Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cookies that calm

Today I got all het up by something at Mass. This happens - I only go because it means a lot to my mother. For those of you who haven't experienced a Catholic Mass, there's a bit where a lector, the priest or a deacon reads petitions. These are big-ticket prayers, like for leaders of the church, world peace, etc. The prayer is read, and then the congregation responds, "Lord, hear our prayer."

At the parish here, the petitions come from a variety of sources - the archdiocese, the staff, and sometimes parishioners. So I don't know who came up with this gem:
"That we strive to remember Christ not be concerned about political correctness and resort to trite replacements like 'happy holidays."
I was thoroughly peeved. When I say "happy holidays," I mean it. I don't give a damn what you do this month - unwrap presents, light candles, roast a goat, or dance naked around a pine tree. It's not that I'm worried about offending someone, necessarily; I just like to be inclusive. If someone beats me to it and says "Merry Christmas," I say "thank you." Mom said that the church has a vested interest in promoting Christmas, and I suppose they do. She also said that the majority of people that purchase toasters from me have trees in their living rooms, not menorahs. That's probably true, but it's not the point. Don't assume someone who says "Happy Holidays" does so because they're soldiers in the imaginary war on Christmas.

But then I had the most wonderful afternoon baking cookies with my family. Sure, they were Christmas cookies; again, that's not the point. I got to spend time with wonderful people and managed to eat myself silly with cookies - and I didn't keep track. For the first time this month, I actually felt happy about the holidays. So now I'll be able to say it with even greater sincerity.


Sarah said...

You think that's bad? The Sunday before the election, somebody put in a petition that said that all Catholics remember to vote pro-life or something like that. I was not very happy about that.

I still think the "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" is the dumbest argument in existence, though. Why are we fighting over the semantics of wishing people happiness?

Also, I am jealous of your cookie-making. And cookie-eating. :)

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