A few days ago I was ruminating over the many events of this year that is soon to be replaced by a new one called 2012.
To assist my failing memory in recalling all that has occurred over these past twelve months I decided to consult a calendar.
The calendar informed me that 2011 began, as most years seem to, on January 1.
Further research informed me that the first day of January has been officially declared a Federal Statutory Holiday which, here in Canada, means a day that has been deemed by our Federal Government to be a holiday for the general population.
And as this is a holiday for the general population, many among the general population use this opportunity to hail one another with a hearty greeting of “Happy New Year.”
Makes sense doesn’t it? It is a holiday, the government has agreed it is a holiday and the name of the holiday is New Year’s Day so why not wish each other a “Happy New Year?”
The calendar then informed me that the next federally sanctioned statutory holiday took place on Friday, April 22. This holiday was called Good Friday and as it was part of an occasion known as Easter, people wished each other “Happy Easter.”
Monday, May 23rd was a holiday too.
Again, this day was declared to be a statutory holiday by the Feds and as its formal name was Victoria Day (named, I’m told, in honour of the founder of Victoria’s Secrets), we happily wished each other a “Happy Victoria Day.”
July 1 brought us Canada Day, deemed statutory too and we were all wished a “Happy Canada Day.”
In September, Labour Day (honouring new moms) brought cries of “Happy Labour Day.” October caused the sounds of “Happy Thanksgiving” to resonate across our land and, most recently, we remembered our brave men and women who proudly donned uniforms and gave their lives so that we would be free to enjoy all these celebrations.
In their honour and with everlasting gratitude, we bestowed upon each other the blessing of “Happy Remembrance Day.”
Our good friends to our South share many of these days with us and throughout the year also wished each other “Happy Presidents Day,’ “Happy Memorial Day,” Happy Fourth of July,” Happy Veterans Day” and others.
They even wished each other a “Happy Labor Day” even though those Americans can’t spell.
Tomorrow we have another holiday.
This one too has been declared a statutory holiday by our federal government.
This one is celebrated coast to coast across our vast, magnificent country.
And by our friends to the South.
And in many countries all around the world.
By several billion people.
So naturally, in its honour and following long standing tradition, we wish one another a “Happy …. Holiday”.
You see, it appears that this one is governed by different rules.
It seems to meet all the criteria of the others.
It has been declared a federal holiday.
A statutory holiday.
A holiday for the general population.
But there is a difference.
We cannot call it by its real name.
We dare not greet folks with the words “Merry Christmas.”
They may be offended.
They may take exception to be wished a “Merry Christmas.”
I don’t get it.
The holiday we are celebrating tomorrow is called Christmas isn’t it?
It is a holiday.
It must be, after all the government said so.
And they would never lie to us, would they?
But we cannot acknowledge it as such.
We must wish people a “Happy Holiday.”
And make no mention of the word “Christmas.”
Perhaps we should call Christmas trees “Holiday Shiny Object Hanging Devices.”
Well, I love Christmas.
And I look forward to it every year.
And I am not a Christian.
But I love it anyway. And celebrate it heartily.
Not because of religious connotation but because, for me Christmas is a magical time of year to reconnect with friends and family in the spirit of love, fellowship, friendship and the sheer enjoyment of hanging out with people you really like.
Not to mention the guilt free eating.
I have shared my views with many of my friends – my Sikh friends, Hindu friends, Muslim friends, Jewish friends, my sole Buddhist friend and, naturally, my Christian friends – and have not had a dissenter in the group.
So if the politically correct terminology is to say “Happy Holiday” then I suggest we be consistent and spread this nonsense equally throughout the year.
New Years Day – “I wish you a Happy Holiday.”
Easter – “I wish you a Happy Holiday.”
Victoria Day – “I wish you a Happy Holiday.”
Canada Day – “I wish you a Happy Holiday.”
Labour Day – “I wish you a Happy Holiday.”
Thanksgiving – “I wish you a Happy Holiday.”
Remembrance Day – “I wish you a Happy Holiday.”
So at the risk of being hopelessly politically incorrect and offending millions, as a non Christian, to all who take the time to read my ramblings each week, I wish you all a very
And hope each of you, regardless of your religious beliefs, enjoys the day as much as I know I will.
Till we read again.