America’s political correctness has spiraled out of control. During late November and early December it’s fair to say “happy holidays,” because people are preparing (and shopping) for a variety of cultural celebrations. But from December 20 through 24, why don’t people just say “Merry Christmas”? It’s totally acceptable to mention Chanukah or Kwanzaa, but if you so much as utter the word “Christmas,” people clam up like a teenagers’ palms at a high-school dance. Just this weekend, two separate people at two separate stores wished me a “happy holiday.” Singular. One holiday. Not a season of them. What?! The “holiday” everyone’s avoiding is Christmas. Today is Christmas Eve, tomorrow is Christmas, and the day after that is national Return-That-Sweater-Vest-Grandma-Got-You-for-Christmas Day.
It’s Christmas, people. Just say it. Embrace it. Celebrate it. We all know what December 25 is, so let’s just admit it. Christmas is nothing to be afraid of. But this obsession with political correctness is.
Of those willing to publicly embrace Christmas, gamers would seem to top the list. We’re exposed to controversy every day (Hot Coffee, anyone?), and we continually defend our right to be exposed to it. Artistic freedom, first-amendment rights, yada yada. Sure, Manhunt or Grand Theft Auto San Andreas might offend someone, but gamers are the first to raise their voices and reiterate their right to choose which games to play. By the same token, developers are free to create the games they want to create, and if we find some of them offensive, we simply don’t buy them, and the developer goes broke. It’s a simple formula, and it’s worked for decades.
Yet here we are in the non-gaming world, walking through shopping malls and Targets and GameStops hearing people wish us a “happy holiday” because they’re worried about offending us just in case we don’t celebrate Christmas. Dude, Chanukah’s over, what else do you think we’re celebrating? If we’re offended, we’ll let you know, just like we’ll return that videogame or avoid buying it in the first place if its content rubs us the wrong way.
America is supposed to be a land of tolerance, a melting pot, a freedom-loving country. Apparently Christmas doesn’t fall under those same protections, because nobody is free to say the word out loud or publicly celebrate it. This so-called political correctness is absolutely ridiculous, considering how much the Wal-Marts and Hallmarks of the world have stripped religion from Christmas in the first place. If the evening news is to be believed, the Nintendo Wii and Santa Claus have more to do with Christmas nowadays than a church celebration, so what’s the big deal about wishing people a Merry Christmas? At this point, is it really any different from saying “I hope you’re able to buy everything your kid wanted this year, and maybe even snag that new HDTV you’ve been eyeing for yourself”? Not really.
DailyGame’s editor has been interviewed on network television about the morals and ethics of at least one highly controversial game. The take-away message? Of course some people will find it offensive, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be made or marketed. The same thing goes for Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa: they’re all legitimate holidays, and if someone wants to wish you a merry or happy one, it’s their right to do so. If you take offense, just tell them, ignore them or, better yet, just grin and nod and go about your day. This is a time of year to be happy, to celebrate family and to appreciate the gifts we’ve been given throughout the year, whether you’re talking about toys or technology or religion or games. But this constant pressure to avoid wishing people “Merry Christmas” has reached a point where all the happiness has been replaced by a compulsion to avoid potentially, possibly, and just maybe hurting someone’s feelings.
Well political correctness be damned. DailyGame would like to wish its readers a very Merry Christmas. If you celebrated Chanukah, we hope it was grand, and if your holiday of choice is Kwanzaa, make it a good one. But here at DailyGame, we’re celebrating Christmas. We’re not afraid to say it, and we hope that our game-playing readers can simply accept our greeting and do with it as they please. Because much like a videogame, our greeting only goes as far as you take it. But it’s our right, and our pleasure, to wish a heartfelt Merry Christmas to you and your families in 2007.
— Jonas Allen