25 Things More Offensive Than Saying, “Happy Holidays!”

With more than two weeks until Thanksgiving, I was already seeing the “It’s Merry Christmas, NOT Happy holidays!” memes on Facebook. There are probably hundreds of blog posts written on this subject every year, including several explaining that “holiday” derives from “holy day,” although, to be fair, the meaning and use has changed over centuries. I won’t even go into the whole “Can we wait until after Thanksgiving to even start thinking about Christmas?” thing on this post.

So this popped up on my TimeHop app yesterday, and I reposted it:

Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas: A list of things you can REALLY be offended about

Then, I posted this as an additional comment. (Well, okay, mostly this. I have edited it just a bit.)

Someone may say “Happy holidays” out of respect [for your unknown-to-them beliefs]. A stranger does not know what holidays you celebrate, and they can’t see your Facebook posts. Just smile, say “Merry Christmas” if you want, and go on with your day. No outrage necessary. If someone else can “take the Christ out” of YOUR Christmas, you have bigger problems than which greeting someone uses. [And, really, it’s a little arrogant of you to assume they care whether Christ is in your Christmas. They probably only care about theirs.]

I just can not understand getting angry and offended because someone offered a sincere greeting. I can’t. Unless you’re wearing a sweater with “Merry Christmas” on it (and please don’t – but Ugly Christmas Sweaters are another post altogether), a complete stranger has no clue what, if any, holidays you celebrate. I have people of many (and no) faiths on my Facebook list. In six years on Facebook, I have NEVER seen one of them complain about someone wishing them Merry Christmas.

So, as I was trying to figure this out yesterday, it occurred to me that maybe people get offended by a simple greeting because they don’t realize that there are other more important things they can be offended by! So I thought I’d help them out. Feel free to share this list with others who enjoy being offended. Continue reading

Guest Post: My Brother Raped Me #itsourstory

This post is a departure from my regular posts. I have decided to use this platform to allow rape and domestic violence survivors to tell their stories. These posts are not censored or edited, but come straight from the survivor. Some survivors need to tell their story in a safe place, and many others need to know that they are not alone, nor are they to blame. It’s important to me to provide that connection. I chose #itsourstory to spread the word for two reasons: no matter how isolated you feel, you are never alone and this is part of our culture, our society, and it belongs to all of us. If you would like to contribute, you can find more information here.

I was ten years old. In the 4th grade. It had been the best year of my life up to that point.

I still don’t like to talk about it. Or write about it. Or think about it. Even though I’ve published a memoir detailing the incident and its aftermath, the fight or flight instinct still kicks in. And the silence.

The rapist was my so-called-brother. I’m glad we don’t share genetics. It was cruel fate that placed me in a family with this monster.

He molested me once before. A prelude, although I didn’t realize it then. I was nine. I didn’t say anything to my parents even though I was scared and upset. Doing sick things was so “everyday” for him that I thought it wasn’t worth it. It would only cause more yelling and crying, and I hated drama. Continue reading

Guest Post: I Was Raped at Age 14 #itsourstory

This post is a departure from my regular posts. I have decided to use this platform to allow rape and domestic violence survivors to tell their stories. These posts are not censored or edited, but come straight from the survivor. Some survivors need to tell their story in a safe place, and many others need to know that they are not alone, nor are they to blame. It’s important to me to provide that connection. I chose #itsourstory to spread the word for two reasons: no matter how isolated you feel, you are never alone and this is part of our culture, our society, and it belongs to all of us. If you would like to contribute, you can find more information here.

I was 14 when it happened. My mom had kicked me out of the house (again). I decided to go to the beach because I had nowhere else to go. I didn’t have enough money for the bus so I thought hitchhiking sounded like a good idea. I had never hitchhiked before, but my cousin did it all the time and nothing bad had happened to her, so it must be okay. Right? Continue reading