Yule Be Sorry!

I once read a story in which Buddha was asked if he would ever eat meat. “Yes.” he replied. He then went on to explain that if his hosts at a dinner inadvertently served meat he would go ahead and eat it. It was better to be a poor Buddhist that a bad guest.

That is something that is worth thinking about, and not just if you are vegetarian. The reason that I am reminded of this is that I have just seen yet another story about the acceptability of saying “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Holidays” or whatever. The mass media loves to stir up and fan such stories. Various attention-seeking persons can be relied on to wade in and jump on the bandwagon or try to turn the discussion towards their own pet topic. We see the same rants and rages every year.

    Let me settle this issue once and for all with three points:

Firstly “holiday” derives from “holy day” so is an appropriate salutation and not the anti-Christian meme that many choose to take it to be. Holidays around solstice time probably date back thousands of years before Christianity.

Secondly, one should take a salutation in the spirit in which it is intended. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Yule, Happy Chanukah, Namaste or whatever. If they are given with good intention then they should be treated as such and not as an excuse to take offence, air your pet topic or introduce your personal interpretation of religion. This is, quite simply, just good manners. As a man once said “Be polite, tolerant; wear deodorant”.

That being said, however, if someone does wish you Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays in the next twenty days you are quite entitled to reply “IT’S NOVEMBER!” Save Christmas for December.