Hope you had yourself a politically correct holiday!
January 23, 2017
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Some of my favorite memories are of gathering around the non-denominational holiday tree, Kwanzaa bush, or Hanukkah plant with family to celebrate the joys of the Solstice. It’s great to see everyone’s eyes twinkling with the winter spirit around a crackling menorah.
As a child, I loved telling holiday tales with my family and friends. My favorite was a poem by Clement Clarke Moore: “‘Twas the Night Before a Special Day in the Holiday Season.” I always loved hearing about how visions of multicultural holiday candy danced in the children’s heads as they awaited the visit of the fat, bearded, generous old man in red.
Another of my all-time favorites was “The Birth of the Special Holiday Child.” It’s about a pregnant mom who’s about to pop but can’t find a hotel with enough space in it. So she goes to a barn and has her baby. Then a bunch of intellectually advanced men come and give the kid some gold and two smelly substances with weird-sounding names. And a bunch of sheep-tending men come, led by a group of winged and shiny beings. It’s great.
But nothing puts me in a jollier mood than multicultural holiday music. Songs like “The Fat, Bearded, Generous Old Man in Red is Coming to Town,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Holiday,” “All I Want for the Non-Denominational Holiday Season is You,” “Feliz Holiday Season” and “Rudolph the Reindeer with Unique Nasal Coloring” always put me in the holiday mood.
The best part of the holiday season, though, is the overall spirit of unity and goodwill. Sure, people may start riots over the Starbuck holiday cups each year. Sure, people may judge one another over who can buy the best holiday gifts and who can decorate their house with the most holiday lights. And sure, people may violently object to being told “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”
But under all the complaints and controversy, I know everyone is in a loving and thankful mood during the holiday season. I can smell it in the air, right alongside the smell of roasting chestnuts, frying latkes, and simmering black-eyed peas.
It never fails to amaze me how the holiday season unites us as Americans and allows us to exercise our First Amendment rights. As long as everything we say is accepting of all cultures and does not include that horrid word “Christmas”–because that would be completely intolerant and totally backward of us–we can say anything we want.
That’s the kind of freedom that makes me proud to be an American this holiday season.