Now don’t get me wrong. I own albums by Robert Zimmerman. I think Einstein was one of the most brilliant men who ever lived. I even think the Holocaust really happened. So stop waving your adored, red-hot swastika brand around my face so that the rest of us can have a sensible conversation about the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’.
I seem to magnetically attract Jews. Perhaps this is something about my personality or my profession. Anyway, I always end up working with them, living with them, or being taught by them.
One such colleague, upon the winter break, wished me ‘Happy Holidays.’
I suppose it was meant in a friendly way. It’s not like she said ‘Fuck off you goyim cunt’ or ‘I hope your kids die of cancer’. But come on . . . everyone knows that these are the Christmas holidays. A Western tradition of two thousand years standing, longer if you include older pagan practices. It’s time for relaxing, eating, giving gifts and enjoying Peace on Earth. And whatever it’s for, it’s called Christmas. Yes, your traditions are different, but you make up only a tiny percentage of the West and after so many centuries together you know our ways perfectly well.
Now I’m not Christian. I’m less Christian than even the most devout Jew. But you know what? When it’s late December and work is winding up, I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year without even thinking about it.
This was never a problem before. It only became an issue when I said it to my new, Jewish American colleagues and they were taken aback, as though I’d said ‘Convert or burn, you heathen scum!’ Which was not what I meant at all.
I’ve lived in many places and been among people of many religions. In India I wished people a Happy Diwali. In Japan, a happy Obon. In Taiwan, a happy Chinese New Year. I’m not Hindu, Shinto or a believer in the sea monster Nian. I just instinctively give people my salutations according to the festive season that we are celebrating.
As I’m a Westerner, everyone knows perfectly well that December 25th for me is Christmas, even if I am not a practicing Christian. Such deep-rooted habits cannot be eliminated by such mild herbicides as atheism or secularism. Wishing me a Merry Christmas does not announce that I am a Christian, or that you are. It’s just what we say. Like ‘bless you’ after someone sneezes. Or ‘It looks great’ when someone asks what you think of their ugly new hairstyle. Why is it just Americans who are so thingo about this when it is such a non-issue in the rest of the world?
I did not bother saying any of this at the time because most Westerners are currently too immature to discuss such a sensitive topic calmly and without throwing a tantie and running straight to the HR mummy.
Anyway, I hope all my readers really do have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Even the heathens. You might as well have some fun before you burn in hell for all eternity.
ATTENTION AMERICAN WORDPRESS MODERATORS: IRONY ALERT IRONY ALERT IT WAS JUST A JOKE I DON’T REALLY THINK ANYONE GOES TO HELL SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR CONFIRMATION AND BY THE WAY I HOPE YOU HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS TOO