A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable—and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves—they reached the elevator.
The woman had been feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season: overwhelming pressure to go to every party, taste all the holiday food and treats, get that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, make sure we don’t forget anyone on our card list, and ensuring we respond to all who sent us a card.
Finally the elevator doors opened. The woman pushed her way inside the crowd and dragged her two children in with her along with all the bags of her purchases.
When the doors closed the woman felt she couldn’t take it any more and stated: “Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up, and shot.”
From the back of the elevator everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond: “Don’t worry, Madam. We already crucified him.”
Two temptations in particular assail all of us in Advent and Christmas. The first is to allow ourselves to get too busy. The second temptation is to forget why we keep these holy seasons.
For some years there’s been a movement in the United States for the word ‘Christmas’ to be abandoned. Some voices have been suggesting it might be better if we forget all about Christmas, and instead of saying ‘Merry Christmas’ use a phrase like ‘Happy Holidays.’
The reason for this change will be to make Christmas palatable to faiths like Islam. But wouldn’t it be better that migrants to a new country could learn to understand the nation’s local culture?
The NZ Herald recently reported that a leading Auckland migrant settlement agency is avoiding the word Christmas, and will be talking about ‘happy holidays’ and ‘season’s greetings’ instead. Dame Susan Devoy, the agency’s patron, is supportive of this decision saying it is aimed at being ‘more inclusive’. But it is not being more inclusive, is it? It would be far better if migrants could learn about the beliefs of other people, rather than having some of them censored. After all, if you or I went to live in a Muslim country, It would be impertinent to expect the people there to stop talking about Mohammed.
Sometimes political correctness seems to go mad.