Sunday, December 04, 2005
My Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays StoryIf you haven't noticed, the religious right has been utilizing this holiday season to spout off their rhetoric about the "end of Christmas." Stories and postings appear here , here , and here , as examples. Of course, these so-called conservatives never met one of my old bosses, the CEO and president of the the oldest Texas-owned long distance company.
My old boss had to be the biggest Republican on the planet, as were his close advisors within the company. Not knowing his political leanings, it was this company that provided me a summer job in 1990 after my freshman year of college--a summer job that turned into an 18 month stint. I was the billing clerk--in other words, I processed, printed, and literally packaged and stamped the over 15,000 customer invoices, including the business invoices which were rather huge (and sent UPS).
Being from a small south Texas town, I hadn't heard much about the insider politics in either Party. I knew I was supporting Mama Ann and the rest of the Democratic ticket. Come January, 1991, I wondered why all the managers had these long faces while the soon-to-be Governor Ann Richards was making her way over the Congress Avenue bridge on her trek to the steps of the Capitol for her swearing in. The smile on my face gave my political leanings away, but this big-time Republican was at least happy that I voted, unlike most of his employees.
Later on, when I had gotten the hang of doing the bills, I started to notice who the actual customers with the HUGE bills were. They included the conservative Party in Texas (not the Democratic one) and the call center/agency of...well, I won't mention names, but he is now a senior advisor to Dumbya and is under watch by a certain grand jury in D.C. Yeah, that guy!
Anyway, it was also at this company owned by a big-time Republican that I got my first dose of political correctness. You see, the owner was a practicing and big-time Jehovah's Witness. This meant Christmas wasn't celebrated..AT ALL! No mini-trees on the call center desks, no gift exchanges, we couldn't even say "Merry Christmas." I walked with him from his big Beamer in the parking garage (to carry some of his packages, of course) into the 111 Congress building and saw his disgusted face when he noticed the biggest wreath any human being ever saw, along with the 15 foot Christmas tree in the lobby of the building. He didn't say a word, but his facial expression said it all.
It was at this company where I learned to say "Happy Holidays." Growing up in a Catholic household, all we knew was Merry Christmas. We knew we had a Jehovah's Witness cousin, but we never knew to say "holiday" or anything else, if it even came up. But at the company owned by one of the biggest, wealthiest Republicans, it was all about political correctness. And you complied, or you could get automatically fired!
So, whenever you read or hear some so-called conservative whining about "Christmas being stolen" in favor of "political correctness," print them out a copy of this story, or tell them they haven't met Stace's old boss. In my little world, I learned political correctness from a hard-core Republican and not, in Republican terms, some "tree-hugging, immigrant lovin', terrorist-defending, welfare-givin'" liberal.