November 16, 2005

Happy Holidays is An Appropriate Greeting

The other day someone wished me a Merry Xmas and I responded with Happy Holidays. He went off on a two minute tirade about how my comment was indicative of the problems with the US.

I was feeling feisty so I asked him if he approved of gay marriage. He said no to which I responded that I was glad to hear that because I was interested in sleeping with his daughter. He fumed and sputtered and made the mistake of continuing the conversation with me and because sometimes I enjoy engaging in juvenile and pedantic behavior I obliged him.

He told me that he was sure I was a liberal and a card carrying member of the ACLU. I told him that I was liberal in my use of ketchup and other condiments and asked him if he wanted to give me the secret ACLU handshake. I also told him that on the weekends my ACLU buddies and I liked to go the local hunting lodge and tear it up with the locals. This threw him for a loop but I wasn't surprised because he was a simple man with simple thoughts that he had never explored.

He told me that he thought that it was a shame that I had killed our lord and I asked him if he really believed that. He said that with my words I was killing him again and again. So I asked him if he believed in the resurrection to which he said yes.

My next point kind of threw him because I asked him a simple question. I said you think that I killed G-d but how can you kill G-d and if I was capable of killing G-d did he think that it was smart to argue with me because if I had that kind of power I might choose to turn him into a newt or force him to live in detroit or cleveland.

At some point a woman joined our conversation and started shouting at me about something. As I am an old hand at pressing buttons I looked at her and asked her snootily if Kate Spade knew that she was carrying a poor knock-off and wondered if her shower curtain had somehow been turned into a dress.

And then she told me that I wasn't acting very Xtian and I laughed and said that I never did. Little did I know that this would make her so upset that she offered to get on her knees and pray for me. I told her that getting on her knees in the parking lot might get us both arrested and that my wife would be quite upset with me if I let her, but thank you anyway.

In the meantime the man that had started all of this nonsense started yelling something about going on a mission to give every house a nativity scene. I told him that if he could fix the potholes and offer a chicken in every pot that I would vote for him.

And with that I said that I had to leave and so I wished him a Happy Kwanzaa and resumed my shopping.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jack that is the dumbest post yet.

Robbie said...

Wow, you have the wit of a gay man. (And I mean that in a good way.)

Jack's Shack said...

The poor guy must be upset that he has lost his wit.

MC Aryeh said...

Still laughing one minute after reading the post...

PsychoToddler said...

Turn him into a newt, eh? I gotta try that one out some time.

Ezzie said...

Ha! All the things we think, and never say... but funnier!

Jack's Shack said...

MC,

Thank you.

PT,

Most people are afraid of being turned into a newt.

Ezzie,

Glad to make you laugh.

jg said...

I am in complete agreement with you. Personally, I happen to celebrate Xmas, but I have been known to take store clerks to task for saying "Merry Xmas" to shoppers. I find it SO rude and inconsiderate. Why can't they just say "happy holidays" instead of offending so much of the population???

Melliferous Pants said...

"I was feeling feisty so I asked him if he approved of gay marriage. He said no to which I responded that I was glad to hear that because I was interested in sleeping with his daughter."

Good gravy, Jack! You're killing me. Where on earth did you meet such a disagreeable person?

Melliferous Pants said...

Were you at Wal-mart?

Jack's Shack said...

JG,

Truth be told most of the time I am not offended, I am a minority here. But there are moments where I am irked by the lack of thought and inconsiderate behavior.

MP,

Nope, this was at the mall. Believe me, I bring out the wacko in people.

Reggie said...

You're missing the bigger picture here. For one thing, Christmas is what made this time of the year the big spectacle that it is. Secondly, there is something very sinister going on here, because the retailers are kowtowing only to 10-15% of the populace. Federated Department Stores lost their pants last year refusing to say Merry Christmas. While they haven't done a complete about-face, at least they allow Merry Christmas to be said to their customers now.

http://www.fds.com/merrychristmas/

I am sorry that you deem it necessary to resort to playing foolish games with people - like telling them you want to sleep with their daughter, turn God into a newt, and the like. Happy Holidays does not offend me, retailers making a concerted effort to erase Merry Christmas from our vocabulary, does. I hope you have a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Jack's Shack said...

You're missing the bigger picture here. For one thing, Christmas is what made this time of the year the big spectacle that it is.

Actually Reggie I haven't missed anything. This time of year is not a big deal to millions of people.

This time of year is a big sham in which commercialism runs amok & people act shamefully.

Secondly, there is something very sinister going on here, because the retailers are kowtowing only to 10-15% of the populace.

I don't think sinister is the appropriate word, but I'll play with that later.

There are 300 million people in the US. So if we accept your allegation there are on the low end 30 million people that you just dismiss.

But I am willing to bet that a substantial portion of the remaining 270 million are not bothered at all by this.

You assertion that Federated lost its pants this last year is not met by any factual support.

Personally I don't care about people wishing me a Merry Xmas. In fact if you read the opening remarks you'll see that I was accosted by the other man.

And it was only after he started up with me that I engaged in what you term silly games.

I wish you a happy holiday.

Reggie said...

Actually Reggie I haven't missed anything. This time of year is not a big deal to millions of people.


Then why is this issue making such headlines? Why do retailers make it such a big deal by going against decades of tradition with the Merry Christmas greeting? Could it be just a coincidence? Or does it maybe dovetail nicely with our country's moral decline and lack of interest in God and His Word?


There are 300 million people in the US. So if we accept your allegation there are on the low end 30 million people that you just dismiss.
But I am willing to bet that a substantial portion of the remaining 270 million are not bothered at all by this.


Ditto my last point.


You assertion that Federated lost its pants this last year is not met by any factual support.


Oh, I believe by the mere fact that they have had to put a retraction on their website is factual support enough for that statement.


Personally I don't care about people wishing me a Merry Xmas.


You are much too easy on this one. You give yourself away with the Xmas. Why do you not spell out Christ? Would you say Happy X Year? How about Happy Xgiving? For their birthday do you wish people a Happy Xday? I trow not.


In fact if you read the opening remarks you'll see that I was accosted by the other man.
And it was only after he started up with me that I engaged in what you term silly games.


So, if someone came up to you and sprayed water on you with a water gun, would you then talk about their wife in non-flattery detail? Yes, to respond in a reactionary fashion for the sole purpose of pushing another person's buttons, void of any serious debate, is silly and I would have to say, even childish.

Jack's Shack said...

Then why is this issue making such headlines? Why do retailers make it such a big deal by going against decades of tradition with the Merry Christmas greeting? Could it be just a coincidence? Or does it maybe dovetail nicely with our country's moral decline and lack of interest in God and His Word?

Reggie,

This issue is really only big with the Religous Right as it is a way of trying to drum up support.

As for moral decline, well you are going to have to do better than say that it exists. Prove it.

As for G-d's word, that is only meaningful if you believe that you are worshipping G-d. The G-d you follow is not mine.

Ditto my last point.

It would be nice if it actually made sense.

Oh, I believe by the mere fact that they have had to put a retraction on their website is factual support enough for that statement.

They didn't put up a retraction. Read it again and you'll see that they explained that.

You are much too easy on this one. You give yourself away with the Xmas. Why do you not spell out Christ? Would you say Happy X Year? How about Happy Xgiving? For their birthday do you wish people a Happy Xday? I trow not.

Reggie,

If it makes you feel good to think so be my guest. I am not afraid to use Christmas or to spell it out. I say Xmas because it is short and faster to write. But if I really spent any time thinking about it I never say christ because my savior never came, he/she/it has never made it here so why would I use that term.

I could take your silly example and write about abbreviations. People used to talk about eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken, but now it is KFC. Some people speak about Mickey D's but everyone knows that they mean McDonalds.

So, if someone came up to you and sprayed water on you with a water gun, would you then talk about their wife in non-flattery detail?

Reggie,

Apples to apples dude. Let us use real comparisons and not try so hard to twist things.

But if it makes you feel good to say that I am childish go right ahead and do so.

All I really ask is that you speak clearly and use specific details supported by fact and not by allegations.

Reggie said...

"This issue is really only big with the Religous Right as it is a way of trying to drum up support."


Well, I guess we differ on that point. While I do agree, some things are blown out of proportion, we, as Christians, do actually stand for things. It should not always be utterly dismissed as a money-raising scheme.



"As for moral decline, well you are going to have to do better than say that it exists. Prove it."


Oh, I don't know, how about teen pregnancy and sexual activity at an all-time high? Gotta love all of the teacher-student sex that's going on right now. How about child molestation that seems to be occuring almost on a daily basis. Or what about the millions of babies that are aborted every year with no conscience whatsoever by the women who have it done? Then they label it as a "women's right to choose." Gay marriage is something that was virtually unheard of 40 years ago. The porn industry rakes in billions and billions of dollars each year. The divorce rate in this country is roughly at 50% now. The Bible is being banned in more and more places these days. By the mere fact that we are even having this discussion.


"They didn't put up a retraction. Read it again and you'll see that they explained that."


Retraction:
1 : to draw or pull back.
2 : to recant or disavow something.
Last year, they prohibited "Merry Christmas" from being used in their stores. They got their clocks cleaned by the outrage and have changed it to where saying "Merry Christmas" is acceptable now. It hasn't been a full 180, but they have changed their minds, nonetheless.


"If it makes you feel good to think so be my guest. I am not afraid to use Christmas or to spell it out. I say Xmas because it is short and faster to write."


So why don't you use shorthand on everything you write?


"But if I really spent any time thinking about it I never say christ because my savior never came, he/she/it has never made it here so why would I use that term."


At least you are being totally honest here. Glad I could help you admit it and let people see that any and all opinions you have on this matter should be taken with a grain of salt.


"I could take your silly example and write about abbreviations. People used to talk about eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken, but now it is KFC. Some people speak about Mickey D's but everyone knows that they mean McDonalds."


Silly example? Let's talk about silly for a minute. KFC is an acronym: which is a word (as NATO, radar, or snafu) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term; also : an abbreviation (as FBI) formed from initial letters. Where is the proper abbreviated letters in Xmas? What does X stand for? If you were going to be correct in your silly analogy, it would have to be no less that Cmas, wouldn't it? The C would actually stand for something. X does not.


"Apples to apples dude. Let us use real comparisons and not try so hard to twist things.
But if it makes you feel good to say that I am childish go right ahead and do so."


Hey, you are the one who used sex as the standard here, I was just seeing if you would try to one-up yourself if the "accosting" were to get too much for you to handle. I didn't say you were childish,(I don't know you) just the way you reacted to the situation you were put in on the day in question.

Jack's Shack said...

Well, I guess we differ on that point. While I do agree, some things are blown out of proportion, we, as Christians, do actually stand for things. It should not always be utterly dismissed as a money-raising scheme.

If there was a real problem then I might agree with you, but the problem is not there in the way that you imagine it. I posted about that too. click here

Oh, I don't know, how about teen pregnancy and sexual activity at an all-time high?

You are going to have to provide proof of that. How do you know that it is at an all time high. Where is the support, where is the proof?

Gotta love all of the teacher-student sex that's going on right now. That does appear to be higher, but how much is there. In a country of 300 million what have we hear about 10 cases. It is not right, but it statistically insignificant. How about child molestation that seems to be occuring almost on a daily basis. I don't believe that there is any more than there ever was. I abhor pedophiles and am not making excuses, but people are talking about this in ways that they never did. And if you look at the problems that the Catholic church has had you see that this problem is decades old. So it is a misnomer to claim that it is related to today.

Or what about the millions of babies that are aborted every year with no conscience whatsoever by the women who have it done? Then they label it as a "women's right to choose."
I know, what a terrible thing to give a woman the right to choose what to do with her body. And how do you know that it is done without conscience, without thought or regret. Can you read minds and if so, can you give me the lotto numbers. Gay marriage is something that was virtually unheard of 40 years ago.
And gay marriage is a problem because of what. Have the lesbians snapped up all the good women, or have the gay men taken all the good jobs.There is nothing there that makes this a problem. I have no issues with gay marriage as long as it is a loving and healthy marriage which is the same standard I issue for heterosexual marriage. The porn industry rakes in billions and billions of dollars each year.
What is wrong with pornography. Simply saying that it is a problem does not make it so. Place it in context. If all participants are willing and no one is forced to do it against their will, what is the problem.

The divorce rate in this country is roughly at 50% now. That is not a problem that can be placed solely on moral decline, there a ton of factors. Why not discuss some of them instead of making blanket statements. The Bible is being banned in more and more places these days. Where and by whom and why is this a problem. By the mere fact that we are even having this discussion. I know, being challenged to defend your beliefs with fact is tough, but it is part of a good dialogue.

Retraction:
1 : to draw or pull back.
2 : to recant or disavow something.
Last year, they prohibited "Merry Christmas" from being used in their stores. They got their clocks cleaned by the outrage and have changed it to where saying "Merry Christmas" is acceptable now. It hasn't been a full 180, but they have changed their minds, nonetheless.


Sorry, that is not what happened. You said that they lost their pants implying that financially they were hurt and I asked for proof of that. You didn't provide any just some spin about how their explanation about what they do is supposed to be a retraction. Not sure how you made that leap.

So why don't you use shorthand on everything you write?
Because it is not universally understood. Some abbreviations are and I use those frequently.
At least you are being totally honest here. Glad I could help you admit it and let people see that any and all opinions you have on this matter should be taken with a grain of salt.

You didn't help me admit anything. I never claimed to be Christian. It is not a big deal for me to say that I don't believe as you do and that I think that witnessing is obnoxious and reprehensible. Long time readers are well aware of this. I don't have any problems with people believing what they will provided that they do not try and impose it upon others.

Silly example? Let's talk about silly for a minute. KFC is an acronym: which is a word (as NATO, radar, or snafu) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term; also : an abbreviation (as FBI) formed from initial letters. Where is the proper abbreviated letters in Xmas? What does X stand for? If you were going to be correct in your silly analogy, it would have to be no less that Cmas, wouldn't it? The C would actually stand for something. X does not.
You obviously do not speak Greek or Latin, but let us ignore that for a moment. There are universally understood abbreviations that people use, it is as simple as that.

Hey, you are the one who used sex as the standard here, I was just seeing if you would try to one-up yourself if the "accosting" were to get too much for you to handle. I didn't say you were childish,(I don't know you) just the way you reacted to the situation you were put in on the day in question.

I don't have a problem with being questioned. I am happy to answer them, but just remember that the questions can be turned around which is why I asked for you proof of your allegations. You didn't provide any, just more claims. That is all fine and good and they help to maintain dialogue but they do not provide substance.

Reggie said...

"You are going to have to provide proof of that. How do you know that it is at an all time high. Where is the support, where is the proof?"


There are numerous studies and polls that have been taken that support the fact that teens are having sex more now than at any time in our nation's history. True, some are opting for oral sex instead of intercourse, but sex is sex. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2005-10-18-teens-sex_x.htm


"I know, what a terrible thing to give a woman the right to choose what to do with her body."


Once a woman "chooses" to open wide her legs and let a man come in to her and she gets pregnant, it is no longer just her that is affected with her decision to do "what she will" with her body. There is another life at stake.


"And gay marriage is a problem because of what. Have the lesbians snapped up all the good women, or have the gay men taken all the good jobs.There is nothing there that makes this a problem. I have no issues with gay marriage as long as it is a loving and healthy marriage which is the same standard I issue for heterosexual marriage."
"What is wrong with pornography. Simply saying that it is a problem does not make it so. Place it in context. If all participants are willing and no one is forced to do it against their will, what is the problem."
You're view on the Bible being banned in more and more places. "Where and by whom and why is this a problem."


All I can say to these comments is wow. You and I are just on complete opposite sides of the spectrum. Misunderstandings are inevitable, it's almost like two people trying to converse who speak different languages. You don't hear me and I don't hear you. Oh, well, I do appreciate your candor and willingness to dialogue apart from personal attacks, that, and that alone, is refreshing about our conservation.


"You obviously do not speak Greek or Latin."


No, I don't speak Greek. Latin is a dead language so don't understand why that would be an issue. The correct 'English' spelling of the Greek word for Christ is "Christos."

Jack's Shack said...

There are numerous studies and polls that have been taken that support the fact that teens are having sex more now than at any time in our nation's history. True, some are opting for oral sex instead of intercourse, but sex is sex. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2005-10-18-teens-sex_x.htm
Here is the question of the moment. How many studies do they have to compare this to? You provided some substance but not enough to make an informed decision.
Once a woman "chooses" to open wide her legs and let a man come in to her and she gets pregnant, it is no longer just her that is affected with her decision to do "what she will" with her body. There is another life at stake

Easy for you to say when you are not the person it impacts. This response doesn't take into account rape, incest or any number of other factors. It is just a subjective response based upon emotion and no fact.

All I can say to these comments is wow. You and I are just on complete opposite sides of the spectrum. Misunderstandings are inevitable, it's almost like two people trying to converse who speak different languages. You don't hear me and I don't hear you. Oh, well, I do appreciate your candor and willingness to dialogue apart from personal attacks, that, and that alone, is refreshing about our conservation.
Personal attacks usually happen when people cannot defend their position. Speaking of which you didn't say what was wrong with those issues, just that you and I disagree.

No, I don't speak Greek. Latin is a dead language so don't understand why that would be an issue. The correct 'English' spelling of the Greek word for Christ is "Christos."

Latin is a not a dead language. It is part of English and understanding it plays a vital role in understanding the meaning of words and language which is a critical component of life. A solid education should have some connection with Latin and the etymological origin of words.

Shelli said...

I'm totally linking to you now.

you are my HERO!

Jack's Shack said...

Hi Shelli,

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to look around and comment.

amelia said...

I must admit that i haven't bothered to read through the entirety of comments left, and expecially when they turned into a long discussion, but i would like to say that you have my kudos, and support and am i very proud of you as a human being for willing to engage with people about your opinions and letting it known that there are too many inconsiderate Christians running around thinking that they are elite their catholicism. I have to say that i wish there were more people willing to challenge the majority.

Anonymous said...

Fool

Anonymous said...

...have fun in hell...

Jack's Shack said...

Anonymous,

Afraid to use your name. Why? Are your convictions that weak.

Anonymous said...

Lucifer will throw on another log for you when you're ready to go. Oh wait, I guess there is no hell either ?

Jack's Shack said...

Anonymous,

You must live in Maryland, you sly devil you.

Anonymous said...

"Happy Holidays does not offend me, retailers making a concerted effort to erase Merry Christmas from our vocabulary, does. I hope you have a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

I believe this whole heartedly. TO HELL WITH HAPPY HOLIDAYS! LEAVE CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS. NOBODY MESSES WITH CHANUKAH(or however it is spelt), NOBODY MESSES WITH KWANZAA. LEAVE CHRISTMAS ALONE YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES!

Jack's Shack said...

19 minutes hanging out here and the best you can come up with is a sad expletive.

Have fun in South Carolina and have a happy holiday. ;)

Heather said...

Came upon this entry by chance and must send applause, as well as leave a couple of comments.

Reggie said: "we, as Christians, do actually stand for things."

Implying that those of a different religious persuasion (or no persuasion at all) don't? In my experience, most self-righteous Christians are less moral and extremely intolerant of others and their beliefs. It makes you wonder if they are so unsure of their own faith that the only way to aver their faith is to attack others and vehemently defend their own position, even when there is evidence to question their assertions.

Jack said: Latin is a not a dead language. It is part of English and understanding it plays a vital role in understanding the meaning of words and language which is a critical component of life. A solid education should have some connection with Latin and the etymological origin of words.

THANK YOU! The thing that irks me the most with O'Reilly and his ilk is the obvious fact they did no research on the phrase "Happy Holiday(s)" before they attempted to steal people's joy. The song "Happy Holida" was written in 1942 and the phrase predates that by quite a bit. Also, the "Holiday Season" originally refered to not just Christmas, but boxing day, Michaelmas and Epiphany, three of which are not recognized or celebrated in the US, but are by other countries. Now, of course, the "holiday season" has been expanded to include Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa and that, for some inexplicable reason, offends Christian fundamentalists. Give me a break!

I am proud of the fact that my circle of friends includes not just Christians, but atheists, Wicans and other faiths as well - and I'd say I am the richer and happier for it!

Jack's Shack said...

Hi Heather,

Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Just to reply to Reggie and his problem with "Xmas".

This is from The American Heritage Dictionary:

SYLLABICATION: X·mas
PRONUNCIATION: krsms, ksms
NOUN: Christmas.
ETYMOLOGY: From X, the Greek letter chi, first letter of Greek Khrstos, Christ. See Christ.
USAGE NOTE: Xmas has been used for hundreds of years in religious writing, where the X represents a Greek chi, the first letter of , “Christ.” In this use it is parallel to other forms like Xtian, “Christian.” But people unaware of the Greek origin of this X often mistakenly interpret Xmas as an informal shortening pronounced (ksms). Many therefore frown upon the term Xmas because it seems to them a commercial convenience that omits Christ from Christmas.


You see, you (Reggie) should really make sure you know about what you are speaking before you speak it.

I could get into the whole belief thing, but to be honest, it's not worth it. It never is. You'll believe as you do, and I reserve my right to not belief. I'd like to think that some people would be able to be mature about the issue and be willing to be challenged in their beliefs (because really, if you can't prove it, is it really true?), but so few are.

I wish everyone a happy holiday, whatever holiday they celebrate. And for those who don't celebrate anything, I wish you a happy month of December, and January.

-A-

Sheyna Galyan said...

Commenting a year later...

I just found this post recently, when you referenced it in a newer post, and every time I've even thought about it since I first read it, it makes me laugh! I love it!

Far from interpreting this literally, this post is a good reminder for me not to take all the "greeting wars" too seriously.

Kol hakavod, Jack!

Jack's Shack said...

Hi Sheyna,

Happy to be of service.

Reno said...

This was funny. I'm still laughing, and I had to share with friends. We've been having the "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holiday" debate for a few years now.

Gene Ryan d'Gahl said...

That was very awesome. It's so much fun to mess with religious budinskees.