If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Merry Christmas!!!!

There has been a lot of furor over 'Christmas' vs. 'Holiday' this year. Lowe’s got slammed for having fresh cut Christmas trees available for Spanish speaking customers while English speakers got fresh cut Holiday trees. (Lowe’s has since changed their signage.)

The American Family Association has urged people to boycott every store that doesn't have 'Christmas' in their signage, which shakes out to a big chunk of major retailers in the U.S. I thought that was excessive, since people are out buying gifts not only for Christmas, but also for Hanukah and Kwanzaa. People with no religious affiliation whatsoever buy presents and put up trees and lights. Some strong Christians refuse to celebrate Christmas because of the pagan beginnings of so many of our traditions, and because there is a strong leaning that Jesus was not born in December, but more likely March or April.

When I was in retail (Lord, thank you thank you thank you I'm not in retail this year) I tried to tailor my greetings to the customer as much as possible. If they were wearing a cross, they got Merry Christmas; if they had on a Star of David, they got Happy Hanukah. (I usually got a big smile after that one.) If I wasn't sure, I usually used Happy Holidays because I know that if this was a gift giving holiday affiliated with, say, Ramadan, I'd be sick and tired of hearing about it. Jesus told us to treat everyone the way we wanted to be treated, so if they weren't obviously affiliated with a Christian faith, I erred on the side of political correctness so as to avoid offending a person (not a customer; that was secondary).

Having said that...

I'm not a historical scholar, so I may be very wrong, but here's my take. Gift giving was started by Christians. Over time, it has snow-balled into what it is today, but it was a Christian idea to give gifts at Christmas. Since it was originally for Christmas, I feel like everyone who celebrates it, regardless of religious belief, should be prepared to hear Merry Christmas for a good six weeks at the end of every year. If they don't want to hear it, or if they're going to be offended, they shouldn't celebrate it. Don’t shop before December 25th; take advantage of the after-Christmas pre-New Year sales. Retailers who don't have 'Christmas' in their signage are biting the hand that feeds them. That doesn't mean I won't shop there necessarily, but it won't stop me from wishing a Merry Christmas to everyone in the store. What are they going to do, kick me out?

I know people like to say that one person can make a difference. I think that's idealistic, but I'm willing to run experiments. I pledge that this CHRISTMAS season, I will use only 'Merry Christmas' and not some watered down version. I will wish a Merry Christmas to my customers at the restaurant (the few that I have since I only wait tables in times of extreme desperation), and I will use it whenever possible in social and shopping situations. The only exception will be if someone is wearing the Star of David, since Hanukah is rapidly following in the footsteps of Christmas. If you'd like to join me, please feel free to leave comments and let me know how it's going.

We'll see what happens.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Post NaNo

It's been a busy couple of days. We did some Christmas shopping yesterday and put not one but two bikes on lay-away. They each picked their own; that's why I can blog about it and not give away a surprise!

Today I went to work, helped with a retirement party, and then made six dozen enchiladas for a bridal shower. (Not by myself; I had help.) Now I have about half an hour before I have to go to handbell rehearsal, and I have to eat first. Hmm.

Just got a call from Mom. She, the Stepdad, and the Dog are coming for Christmas. They had talked about coming the week before, but I'm guessing there is no bowling the week of Christmas so they wouldn't have to find subs. Whatever, the reason, I'm glad they'll be here.

Note to me: Dust the piano.

Off again!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


The story isn't done yet, but the first 50,010 words are. That's good enough for today.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

45 down

I have three days to do 4,986 words. Definitely do-able, especially considering I did over 10,000 words since Thursday with minimal angst.

I am the Obscenely Wealthy Heiress *snork!*

Oh, look, and she has red hair! Thanks for the laugh, Tambo!

Which generic smut novel character are you? (With somewhat relevant pictures!)

The Obscenely Wealthy Heiress

Poor dear, all alone in your opulent estate, with no one but a tight-fisted, controlling prude of a relative to keep you company. Perhaps you can entreat some strapping young lad into educating you in the ways of the world.

Personality Test Results

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This is what my to-do list looked like at 6:00 p.m. yesterday:

Put up outside lights before it rains
Clean garage enough to get van in
Get out tree
Put nativity on mantle
Go bike shopping*
Base Exchange--shaving cream, blades, dinner at food court
Shred old manuscripts
Write--break 42,000 words

Yeah, you're reading that right. The laptop didn't even get fired up until suppertime, so the fact that I did over 2,000 words made me happy.

I did take a break to decorate the tree with my family. They're tough--they want Mom to participate in family traditions. After all, I can write anytime, right? Hee hee; tell that to my muse...

*This is for Alex, who is taller than me, weights more than me, and wants a 20" bike with pegs on the sides so he can give his friends rides. He test rode one yesterday; if we buy him a clown suit we can rent him out for toddlers' birthday parties. Incidently, before you buy a bike for your kid, do yourself a favor and go to a professional bike shop. Ask questions about what will and won't hold up for what your kid will do with the bike, and never underestimate the torture a kid will put a bike through. Apparently things I never thought about matter, like the number of spokes and axle size of the tire, which is why a 170# kid can give his friends rides on a 20" bike.