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Chan Lowe: Holidays, schmolidays

kwanz.gif’Tis the season to be overly sensitive.

Here in South Florida, where collections of cultures and creeds live in uncomfortable proximity, the holiday season is an annual endurance test fraught with politically-incorrect pitfalls.

Every December, various groups have major holidays that happen to fall close to one another.

In our zeal not to offend anyone by offering the wrong salutation, we have reverted to the default phrase, “Happy Holidays,” which in its insipidness displays not only insincerity, but also an implicit fear of our differences.

I live in a neighborhood that has a high proportion of Jewish residents. When one of my neighbors wishes me “Happy Hanukkah,” I accept it with the same cheer as I would “Merry Christmas.”

Why? Because I know it comes from the heart. It’s all about the giver offering something of value--goodwill--to the recipient. Who am I to quibble about the brand?

I suggest everyone wish each other the happy returns of the season in the manner that best suits the giver’s core identity. That way, your listener will know you’re serious.

There is a famous Sanskrit saying that goes something like this: “There is one Truth. Wise men call it by many names.” The key word here is “wise.” Those who--because of their own limitations--are unable to grasp that concept will decide that they’d rather be offended than honored.

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All I want to hear out of sales clerks any time of year is hello, the total amount I owe, thank you when I pay, and goodbye when I leave. Why complicate things?

Amen to that, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Have a nice day, its all the same to me... here in South Florida I'm just grateful to see social interaction that doesn't involve someone getting the finger

joyeux Noël à vous et toute vos proches, Chan. J'attends depuis Bruxelles chacun de vos excellents éditoriaux illustrés, avec la même quotidienne jubilation. ;-)

They don't "happen" to fall close to one another. They were all stolen from the original pagan celebrations of the Winter solstice, which were mostly prompted by the idea of getting people's minds off how much winter was still left to slog through. So really, all the commercialization is still following that same spirit :-).

Christmas is the epitomy of the year - Happy Christmas is Pure Joy to one and all !

People need to get a grip.
The 'offense' people are feeling is ridiculous.

bye bye buy buy...

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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