And I don't have a problem saying that, nor do I begrudge any part of the season to those who do.
I smile generously when a clerk wishes me Merry Christmas and I respond in kind. I love the brightness of the lights and I appreciate the beauty of the decorations, even though it looks like an elf might have puked on the walls of many stores. I grew up singing carols in school choirs and I still find myself humming along in the malls. (It can make for some tremendously awkward moments and some unusual stares when my fellow synagogue members catch me bellowing O Holy Night in the drugstore. It is my all-time favourite, but Jews don't always go for the Christ references.)
I am not at all interested in North American society's attempted equalization of our holidays, and frankly, Chanukah is undeserving of the upgrade. I don't want a holiday tree, nor do I ever again need to hear the term "Chanukah Bush". Such insipid and insulting behaviour is what drives this teetotaler to the liquor cabinet. And while I may not be fond of crèche displays in front of public schools, honestly, given the import of the season, I can cope.
Most of us "others" can cope. Most of us are secure enough in our own faiths, our own agnosticism, or our own atheism that to us, Christmas is just there. That statement shouldn't be viewed as a slight to the believers, rather it should embolden them to understand that we want you to have your holiday and most of us are not at all interested in waging war on it. Most of us simply do not care.
Which brings me to Starbucks and their festering cup "nontroversy". Is this the best that some angry asshole could do? Scream and yell about a red paper cup? Do this putz and all those who have followed and inhaled his bullshit (Yes Donald Trump, I'm looking at you!) really believe that there is a sinister underground war brewing (see what I did there?) that will see steamed baristas (HA!!) everywhere rise up and destroy the fabric of the holiday? Are people so insulated and insecure in their own petty little lives that they need to manufacture outrage where none exists? Does anybody really and truly think that Starbucks went out of its way this year to explicitly insult Christians?
Here are some suggestions for all those dipsticks who need to seek conspiracies at every corner. How about employing some of that energy on positive endeavours? What if, the next time you went into a Starbucks, instead of railing at the poor shlub behind the counter against the lack of snowflakes on your cup, you bought gift cards and gave them to the homeless? What if, instead of screaming about a media-manufactured "War on Christmas", you found ways of making your holiday more meaningful for your family and friends? What if, instead of worrying about the "holiday tree" at City Hall, you instead focused on your enjoyment of the festive season?
A red cup doesn't define Christmas and Starbucks isn't an enemy of anybody's faith or belief system. Get a grip. Sometimes a cup is just a cup.