Does the message in this picture offend you in any way?
image by Jan Burch
I thought not ~ my readers tend to be reasonable people who appreciate sincere and inclusive expressions celebrating the archetypal turn of the year at winter time. Unfortunately, there are those regrettably vocal types who somehow get a wild hair up their .bleep. every time they receive a greeting that fails to specify whatever particular (and limited) form of celebration is acceptable to the wild-hair possessor's pea-sized brain.
Many of these vocal ones call themselves "Christians." Now I'm not one, so I may not be the best authority here, but my understanding is that the historical person on whom this following is based was: A man of peace. A radical who embraced all people now matter how unacceptable to prevailing paradigm ~ women, lepers, the poor, Samaritans, etc. A teacher who modeled his actions on love instead of hate.
And he probably wasn't even born on this so-important (if hyped) day; most likely his birth occurred during the summer months. So what's up with this "reason for the season" and btw, if you dare try to share someone else's festivities with my closed world-view, I'll ... I'll ... I'll...
Hold my breath til I turn blue?
Fortunately that's all they're doing right now, although we have court challenges over this and there's always an endless stream of fulminating talk-show hosts stirring the pot for their ditto-heads. But I can't for the life of me see how "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" could be offensive. In fact, since I am spiritual but not religious, I'm offended by overly-religious greetings from a stranger. I get enough from the door-knockers who want to share their bible with me; I don't need a store clerk second-guessing my spiritual leanings. The constant insertion of religion into every aspect of our public sphere is invasive. And I think it's probably making Thomas Jefferson roll over in his grave.
Season's Greetings. Happy Holidays. These expressions are simple, heartfelt, inclusive, and recognize the great winter-celebration archetype. We have Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Ramadan/Eid (depending on its cycle) all landing around this time, when the calendar turns and the sun comes up on Solstice. Which of course is the basis for all the historical interpretations: It's well-known, at least in the Christian sphere, that the good church fathers consolidated their power by usurping pagan holy sites and festivals.
Or, maybe they honed in on the powerful energy of these places and times. I'm aligned with the pagan vision (see the trees in my greeting image) and I think it's a fine thing to celebrate Solstice and New Year. Feel the energy and express it as moves you! Just don't ossify your illumination into a "religion" and take off killing people who disagree with you. Please. Two thousand plus years of Merry bleepin' Christmas is enough for this poor ol' planet.