On this day twenty years ago – November 29th, 1998 – the boy band *NSYNC released their seminal holiday classic Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. In it, *NSYNC rouses people into the Christmas spirit with the moving chorus:
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
I don’t know about you, but I feel deeply moved. Something about Justin Timberlake’s bleach blonde ramen noodle hair really does it for me.
I am reminded of this song as the holiday season reaches full swing. Feelings of warmth, excitement, and hope abound as we prepare ourselves to share in the love and joy of Christmas with our family, friends, and (most importantly) cats.
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However, if you pause for a moment, you will realize that there, lurking in the spaces between coziness and love and presents and food is the single stupidest, most ignorant holiday-time sentiment, as insidious as it is persistent:
“IT’S MERRY CHRISTMAS, NOT HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!1!1!1!!!1!!!”
Can you believe that in a time where the world is becoming increasingly more connected, and during a time of year that is supposed to be about love and light and togetherness, there are adults who believe that attempts at inclusivity are akin to persecution?
~*The reason for the season*~
Of course, I’m talking about adults who lose their minds over little things like a coffee company ‘taking the Christ out of Christmas’ by simply having just a red cup. What do they actually want? Would they prefer coffee cups with Bible verses on them instead?
These are adults who are unable to handle that not everyone believes in that mystical, mythical sky grandpa–that not everyone in the world believes “Jesus is the reason for the season”?
Actual persecution is prohibitive. It comes with unfair consequences that are justified by those in power. The “Merry Christmas” persecution trope is a nothing more than a bunch of whiny-ass adult-children who cannot handle the fact that their experiences are not universal. They are grown adults who act like they are being stripped of their identities and freedoms simply because they are being asked to consider that not everyone is a Christian.
I have already seen several posts on my news feed sharing this sentiment as some sort of rallying cry for those who think any sort of change is an unending of life as they know it.
This means that it is going to be a long holiday season of people like you and me.
We have to listen to the incessant whines of people who don’t understand that there is a difference between a preference and a prescriptive: saying that as your personal preference you *want* people to tell you “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” is okay, saying that there is only one acceptable expression of holiday cheer for this season and anyone who is not okay with that can go eat a bag of dicks is not.
What I’m saying is this:
If *NSYNC (the inferior of the two main boy bands of the late 90s-early 2000s [BSB 4 Lyfe]) understands that Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays can co-exist, why can’t we?
This article was written by Emily Keusch, who happens to be married to A Science Enthusiast. What are the odds!?!
You can follow Emily (and all four of our cats!) on Instagram as @emkeusch or on Twitter as @emily_keusch.