"Happy Holidays" vs. Christmas

Not Enough Christmas For Some

What's missing from the White House Christmas card? Christmas.

This month, as in every December since he took office, President Bush sent out cards with a generic end-of-the-year message, wishing 1.4 million of his close friends and supporters a happy "holiday season."

Many people are thrilled to get a White House Christmas card, no matter what the greeting inside. But some conservative Christians are reacting as if Bush stuck coal in their stockings.

"This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture," said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Bush "claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn't act like one," said Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com. "I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it."

Religious conservatives are miffed because they have been pressuring stores to advertise Christmas sales rather than "holiday specials" and urging schools to let students out for Christmas vacation rather than for "winter break." They celebrated when House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) insisted that the sparkling spectacle on the Capitol lawn should be called the Capitol Christmas Tree, not a holiday spruce.

'Sent to people of all faiths'
Then along comes a generic season's greeting from the White House, paid for by the Republican National Committee. The cover art is also secular, if not humanist: It shows the presidential pets -- two dogs and a cat -- frolicking on a snowy White House lawn.

"Certainly President and Mrs. Bush, because of their faith, celebrate Christmas," said Susan Whitson, Laura Bush's press secretary. "Their cards in recent years have included best wishes for a holiday season, rather than Christmas wishes, because they are sent to people of all faiths."

That is the same rationale offered by major retailers for generic holiday catalogues, and it is accepted by groups such as the National Council of Churches. "I think it's more important to put Christ back into our war planning than into our Christmas cards," said the council's general secretary, the Rev. Bob Edgar, a former Democratic congressman.

But the White House's explanation does not satisfy the groups -- which have grown in number in recent years -- that believe there is, in the words of the Heritage Foundation, a "war on Christmas" involving an "ever-stronger push toward a neutered 'holiday' season so that non-Christians won't be even the slightest bit offended."

One of the generals on the pro-Christmas side is Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association in Tupelo, Miss. "Sometimes it's hard to tell whether this is sinister -- it's the purging of Christ from Christmas -- or whether it's just political correctness run amok," he said. "I think in the case of the White House, it's just political correctness."

Somehow I don't think they'd be happy if someone actually went and put out an ad which contained the text "Merry Christmas/Yule/Makar Sankranti/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa!"

This totally sounds like a job for The Hebrew Hammer. He'd know what to do.

well, Bush has been unmasked! "Happy Holidays" clearly shows that he is a godless Antichrist and...and..atheist as well.

This is the most stupid manufactured propaganda piece I've seen in years.

And this is exactly why non-christians severely dislike most christians. Keep on playing your violins, you "my way or the highway" whiners.

"This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture,"

If there is one thing to say about Mr Bush, it is his willpower. The man who said this needs to go home, pray for the rest of the world, and celebrate the birth of Christ with his family and friends.

Me? I wish people a happy winter solstice. It has all the appeal of science and paganism combined!

I celebrate Christmas. I also celebrate the Holiday season. I'm personally more offended by the overcommercialization of Christmas and the way that the very same people yelling about Christmas not being the focus play right into the hands of the corporate retail world who simply play Christmas as a card to lure people into spending more money.

Me? I've got no problem with Bush sending out the Happy Holidays card. It's inclusive of all the holidays, saves money and time from setting up multiple lists and maintaining them to send belief-appropriate cards to everyone on the list. I also wouldn't have a problem with Bush sending out Merry Christmas cards. It's a well-intentioned wish. I wouldn't get offended if someone sent me a Happy Hannukah card or a card wishing me a happy card; I'd be appreciative of the kind wishes.

Actually, the only thing that irks me is when people change "Christmas" into "Xmas". WTF is up with that? Do we shorten "Memorial Day" to "Memo Day"? Heck, if it's because people don't want to have the word "Christ" there, just change the name to "Santamas" or something; that's what the holiday is for the majority of people anymore anyway.

[edit]To be absolutely clear, since I don't know if the smiley will suffice, I am not ripping on people who like Christmas but aren't interested in the Christianity aspects. I'm just saying that it's no longer a religious holiday for most people.[/edit]

Farscry wrote:

Actually, the only thing that irks me is when people change "Christmas" into "Xmas". WTF is up with that?

Chris-wha? Ohhhh I see, you're using an archaic pronounciation of the word Xmas. Do you also say "ask" instead of "axe" too?

Actually, the only thing that irks me is when people change "Christmas" into "Xmas". WTF is up with that? Do we shorten "Memorial Day" to "Memo Day"? Heck, if it's because people don't want to have the word "Christ" there, just change the name to "Santamas" or something; that's what the holiday is for the majority of people anymore anyway

X = the Greek letter Chi
Chi was a commonly used symbol for Christ.
Therefore, Xmas is a completely acceptable spelling of Christmas.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Farscry wrote:

Actually, the only thing that irks me is when people change "Christmas" into "Xmas". WTF is up with that?

Chris-wha? Ohhhh I see, you're using an archaic pronounciation of the word Xmas. Do you also say "ask" instead of "axe" too? ;)

Oh man, that's one of my biggest pet peeves. Pronouncing "ask" as "aks", or pronouncing "wash" as "warsh", or any of that variety. Argh!!!! AARRRGHHH!!!

buzzvang wrote:
Actually, the only thing that irks me is when people change "Christmas" into "Xmas". WTF is up with that? Do we shorten "Memorial Day" to "Memo Day"? Heck, if it's because people don't want to have the word "Christ" there, just change the name to "Santamas" or something; that's what the holiday is for the majority of people anymore anyway

X = the Greek letter Chi
Chi was a commonly used symbol for Christ.
Therefore, Xmas is a completely acceptable spelling of Christmas.

That, sir, is cool. I never knew that. Go go etymology!

Farscry wrote:
KaterinLHC wrote:
Farscry wrote:

Actually, the only thing that irks me is when people change "Christmas" into "Xmas". WTF is up with that?

Chris-wha? Ohhhh I see, you're using an archaic pronounciation of the word Xmas. Do you also say "ask" instead of "axe" too? ;)

Oh man, that's one of my biggest pet peeves. Pronouncing "ask" as "aks", or pronouncing "wash" as "warsh", or any of that variety. Argh!!!! AARRRGHHH!!!

And another Futurama reference bites the dust.

If Bush wanted to do the right thing (as if) when sending the cards to people of "all faiths", then he'd be better off sending cards customized to the recipients' preferences. The Christians would get Christmas greetings, the Jews -- Channukah, the traditionalist Blacks would get Kwanzaa greetings... And the rest, I guess, would get shaft.

Xmas prob'y comes frm ye practic of shortning words in writ correspondence when us'g a Quille Pen. It's comonly seen in old letres and suche. (Ye shortening, I mean).

Obdtly Yrs,
Robear

X = the Greek letter Chi
Chi was a commonly used symbol for Christ.
Therefore, Xmas is a completely acceptable spelling of Christmas.

True. X as a symbol of Christ is used a lot particularly in Orthodox Christianity, aided by its semblance to a cross in both Greek and Cyrillic alphabets (which are derived from Greek).

In Orthodox Russian church, in particular, ornate abbreviations P.X. ("the birth of Christ") and X.B. ("Christ arose") are used on ceremonial tapestries, clothes, bread, greetings cards. "X" is used in prayerbooks noting prayers to Christ (as opposed to Mary, Holy Trinity etc), to mark side-altars and domes in schemes of temples dedicated to Christ, and to lots of others things which I forgot and most likely never even knew.

KaterinLHC wrote:

And another Futurama reference bites the dust.

I totally got it, you clever, clever girl.

In Orthodox Russian church, in particular, ornate abbreviations P.X. ("the birth of Christ") and X.B. ("Christ arose") are used on ceremonial tapestries, clothes, bread, greetings cards. "X" is used in prayerbooks noting prayers to Christ (as opposed to Mary, Holy Trinity etc), to mark side-altars and domes in schemes of temples dedicated to Christ, and to lots of others things which I forgot and most likely never even knew.

Yeah, you couldn't go anywhere in my Greek Orthodox church without hitting your head on Xs ingraved into something or other.

Also, that article is silly.

buzzvang wrote:

X = the Greek letter Chi
Chi was a commonly used symbol for Christ.
Therefore, Xmas is a completely acceptable spelling of Christmas.

In many ancient Greek and Roman catacomb graffiti, dating as far back as the third century A.D., when Christianity was (sometimes literally) an underground practice in Europe, and extending into the Middle Ages and beyond, we find the Greek letters chi and rho superimposed over each other. These are the first two characters in the Greek Khristos, the substantive form of the Greek adjective meaning "anointed." The Greek use of "the anointed one" to describe Jesus of Nazareth is translated from the Hebrew mashiah, or Messiah, which also means "the anointed one." So Messiah and Christ are interchangeable, depending on which language you're in the mood to use. With this knowledge in hand, you may now join me in laughing at anyone who ever says "Christ the Messiah", since that's clearly redundant.

Chi rho looks like an X with a P on top of it.

IMAGE(http://www.jesus8880.com/chapters/gematria/images/magnentius-xp.jpg)

baggachipz wrote:

And this is exactly why non-christians severely dislike most christians. Keep on playing your violins, you "my way or the highway" whiners.

...and we know if one "Christian" says it most of them must believe it! Lets blast all of them! They are so intolerant of other people's opinions!! Darn violinist crybabys.

Personally I don't have a problem with Happy Holidays.

Nomad wrote:

...and we know if one "Christian" says it most of them must believe it! Lets blast all of them! They are so intolerant of other people's opinions!! Darn violinist crybabys.

Finally, something we can all agree on.

Lobo wrote:
buzzvang wrote:

X = the Greek letter Chi
Chi was a commonly used symbol for Christ.
Therefore, Xmas is a completely acceptable spelling of Christmas.

In many ancient Greek and Roman catacomb graffiti, dating as far back as the third century A.D., when Christianity was (sometimes literally) an underground practice in Europe, and extending into the Middle Ages and beyond, we find the Greek letters chi and rho superimposed over each other. These are the first two characters in the Greek Khristos, the substantive form of the Greek adjective meaning "anointed." The Greek use of "the anointed one" to describe Jesus of Nazareth is translated from the Hebrew mashiah, or Messiah, which also means "the anointed one." So Messiah and Christ are interchangeable, depending on which language you're in the mood to use. With this knowledge in hand, you may now join me in laughing at anyone who ever says "Christ the Messiah", since that's clearly redundant.

Chi rho looks like an X with a P on top of it.

IMAGE(http://www.jesus8880.com/chapters/gematria/images/magnentius-xp.jpg)

As I understand it, this is also where the Christian fish is partially derived from - the PX.

Oops - double post.

Quick...must think of something intelligent to add to debate.....

Happy Holidays!

Duffman wrote:

As I understand it, this is also where the Christian fish is partially derived from - the PX.

I can't think of the ichthus without thinking about this:
IMAGE(http://www.evolvefish.com/fish/media/E-TRex.gif)

Screw you people. It's time we celebrated a Festivus for the rest of us!

Nomad wrote:
baggachipz wrote:

And this is exactly why non-christians severely dislike most christians. Keep on playing your violins, you "my way or the highway" whiners.

...and we know if one "Christian" says it most of them must believe it! Lets blast all of them! They are so intolerant of other people's opinions!! Darn violinist crybabys.

Personally I don't have a problem with Happy Holidays.

Heh, I knew that was coming. But seriously, there seems to be some "movement" by a large group of Christians who claim they're coming under attack... they claim persecution by the Media, leftist groups, etc etc. And this is another instance of that. Everyone else sees this, and says "Holy crap; they're upset because they're being forced by society to accept that theirs isn't the only belief." I think we all know why the Presidential Card says "Happy Holidays"... it's not because they're heathens, it's because they are sending it to people other than Christians. It's common courtesy, far as I can tell. "Happy Holidays" evokes "Whatever the hell you celebrate, enjoy doing it." To me, that's much better than saying "I'm well-wishing you based upon my religious holiday, assuming you celebrate the same." It's not overly PC, it's accepting that if you are going to send out a blanket message, make sure you're talking to everyone under the blanket.

there seems to be some "movement" by a large group of Christians who claim they're coming under attack
Nomad wrote:

...and we know if one "Christian" says it most of them must believe it! Lets blast all of them! They are so intolerant of other people's opinions!!

Yes, it must be in our imagination.;) Kidding aside, I personally don't have a problem with "Happy Holidays." I understand that not all people believe the same way that I do. Which brings up an important point about tolerance. Why is it that when Christians defend their faith, we are labeled as being intolerant. Don't we have the same right as everyone else to believe what we think is right? To me, that smacks of intolerance. Tolerance does not mean that I have to accept another belief any more than one must accept mine.

I will agree that there are groups of Christians who go too far in forcing their faith on others. But, these groups are not representative of all Christians, they are just more vocal. You will find "extremists" in any belief system, not just Christianity. The Bible does not teach that we are too forcibly convert non-Christians. It does teach that we are to share our faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior to all who will follow Him. And that's that. Whatever an individual chooses to do with that information is up to said individual. By relaying that message, the Christian has done his job. It does pain me that there are members of my faith that take this too far, because, as seen in this thread, it gives all of us a bad name.

Again, Happy Holidays is a perfectly acceptable phrase for this time of year. I personally choose to say Merry Christmas, for it tells others why I celebrate this time of year. I hope that is not offensive to anyone. If it is, I apologize, but that is where my heart is.

oldmanscene24 wrote:

It does teach that we are to share our faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior to all who will follow Him. And that's that. Whatever an individual chooses to do with that information is up to said individual. By relaying that message, the Christian has done his job.

See, here's the thing. "Sharing" one's faith is akin to forcing it upon someone else. After all, the goal of the "sharing" action is to convert those with whom you share, is it not? As a result, I do take offense to that mindset. Not much offense, but it does rub me the wrong way sometimes. Personally, I don't care what somebody's belief system is and don't need that information offered up without solicitation.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Farscry wrote:
KaterinLHC wrote:

Chris-wha? Ohhhh I see, you're using an archaic pronounciation of the word Xmas. Do you also say "ask" instead of "axe" too? ;)

Oh man, that's one of my biggest pet peeves. Pronouncing "ask" as "aks", or pronouncing "wash" as "warsh", or any of that variety. Argh!!!! AARRRGHHH!!!

And another Futurama reference bites the dust.

I'm sorry; been far far too long since I had the opportunity to watch that awesome show.

baggachipz wrote:

See, here's the thing. "Sharing" one's faith is akin to forcing it upon someone else.

I have to disagree. People share thoughts and opinions with each other every day without any feelings of having something forced upon them. Take this forum, for example. The very nature of this forum is to share and express thoughts and opinons on various issues. There is no guarantee that the postings of another person will not directly condradict my beliefs. But, I read anyway to, at least, better understand other viewpoints. Granted, the same parameters do not exist in all social situations. This is why, in a social conversation, one should ask permission to discuss such matters.

After all, the goal of the "sharing" action is to convert those with whom you share, is it not?

It is not. As I mentioned in my previous post the goal is simply to provide the information. What happens from there is totally up to the "sharee." That said, it is my hope that the outcome would be conversion, but that is not my job. I am simply a messenger and somewhat of a guide if it progresses farther.

I don't regret what I have said here, but I do apologize if I have truly offended anyone with what I have posted. That was absolutely not my intent.

Kat and Staats you aren't alone. I understood the reference.

Leela: "Let me AXE you a question, where can we get a MICROWAVE?"

See, what is it with people? Futurama, Family Guy and the Simpsons should be required viewing for public schools. Far too many people (like myself) speak almost exclusively in terms of references for there to be those that haven't seen and memorized the shows. It's almost as important as understanding English.