The world's first mobile text message was an entirely naff "Merry Christmas" keyed in by engineer Neil Papworth of the British technology company Sema to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis in Newbury, southern England.
Happy Holidays, everyone! I will be playing host to my adopted U.S. "family" over the next several days (I finally persuaded them to come here to SF for Christmas), so will not be online that much. Hope everyone has a great time.
Thanks, SoG! That site will provide hours of wasteful fun. ;-)
Ditto to what uselessness said--I'm off too, but will try to feed my Wordie addiction whenever possible--although I may be stuck with a dial-up connection that's so slow it would probably be easier for me to simply walk to all of your houses. ;-) Whatever you're doing, enjoy!
So this place is as good as any to say "Merry Christmas!" I'm taking off on vacation through the new year, during which time I may or may not have web access and probably won't be seen (much) around Wordie. May you have a wonderful festive week, and may it be all the more useful without me around. ;-)
SonOfGroucho: I'd like to shove tolerance down people's throats :-) An atheist with a Christian upbringing, I say "Happy Christmas" myself (though, if I remember, I'll say happy yule to my pagan friends, and I make sure to put happy new year as well as merii kurisumasu when I send cards to my Japanese friends), and don't personally find Merry Christmas offensive. But I do take offence and people who take offence at "happy holidays" (this doesn't include you, as you were asking, not claiming offence).
John: Yes please! I fail at diy christmas, despite always having great intentions. I've sent no cards, never mind handmade ones (though I did make a couple I haven't sent!) and I've only made one present, which isn't quite finished yet...
Giving stuff away is cool, as is making things. Stringing popcorn, baking cookies, knitting sweaters. Not that I'm much of a knitter--I tried to make a scarf once, but petered out and ended up with a pot holder. But anyway, I like DIY holidays, ideally involving lots of food. I'm pretty much in favor of anything that involves feasting.
That's true, u. The best part of this time of year really is giving stuff away--by which I don't necessarily mean buying gifts for people. (In fact that part's kind of soured for me lately.) Having a holiday that celebrates generosity is awesome, no matter what religion (if any) it's associated with.
... which makes it even weirder to me that people would invent a "war on Christmas."
I'm a Christian (though it could be said I'm not one of those Christians) and I will most definitely be celebrating Christmas this year. I think the whole "war" thing is pretty stupid, of course. My solution to the "what do I say to people?" issue is not to say anything at all, and I don't advocate that anyone else follow my example because, while practical, it's also very scroogish. A well-wishing of any kind is better than none at all, and I just suck at it this year.
Anyway, I do wonder if there's a growing trend of people intentionally NOT celebrating Christmas as an act of protest or whatever. Historically, the vast majority of people (in America, at least) celebrated Christmas regardless of their beliefs. It was a pretty secular holiday. It's still secular, but I think more and more non-Christians are starting to refuse participation. Possibly as a response to the attempts of evangelicals to "reclaim" the holiday. It's a shame; whatever your beliefs, there's something cool about taking one day out of the year -- ideally more than one, but we've gotta start somewhere -- to generously bless those around us and be blessed in turn. If my observation is correct, it's sad that people would willing pass up such an offer.
I say "Happy Holidays" because it's simply shorter than saying "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year--oh and don't forget Martin Luther King Day coming up..." I was kind of stunned a couple years ago when someone got in my face about it and assumed that I was "afraid" to say "Merry Christmas." My response was "I didn't know if you were Jewish or what," and when he laughed, I may have said something like, "Screw your New Year then."
Happy Holidays, or "holiday season" for that matter, is an acceptable way to wish people a happy time at a dark time of year. There's more than one holiday. It doesn't do anything to improve the supposed "war on Christmas" (of all the retarded phrases I've ever heard...!) to get offended at people who choose to wish you a happy season instead of just a single day.
And I'm with John on this: I'd like to hear more about the values Christ lived and taught, than about some made-up problems like "make your friends say 'Merry Christmas,' not 'happy holidays'!" I've actually gone to church during the Christmas season and had to listen to sermons about this--more than once! Is that really a valuable use of the limited time people spend in church? Are there not other, more problematic behaviors and tendencies that people exhibit these days, that we deserve to be sermonized about?
Sorry to rant. The whole thing just makes me want to, you know, *not* wish people a happy holiday OR a merry Christmas.
That said, I just LOVE Christmas lights and stuff. I was even thinking of making a list of words we only hear this time of year--the archaic and bizarre-sounding words that are sprinkled liberally throughout Christmas carols (even that word "carols" for example), but otherwise never used. Hm.
Holy...I mean heck, I was just kidding (and I did mean nondenominational). Speaking just about the site, I have no idea why Merry Christmas wasn't listed sooner on Wordie, but there are plenty of belief-related words floating around the Wordiesphere, aren't there? So far as I know, no one has yet objected to them. :-)
SonofGroucho, you may not be religious at all, but were you brought up with a nominally Christian background? You might feel differently if you had a different religious upbringing, or beliefs now, especially one that also has a holiday at this time. Holiday season really is broader - it's not just that Christmas has become secular and can be enjoyed non-religiously; there are a number of religious and cultural holidays at this time of year.
I have no idea if people here are Christian or Jewish or whatever, and I'd rather not make assumptions. So I don't. It's the same reason I don't presume Wordies are male or female, or straight or gay: I think being polite and not pigeonholing people improves our relations. I'm not a PC milquetoast, but for all I know, you're a Sikh. In which case, I hope you enjoy Guru Gobind Singh Ji's upcoming birthday!
That's just me, though. I think most of America talks about Christmas plenty, and that this supposed reluctance to talk about Christmas is an invention of Bill O'Reilly.
What I really wouldn't mind, though, was if Christmas got a little more Christian. I'd like to hear O'Reilly talk about love, compassion and tolerance, if he's going to talk about Christmas at all.
I'm with you, SoG. I love the lights, the mythology, the music, the celebrations, and being with family. (What's not to like?) I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and I enjoy it when then wish me the same. I don't believe in supernatural events, but I love stories about them.
I don't understand this growing reluctance to mention things like Christmas. I am not religious at all, but I really enjoy Christmas. I can't see why using terms like "holiday season" improves relations between people.