There are few things as annoying as political correctness gone mad. But there are few things that people seem to enjoy so much as alleged stories of the same.
It’s Christmas Day. It’s a day about family and food, small children being amazed and delighted with the presents that Father Christmas has brought, and if you’re a Christian it’s about the birth of Jesus Christ, the saviour of mankind.
It’s a big deal in the West. I’ll warrant that much of the rest of the world knows about it too.
And of course, being Christmas, everyone supports the ideas of peace on earth and goodwill to all.
One characteristic of the days before Christmas, though, is the inevitable suggestion that someone, somewhere, is offended by being wished a Merry Christmas.
The heading of this post is a bit of a giveaway. Nobody gets offended.
Not Jews, not Muslims, not atheists, not Hindus. I don’t think I know any Buddhists or Taoists, nor the adherents of a thousand other smaller religions, but I’ll venture to say that they’re not offended either.
Twenty one years ago in Birmingham in England, the council decided to advertise all of the city’s winter festive activities under the umbrella term “Winterval.” The term was a made-up conflation of “winter” and “festival.” That included Diwali and New Year’s Eve and of course the main event, Christmas.
Someone misinterpreted Birmingham’s intentions and decided that they were trying to “hide” Christmas.
Likewise, in the United States, because the Jewish festival of Hanukkah falls close to Christmas, I believe that some retailers use the catch-all term “Happy Holidays.” And again, people object because they think an attempt is being made to hide Christmas.
From these things, and possibly also from the scourge of modern Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, there seems to have arisen a general belief that someone, somewhere out there, is offended by Christmas and by being wished a Merry Christmas.
I repeat: it isn’t so. Nobody gets offended.