Merry Christmas, everyone!
And, by “Merry Christmas”, I mean: “Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men.”
I find myself in the Christmas spirit suddenly.
The Christmas spirit sort of sneaks up on me late. I tend to be Christmas resistant until right before the end. I guess it’s the pre-Christmas noise. It gets in my way.
And an increasingly large part of the noise are the conservative blow-hards turning “Merry Christmas’ into their own personal “Seig Hiel”.
I went to Rainbow to pick up a couple of random items that I needed. And there was the Salvation Army person. I like seeing them every year, and I usually manage to dump something in the bucket. Sometimes it’s a penny, sometimes it’s a buck. It’s usually around 50 to 75 cents.
But I don’t do it on the way IN to the store, because I am usually cold, and I don’t want to try to dig through my purse with my numb hands. I smiled at the guy to let him know I’d catch him on the way out. He smiled and said “Merry Christmas.” He was talking my language: “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men. I’ll be here when you come back.”
“Merry Christmas”, I said back: “Peace on earth, and Goodwill toward men. I’ll see you then.”
And then I entered the store, and there were two young men there at a table topped off with banners proclaiming “You can run, but you cannot hide!” Flame icons danced on the banners….the wrath of God that would one day consumed the wicked. No doubt after these two fine young men dispatched them with controlled bursts of weapons fire learned from watching Kirk Cameron in that one “Left Behind Movie”. But not until the final battle for the earth, you know. No, they will certainly keep their powder dry until then, I’m sure.
Friends of Judge Moore’s; Preachers in our schools with our tax dollars; evidentally, they think the pope is the anti-Christ - no word on WHICH pope.
I smiled and nodded to them. Goodwill toward men. I still had a good dose of it.
One of the kids sensed my discomfort, and he smirked; “Merry Christmas” He said. Different language: “Hate the fags, the Jews are going to hell, kill the ragheads.”
“Happy Holidays”, I replied, choosing a synonym in my language that didn’t mistranslate in theirs, but still means “peace on Earth, and Goodwill towards men.”
“Merry Christmas”. The boy said again, with and even bigger smirk and a slightly different accent “Someday I’ll pull the trigger on your unGodly ass, and won't you be sorry then, you commie.”
A woman pushed between us and stopped, made a funny weird little bow to stress what she said; “Merry Christmas.” ; “Thank God we have nice clean-cut kids like you to hate the fags, tell the Jews they are going to hell, and kill the rag-heads.”
“You know, I used to say Merry Christmas until it became an offensive term.” I ventured.
“I think Happy Holidays is an offensive term.” The guy said.
“What makes it an offensive term?” The second guy asked.
“Jews getting beat up on the Subway for not saying it”. I responded.
“When did that happen?” the first boy said dismissively.
“Last year. It was in the news.”
“Oh, well…if it was in the NEWS, it MUST be true, right?”
Time to walk away. He wouldn’t care about it if he believed it were true, so trying to convince him is a waste of time.
As I turned, the first boy twisted his face up one more time. He might have been thinking about shooting someone, or he may have been thinking he had won the “argument”…or an invisible elf might have snuck up and crapped in his mouth…I don’t know…
“Merry Christmas”, he yelled after me; “There’s nothing you can do about it. Christmas means 100% agreement with George W. Bush. Like it or not, Christmas means nuke Iran ’till they glow and shoot ‘em in the dark. There’s nothing you can do about it, and you’d better say it, ‘cause your government is taking your taxes and paying us to teach our perversion of what could be a perfectly good religion to your kids, AND they’re providing me with the means to harass you at the grocery store, biaaaatch…so what you gonna do about it?”
For Pete’s sake, I just wanted to buy some groceries.
As I walked through the store, the employees asked me “How’s it going? Finding everything you need? Everything OK?” It’s kind of a Rainbow foods thing, and it kind of bugs me.
But then I stopped about the third time I was asked.
“You know what? No. Everything is not OK. I really could have done without the ‘Merry Christmas’ shake-down at the front door.”
Who was it? Was it those kids?
“Don’t worry, I’ll go talk to them.”
“Just tell them, it changes the meaning of Christmas, if you say it with a smirk.”
“I agree ma’m. It won’t happen again.”
I finished my shopping, paid, and left. As I walked out, I saw the bell-ringer. I dropped a buck into the bucket, and smiled at him. He smiled back.
“Thank you, and Merry Christmas, Ma’m.”
“Merry Christmas to you, too.”
And peace on earth and goodwill toward men. Amen.