Thanksgiving is barely behind us and already we are being beaten over the head with Christmas. Although, let's be honest, Thanksgiving was a blurp between Halloween and Christmas this year, what with Black Friday sales starting at 8 or 9 pm on Thanksgiving evening and carols being played in stores the week before Thanksgiving. Christmas trees and all decorations were set up as Halloween costumes were going on clearance! The consumerism of it all is getting insane and the meaning of Thanksgiving lost in the shuffle.
Here is where my true snark begins. I could give two flying shits about how a store chooses to visually mind-fuck people into spending money. As long as I can walk into a store, randomly walk around, choose to leave empty handed and leave unmolested by store employees I'm a happy camper. Now, the reality of me ever leaving a store empty handed is a totally different story. And truthfully, Thanksgiving is a holiday that grocery stores make the money on anyways. Sure Target and WalMart are now stocking groceries but they aren't grocery stores first. Super WalMarts are the exceptions to that statement but moving on....
After Thanksgiving, cashiers move on to ending transactions with a festive parting phrase. Some stores won't allow anything but "Happy Holidays" so as not to offend anyone and customers still get offended. Some stores let the cashiers choose the phrase of choice and customers get offended when the cashier says "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays". Honestly, the only time I really and truly get offended is when the cashier says something to my well meaning "Happy Holiday". Its happened more than once and I don't care who you are or what your beliefs are, there is no reason to act like I just pissed on your mamma's grave in front of you because I didn't return your "Merry Christmas" with the same 2 damned words!
The worst case of this, was (big surprise) when I was living in Georgia. I ran in to grab a few things and got in a quick moving line. The man behind me was too close for my comfort, I'm very much a personal space person in that I like my personal space. I get to the cashier and she rings up my items and I pay. She says "Merry Christmas" to which I reply "OH! Happy Holidays to you too!" smile and grab my bag. She holds my bag and says "I said Merry Christmas" and looks at the guy behind me and says "That is what I said right?" and he of course nods and says "Yes ma'am that's what I heard". So I look at her and said, "Yeah, umm....you're going to need to call your manager because I'm sure we have an issue now."
The manager comes over and I get my bag from the cashier and an explanation that "things are different here in the south. We take god seriously." No apology just a cheat sheet on southern greetings, as it were. As a "Yankee" I wouldn't understand that "happy holidays" is basically telling god-fearing people to fuck off with a smile, apparently.
I prefer Happy Holidays because this time of year is rich with people celebrating different holidays. Granted, I don't know each of the holidays being celebrated, but I'm not going to claim one is more important than another because of my own ignorance. We have enough issues with religion in this country right now, why do we have to take the most joyous time of the year and make it a blood sport of who has the biggest claim on the month of December?