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News Story
Updated: 12/04/2013 08:00:03AM

This season

has a name

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S.L. Frisbie

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Here I go again on my annual seasonal rant.

The words change a bit from year to year, but the sentiment has remained constant for decades.

Over the next three weeks, you, like I, will receive many greetings of “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings.”

We will respond courteously, because we are civilized people, but deep within my heart of hearts dwells a response that I am too courteous (or too cowed by political correctness) to make: “Which holidays would that be; do they have a name?” Or “Just which season are you extending me greetings for?”

———

Thanksgiving is a few days behind us, so that holiday is history for another year. The season (winter, if highs in the 70s and 80s can be considered winter, or Advent, if your church observes the same lectionary as mine) is either generic or religious.

Because nobody has ever wished me a Happy Spring, Summer, or Fall, I have to believe that nobody will be wishing me a Happy Winter.

In our Judeo-Christian culture, the holidays we are observing are Hanukkah and Christmas, followed by that day on which the odometer rolls over to 2014, New Year’s Day.

———

I will enthusiastically wish my Jewish friends and colleagues a Merry Christmas, and if they respond by wishing me a Happy Hanukkah, I will be proud that they have chosen to include me in the observance of a major holiday on their calendar.

Further, if they want to put up a menorah next to a crèche in a public place, I will rejoice in a shared celebration of religious heritage.

———

I am less tolerant of those who wish me a Merry Xmas. This is not a new theme for me.

While I am aware of the liturgical shorthand in which the name of Christ is abbreviated with an X, I doubt that most who use that form do so in that vein. And I have not found that usage in either the Bible or the Book of Common Prayer. Does the word “cop-out” offend anyone? My name is Frisbie (with an ie), not Xbie.

Our first president was Washington, not Xington.

Substitute an X for the first few letters in your surname, and perhaps you will be similarly unimpressed.

———

The season has a name. Several names, in fact.

Merry Christmas.

Happy Hanukkah.

And if all else fails, have a Wonderful Winter Solstice.

———

(S. L. Frisbie is retired. The president of the company to which he sold his newspapers nearly seven years ago — their family name, incidentally, is Dunn-Rankin, not Dunn-Xkin — calls him the Patron Saint of Lost Causes. It fits.)


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