Saturday, November 28, 2009

No Offense

Hark hark, the first of the 'offensive' Christmas kill-joys has raised his ugly voice, and we're only in November! We should not say 'Happy Christmas' to anyone because they might not like it.

"The Right Reverend Humphrey Southern, the Bishop of Repton, said it was a "hollow" greeting to make to those who were suffering" The Times reported.  There's always one, every year, who says this or that Christmas greeting is offensive. Usually it's religious minorities who might take offense at any mention of Christmas in the Christian country in which they live.

Actually, I'm not sure that religious minorities take much by way of offense at all, and those that do are the not necessarily the ones anyone takes any notice of as they come under the umbrella scope of 'loony'. Well, no one except even loonier local council jobsworths anyway, who love dreaming up new ways of avoiding offense to the looniest elements in society.

Our Humph then, thinks, I suppose, that we are all insensitive philistines. That we cannot detect unhappiness and suffering, and that we go around shrieking shrilly 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' to all, I suppose, in a drunken burp.

He's also rather missed the point of Christmas, which surprises me somewhat in a man of God. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, Humph, and whether you're sad or happy, if you're a Christian, this is something to thank God for, something to give you hope and a glimmer of light through the sadness. In fact, you should say 'Happy Christmas' to sad people because by reminding them of the hope that the birth of Jesus is supposed to represent, you will be bringing them comfort.

If Christmas is just about getting stuff of course, there's no point giving a sad person a hug and whispering 'Happy Christmas', but then common sense should kick in and you'd be taking the sensitive line of comforting words instead.

So, Humph, we really don't need your advice, ta. You might think that society has broken down to the extent that people are no longer able to behave sensitively, and maybe that's the case in your own social circle, but for most of the rest of us, we are not dysfunctional and we know how to behave when faced with a grieving family or sorrowful individuals. Most people have suffered in some way through loss, divorce, or a death in the family, or sickness, and can empathise with those who are going through bad times.

But, just because some are unhappy doesn't mean to say the rest of us should feel guilty for our lack of sadness. Or not be happy because others are sad. You can't go around shouldering the burdens of the world as individuals. We have a short time on earth and should appreciate every day of it that is not painful.

So I will stay full of the joys of Christmas. I will not be a miserable old sod just because some are suffering. It's my turn at the moment, to be happy and I'm going to make the most of it. I won't be rubbing it in to those who are not happy, but I certainly won't be pretending sadness either. When I'm feeling sad, I don't resent those who are not, knowing that happiness is fleeting and you have to grab it while you've got it. We hang on to life by the thinnest of threads and at any moment all can change.

So, count your blessings, Humph. Enjoy Christmas, comfort the sad, and stop making condescending patronising remarks.


  1. welllllll..he's a bit of a pain is Humph

    thanks to kind friends and folks lonley peeple have a lovely time sometimes at Xmas.....
    And that is damn well Christian attitude!! lol

  2. I think wish people happy christmas in November is pushing it slightly but if you're feeling festive, spread the word! I'm happy to be wished 'happy x', don't mind, not even when I'm sad...have passed by via ukhausfrau. Love the idea of a vintage personal shopper...

  3. Hello countrymummy!

    I'm going around wishing anyone a Happy Christmas yet - it's way too early, but if I want to say it later, I will, and no interfering Humph is gonna stop me!!

  4. Duh, I mean I'm NOT.

    Shame one can't edit comments...

  5. Well said,well put: great post. Thank you.
    Er, happy Advent, Sarah!

  6. Thanks, Minnie.

    I'm feeling a tad guilty I haven't bought an Advent calendar for the boys, but the only ones about are crappy old things with pretend chocolate in them. Very Advent-ist!

    They are dying for me to get them one though... *sigh


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