Happy EMD!

Look, I don’t *really* care when anyone starts to celebrate anything. If your own, personal desire is to begin celebrating Christmas on July 5th (because nothing really gets you moving after Independence Day until Yule), that’s fine. Just as I am never upset if someone wishes me a Happy Holiday, Quiet Kwanzaa, or Delightful Dōngzhì Festival , that’s all fine with me. Thanks for wishing me well, and a Merry Malkh to you, too!

So if you hear me grousing about Christmas decorations in early November, or the extension of the “shopping season,” I don’t really mean I am annoyed with the idea of a different expression of “my” holiday than I prefer. What annoys me is the sense that holy and or/communal days of celebration, rest, introspection, and joy are being used as keywords in a social search engine aimed at the password to my wallet. If a group seems to be draping themselves in the corpse of a holiday to camouflage their agenda, be that greed or something else, THAT’S when I feel they’re doing something wrong.

Not by celebrating differently than I, but by laying emotional traps in the hopes that my desire to take part of a false festival they concoct with no true care for it will cause me to further their goals.

As a result, I *try* not to complain about how people decorate their house, or when they break out holiday greetings or snowman cookies, or even when a company switches to snowflake cups. Small groups and small decisions may well have innocent intent. It’s only if collective, be that a social media group or corporate juggernaut begins to wield holy days and the myths around them like bludgeons that I assume the act is cloaked in greed rather than goodwill toward men. Similarly if someone shares with me an explicit desire to bilk the faithful for profit, I am both annoyed and think less of the bilker.

I’m too capitalist to want to ban any such activities, and too suspicious of group motives to take part in boycotts designed to attempt corrective pressure on the holiday social expressions of business ventures.

On the flip side, I am also annoyed by people who complain about something as insane as a War on Christmas because someone says Happy Holidays or notes that maybe a scale model of one religion’s Messiah being born is too Church-related to be hosted on State lands. There’s nothing wrong with a community coming together to celebrate a specific religious event, but as soon as it’s the community’s government doing it, that becomes problematic in concept, and banned by my reading of our highest laws.

The government shouldn’t spend money on Santa that it wouldn’t spend on Satan.

I care about the holiday season, a lot. My wife and I bring baked goods to friends and coworkers during this time, for example. But we don’t write “For Good Christians Only” on our gifts, nor anything we think might sound similar to someone who isn’t a member of our preferred religious cult. We want to make extra efforts to help bring peace and joy to others during this time, because those efforts are meaningful to us. We never want our desire to celebrate our holidays in ways we find meaningful to make anyone else’s time on this earth less comfortable or secure.

So, if I say Happy Hoolidays, please know I am trying to be inclusive, not trying to erase your specific mainstream cultural observations. And if I say Merry Christmas, please know I am trying to share my joy at a time that is meaningful to me, not force you to observe that time yourself.

So with all that said… happy Ensisheim Meteorite Day!

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on November 7, 2016, in Musings, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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