.
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That's just silly, Xmas began a lot longer ago than 1976...Sheesh
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------------------Charles (INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggling.co.nz


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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Teine
member
Location: Asheville, NC
Member Since: 18th Nov 2001
Total posts: 74
Posted:700 a day?
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wow...more than i could deal with. you have a point...and to boot you usually can't tell which greeting will match which person. i usually try to think of about 5-20 different greetings ahead of time, and just shuffle through them throughout the day. not only does this prevent mass offence, but it'll snap people out of the going-through-the-motions routine and stick with them longer. get creative!
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and my religion is...not relevent. (hehe)------------------"life begins between the night and the light."[This message has been edited by Teine (edited 02 December 2001).]


life begins between the night and the light.

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Cantus
Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road
Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 15965
Posted:Sorry Charles I was confusing posting on HOP with chatting to my little brother. Easily done.

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Auspoiboy
member
Location: Melbourne Australia
Member Since: 8th Oct 2001
Total posts: 219
Posted:Lots of interesting points, and i agree with both sides of the argument.My problem is that i have for a long time beleived that the world is becoming far too politically correct. This may just be the laid back aussie in me, but lets call a spade a bloody shovel (thats not how its supposed to go, but it came out that way and i thought it was good). I do not want to have to worry whether im going to offend if i say merry christmas. If i had to worry about saying merry *insert religious holiday here* to everyone i want to wish an Appy Olidays as pele put it so well, i would go mad. But this doesn't just apply to christmas, it applies to a lot of things. This is where tolerance comes into play. If i know someone who doesn't want me to say merry christmas to them, i won't. But...if i don't know someone and say merry christmas in passing and they get offended, it is there turn to show some tolerance of my beliefs and culture. Tolerance isn't just the majority accepting the minority, it is that combined with the minority accepting the majority. If that makes sense.Anyway, i will finish by saying a big Merry 2nd of december, coz it doesn't matter where your from, 2nd of december sould always be an enjoyable day
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CheersAPB


Good on usGood on us all

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Cantus
Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road
Member Since: 30th Jul 2001
Total posts: 15965
Posted:I think 15th of January should be a special day. Celebrated universally. Just a suggestion.

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Auspoiboy
member
Location: Melbourne Australia
Member Since: 8th Oct 2001
Total posts: 219
Posted:I also think that November 17th should be the day that every body celebrates their birthday. Like with horses, we should all age on the same day.That way there is a huge enourmous party on nov 17 and then everyone is still broke for christmas and nobody is having a merry christmas.just a suggestion
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Good on usGood on us all

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