It was one year ago that all the USA was in an uproar over the so-called war on Christmas. Some department stores and media outlets were instructed to wish patrons "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" so as to not offend those who are not Christian. Retailers were sure that this was the sure way to increase sales. By being more politically correct, they would do better business and not offend anyone.
But the plan seemed to backfire in a big way. Word got out that Christmas was out and Holidays were in and that was all she wrote. People who have not attended church in years were offended at this affront to one of the most sacred days to Christians. After all, the name Christmas celebrates the mass for the birth of the Christ.
And now, one year on, we seem to have a little of the same problem. The clerks in the stores that I have visited seem to be suffering from the fallout of Christmas 2006. They hesitate about wishing me a Merry Christmas. They are a little worried that they will offend me, or at the very least, get in trouble with a supervisor. How sad. Even if they wanted to be jolly, they cannot.
So, for the next few weeks, I am implementing a plan that will hopefully bring cheer and good tidings of great joy to everyone I encounter (whether I am merry or not). My goal is to wish every bell ringer, every stock person, every greeter, every cashier, every package wrapper, every manager and supervisor a Merry Christmas. I am not going to wait for someone else to greet me first. I will take the initiative and wish others well.
I am going to smile until me cheeks hurt. I will not be called a Grinch or a Scrooge. I will be a smiling mirth-spreader. I will not be offended when someone, no matter who they are, does not wish me 'Merry Christmas,' but I will be offended if I do not. I am going to be "Merry Christmas Boy."
One more thing that is a little related: What is with the greeters at Wal-Mart? At the Wal-Mart where I do business, the grouchy greeters outnumber the friendly ones 10 to one. This too is very sad. Most of the greeters do not even look up except to make sure that you are not shop-lifting, or trying to get away with something. They have a very boring job, and it shows. Most of the time my shopping experience is already ruined before I even get into the store.
My goal of being Merry Christmas Boy will apply to the greeters in every store as well. I am going to smile and be friendly regardless of the attitude of the greeter. I will wish them Merry Christmas until December 25 and then I will continue to greet them in the most friendly way that I can muster. I will bring joy to people as much as I can.