FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

To Hell With “Happy Holidays!”

“Happy Holidays”. Can we please deep-six this trite “non-denominational” greeting, designed to alert the world that those uttering the salutation “Happy Holidays” are sensitive people aware that the recipients of the greeting might not be Christians, might be Kwanzans, or Jews or Muslims who have a low opinion of J. Christ and no desire to celebrate his birthday. The Muslims think Christ was not divine and the Jewish sacred writings say likewise, and that for the sin of getting ideas above his station JC is being pickled in excrement for all eternity.

But my Jewish friends say “Happy Hanukah”, with no nonsense about saying “Happy Holidays” out of sensitivity to the fact that the festival of Hanukah derives from the Maccabbees’ triumph over the bestial forces of Hellenism in 165 B.C., said Hellenism being in its neo-Platonic guise one of the central components of the Christian religion. An irony is that there’s no mention of Hanukah in the Torah, but only in the Books of the Maccabees, an annexe to the Bible.

My friend and neighbor Joe Paff tells me he heard Oregon Public Radio harshly criticize Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for daring to utter the forbidden phrase “Merry Christmas”, even though he immediately made haste to light a menorah to show that his “Merry Christmas” wasn’t an eruption of ur-Schwarzenegger, an overture to a volley of Sieg Heils and Aryan paeans to Wotan.

When I lived in an apartment building on the Upper West side of New York, throughout December our elevator rang with jovial cries of Happy Hanukah and Merry Christmas, and Margot Adler who lived in the apartment right next to me wasn’t put out, even though she was a boisterous Wiccan and reserved her enthusiasms for the festival of Beltane, which I vaguely remember involved dancing round some sort of a Maypole. One time Margot, a radio broadcaster of the first quality, was up for a big job at NPR but lost out because NPR big shot was worried about being trashed in the New York Post for hiring a Witch (though a witch who was White in every sense of the term).

So, hear it from a unbaptised, unconfirmed Protestant/atheist, born out of wedlock, albeit raised in a Christo-Commie environment, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

This column originally ran in the Christmas 2003 edition of CounterPunch.

More articles by:

Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

August 14, 2018
Daniel Falcone
On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky
Karl Grossman
Turning Space Into a War Zone
Jonah Raskin
“Fuck Wine Grapes, Fuck Wines”: the Coming Napafication of the World
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Bites Big Business
Alberto Zuppi - Cesar Chelala
Argentina at a Crossroads
Chris Wright
On “Bullshit Jobs”
Rosita A. Sweetman
Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland
Binoy Kampmark
Authoritarian Revocations: Australia, Terrorism and Citizenship
Sara Johnson
The Incredible Benefits of Sagebrush and Juniper in the West
Martin Billheimer
White & Red Aunts, Capital Gains and Anarchy
Walter Clemens
Enough Already! Donald J. Trump Resignation Speech
August 13, 2018
Michael Colby
Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation
John Davis
California: Waging War on Wildfire
Alex Strauss
Chasing Shadows: Socialism Won’t Go Away Because It is Capitalism’s Antithesis 
Kathy Kelly
U.S. is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
Fran Shor
The Distemper of White Spite
Chad Hanson
We Know How to Protect Homes From Wildfires. Logging Isn’t the Way to Do It
Faisal Khan
Nawaz Sharif: Has Pakistan’s Houdini Finally Met his End?
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Versus Journalism: the Travails of Fourth Estate
Wim Laven
Honestly Looking at Family Values
Fred Gardner
Exploiting Styron’s Ghost
Dean Baker
Fact-Checking the Fact-Checker on Medicare-for-All
Weekend Edition
August 10, 2018
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Militarizing Space: Starship Troopers, Same As It Ever Was
Andrew Levine
No Attack on Iran, Yet
Melvin Goodman
The CIA’s Double Standard Revisited
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Grifter’s Lament
Aidan O'Brien
In Italy, There are 12,000 American Soldiers and 500,000 African Refugees: Connect the Dots 
Robert Fantina
Pity the Democrats and Republicans
Ishmael Reed
Am I More Nordic Than Members of the Alt Right?
Kristine Mattis
Dying of Consumption While Guzzling Snake Oil: a Realist’s Perspective on the Environmental Crisis
James Munson
The Upside of Defeat
Brian Cloughley
Pentagon Spending Funds the Politicians
Pavel Kozhevnikov
Cold War in the Sauna: Notes From a Russian American
Marilyn Garson
If the Gaza Blockade is Bad, Does That Make Hamas Good?
Sean Posey
Declinism Rising: An Interview with Morris Berman  
Jack Dresser
America’s Secret War on Yemen
Howard Lisnoff
The Use and Misuse of Charity: the Luck of the Draw in a Predatory System
Louis Proyect
In the Spirit of the Departed Munsees
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Alex Jones and Infowars
Mundher Al Adhami
On the Iraqi Protests, Now in Their Second Month 
Jeff Mackler
Nicaragua: Dynamics of an Interrupted Revolution
Robert Hunziker
Peter Wadhams, Professor Emeritus, Ocean Physics
David Macaray
Missouri Stands Tall on the Labor Front
Thomas Knapp
I Didn’t Join Facebook to “Feel Safe”
John Carroll Md
Are Haitian Doctors Burned Out?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail