Friday, December 23, 2005

The Christ in Christmas

This week a business colleague of mine gave me a call. He was leaving to visit family, and when the awkward moment inevitably came, I fell into the "Happy Holidays" fold, not wanting an encounter of the Bill O'Reilly kind.

My take on it is a clumsy joke that, quite frankly, sounds stupid. Sensing the social anxiety that corporate media had managed to instill in my psyche, my colleague responded with one of the funniest "gotchas" I've yet to hear for this whole "Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas" hogwash.

Brent: "Well, OK then...have a great trip, and if I don't speak with you later this week, Merry Christmas, or Kwanza, or Happy Holidays, or whatever it is you celebrate." [nervous laughter]

Colleague: "You know, I've been struck by this whole debate, too, and I've resolved to ask myself, 'What would Jesus do?' And, seeing that Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi, I think he'd say, 'Happy Hanukkah.' So, Happy Hanukkah, Brent." [chuckling]

Brent: [more chuckling] "Hey, that's pretty good. You're right. The Festival of Lights [spoken in mock Adam Sandler fashion]. Well, Happy Hanukkah, [insert colleague's name here]."

This colleague, to the best of my knowledge, is not Jewish. Either way, it's pretty damn funny.

Later I got to thinking a bit more about the whole, stupid debate. I asked myself, "What would Jesus do?" After telling myself he most certainly would not have gone to play for the New York Yankees, it occurred to me that the bloke wouldn't have given a shit about his birthday celebration, either -- and probably would have told anyone who did to bug off and stop buying crap for it.