It's the Holiday season. One way I know this is that people are already wishing me "Happy Holidays!" Well, not people so much as companies. While I haven't started hearing this from individual folks, I have heard it from Honda of San Francisco, Lucky's Supermarket, and Rubio's.
I'm not buying it. I am not purchasing a Honda this year or patronizing Lucky's for the majority of my Holiday food shopping, nor am I believing that these companies are truly wishing me well. I think they just want my money.
And speaking of the Holidays: I know the secular trend over the past several years has been to refrain from saying Merry Christmas, to use the more generic Happy Holidays instead. Do the politically correct-os out there realize that they are actually saying "Happy Holy Days?" So while Happy Holidays may in fact be broad enough to include all of the religiously based celebrations at this time of year, it still conveys that these days are, in fact, holy.
Maybe these observations are too cynical. I am cynical about the Holidays precisely because they are so important to me. The coming days of Advent and Christmas are truly Holy for me and for my family, and yet, each year, I struggle mightily with the prevailing consumer culture that assaults us at every turn and transforms such a Holy time into a virtual pressure cooker for imperfect families. In other words, for all families.
So about this time each year, I start trying to think of ways that I can wage my own personal battle against the forces of popular culture that would otherwise ruin Christmas for me. I am not always successful in this effort. I take it as a sign of hope that I keep trying! Here's hoping that my family's Christmas this year can be peaceful and joyful, and that we can do this in spite of the way Christmas is happening all around us.