Saturday, December 15, 2007

too politically correct

Today I took the kids to the mall to buy kid suitcases. (We're going on a trip with them to Disneyland next May, and they got to each choose a suitcases as part of their Christmas gift)
So there we are, in the midst of mall santas and over caffeinated shoppers, having just completed our purchase, when my youngest says Merry Christmas to the sales lady as we walk away.
Now what would you think the correct response would be such a sentiment from a 5 year old? A smile, and a nod, perhaps a "merry christmas to you too" back?
She told my 5 year old: " You should say happy holidays, since not everyone celebrates Christmas".
My daughter just looked at her with a blank expression on her face.Then she looked up at me. I could see the sales person waiting for me to echo her sentiment, and to use this opportunity to teach my child the 'correct' way to greet someone during December.
Instead I am going to teach her how to distinguish old bags from regular people.
Having a discussion about politically correct Christmas greetings is not a discussion I want to have with my children. In fact it ranks right up there with the conversation about why Jake in her class has two daddys.
It's not something I'm getting into with 5 year olds.
Here's my question to you:
How far are we going with this politically correct crap? You tell me! Why can' t a child say "merry Christmas" to another without being given a lecture? Why are we being sensored?
I don't get it.
Even if someone else doesn't celebrate Christmas, that doesn't mean we have to hide the fact that we do. Why would that even be offensive to someone? It shouldn't be.
It's not like I'm putting someone else's beliefs down.
I can talk like this because I experienced first hand what it is like to move here, and be a minority. I came to this country when I was 14. I had to learn a different language, different customs and different traditions. I have never felt insult if a tradition was different than mine. I was the one who moved here, if I didn't like it tough! After all, I chose to move here!
And that is exactly why I hate how careful we've become as a nation to not offend any minorities with our opinions, our traditions and our culture. You know what? Most people who moved here from another country, have had bigger problems than being offended by someone celebrating Christmas!
I refuse to teach my children to apologize for who they are. That doesn't mean I don't want them to be sensitive to others, it just means they don't have to be scared of sharing their opinions too.


Mrs. Monkey said...

I am offended at the audacity of the woman to correct someone else's child. I would have told my child, in her presence, that I was offended at her attempt to censor my child and then given her the look.

Yes I think they are trying to hard to be politically correct. In my job, the clients call it like it is and that is the terminology we use.

I am with ya. I am NOT having those conversations with my children for strangers.

Sayre said...

At 8, my son is well aware that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Within our own family there are people who celebrate Chanukah, Ramadan, Christmas and Three Kings Day. With the exception of Ramadan, we gladly join in. We've been to a menorah lighting and just tonight we made potato latkes (though I know Chanukah is over). He doesn't hesitate to say Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah and thankfully, no one so far has had the chutzpah to "correct" him. He knows that we would back him up, though - so doesn't worry about it.

I.A.M.L. said...

Mrs.Monkey - I should've told her my opinion, but instead I was just dumbfounded.

Sayre - I think it's fantastic that your son recognizes so many individual celebrations. That'll make him sensitive to everyone's feelings yet still able to join the festivities should he want to.

tweetey30 said...

Yes exactly. She had no right saying that to your daughter. She should have just said Merry X-mas back and let it go at that and let you explain the difference when you are ready if you ever will be. I am with ya on the converstations of those and others coming along faster than we want them to be. I have had a conversation with Kora already explaining why grandma sleeps with another woman. That was messy really. She asked I answered. Then she looks at me and says that is gross mommy. LOL.. Cant even put in words what the look on her face was when she found out.

luckyzmom said...

Wow! I can't believe anyone would be so rude. I would like to think that I would have made a big stink, asked to speak to her supervisor, etc. But, I probably would have wished her a merry Christmas in a very loud voice and walked away explaining to my child how and why she was inappropriate. Perhaps she was passing on the instructions she was given, inappropriately so. She was being unkind in any religion!

HamiHarri said...

Aww...I feel badly that your little one didn't get a Merry Christmas (or even, dare I say, a "Happy Holidays" back) I grew up in Ontario, and have only lived in BC for the last couple of years. If you want to witness ppl being very aware of not saying "Merry Christmas" watch some Ontario news, or work for the Ontario government - or even some banks ;) They do not say "Merry Christmas," but Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings instead. I was actually very suprised ppl in BC have Christmas parties (I work for the BC gov) and don't have "Holiday" parties or seem to celebrate something other than Christmas...interesting...

IAML - I wanted to let you know Maui was AMAZING - although we didn't elope ;p Instead of the simple, meaningful ceremony between the future hubs and I, I was making it into something waaay bigger than it was supposed to we're just going to have the big one in June ;p But I DO plan on renewing my vows on a Hawaiian beach SOME day!

I.A.M.L. said...

Tweets - I cannot even imagine having that conversation with my daughter...more power to you!

Luckymom - I know what you mean! I should've had a clever comeback, but I wasn't expecting it.

HamiHari - I didnt realize Ontario was so politically correct, wow.

By the way, I'm glad to hear you had a good time in Hawaii...was thinking about the eloping ;-)

Eileen said...

I did have some stuff to say, but your very wise fellow bloggers have said it all. My kids celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas (as you know). They love it (because they get double presents, no doubt).
I really liked the comment from luckzmom, in a loud voice say merry x-mas to her. Ha! I love that!
The nerve of some people to correct other people, NOT acceptable in my books...certainly not to a 5 year old. The phrase 'I am your mother, this is how we do ?in our lives' works for me.
A lot of this boils down to respect. Teach your kids about respect and they won't have to worry about being 'politically correct'.
Hammiharri is correct when she says that Ontario, especially Toronto, is very caught up in how to be correct. Yah, I want to plan a 'I'm white and straight' parade here, that would go over big. Hahaha!

I.A.M.L. said...

Eileen - I peed my pants a little bit reading that. LOL . Oh MY GOD! "i'm white and I'm straight" parade.

who'd go on the float I wonder? Hehe...too funny.

Awesome Mom said...

I hate it when people correct my child in front of me. I am so on the same page as you with all the PC crap too. If someone wished me a happy Kwanza or any other holiday that I did not celebrate I would smile and thank them politely. That is good manners, not correcting a child.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

What a B! I might have had to say something to her! (Yeah...somebody's getting coal in her stocking!)

The PC craze has grown to ridiculous proportions! I refuse to walk on eggshells just in CASE I might hurt someone's feelings!


Jazz said...

Oh for pete sake. People really need to give it a rest.

If you're not into Christmas, tell me happy hannukah or Kwanza or nothing at freaking all, why the hell would I be offended.

As for banging it into the heads of 5 year olds, point the old bag out so I can slap her for ya.

I.A.M.L. said...

Awesome mom - maybe it's a generation gap thing. I'd never correct another mom, but my mom would probably stick her nose in where it doesn't belong.

Queen - Yes, i was hoping you'd send some of your royal advisers over here and give me some advice on how to act with old grumpy bags.

And by the way, Merry Christmas to you too :-)

Jazz - You're right. I am of similar thought as you, I would not be offended if someone wished me 'happy wednesday' but I didn't celebrate 'wednesdays'...especially if it were a child. (by the way, how are you holding up with all the snow you're having?? i've been watching the news and thinking of you)

Anonymous said...

I want a white woman month. I want a fat woman month. I want everyone to be aware of what I want and follow along with my wishes. It offends me and I find it politically incorrect that people don't do and believe as I want them too. As if!! I mean who gives a diddly shit what I want?

That sales woman needs some mega customer service classes as do most of the clerks today.

Why has it become so dammed politically correct for us to accept everyone elses ways, traditions and rights at the expense of our own? Enough already. Why should I respect their beliefs if they cannot honor and respect mine? I shouldn't.

In the USA our basic laws are written under the direction of the beliefs in the Christian Bible (the Bible is not just another book to most of us or at very least to our forefathers) which is why all of the foreignors have been welcomed into our country melting pot instead of being turned away or left in the ocean on a boat to float...thus I think we should be able to have our beliefs and not worry if they are offended. They came here and for the most part were welcomed and they can head back to their native lands where their laws and beliefs lay (any time they want) and then we won't offend them when we say Merry Christmas.

What a stupid, stupid woman. How crass to say that to a 5 year old. Apparently she doesn't realize that she is politically incorrect by reprimanding another persons child or by shoving her personal beliefs down someone elses throat.

Ticks me to no end.


Who gives a hoot if we are politically correct anyway. I follow my conscience not whatever way the politics dictate this week.
They change with the changing of the wind.


Vancouver Voyeur said...

I've said Merry Christmas to a sales person before and was told, "thank you, but I don't celebrate Christmas, I'm Jewish." To which I replied, "oh, well then, Happy Hanukah!" She smiled and said thanks. I think telling a 5 yr. old to be politically correct in some cases can be okay, if it's a situation which really could hurt someone's feelings, but I don't believe the holidays are one of those occasions.

La Cremiere said...

bloddy hell, I would have given that woman such a scolding. This form of PC is just plain disrespectful for people who do celebrate! It does happen top be Christmas, if they don't like it, move to a country that doesn't celebrate, cunt.

Evel said...

I would have looked at my sweet little 5 year olds face and say, "Don't mind her sweety, she is what we call a heathen."