Erin's Journal

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Just a thought... Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. [Jack Layton]

A quick update: as you may have seen on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (I do get around), a speaking engagement has been booked for Oakville on February 25, 2019. I was astounded to learn this (via Twitter!) but later the same day, equally shocked to discover it was sold out. I know, it's not Wembley Stadium, but still, it felt pretty amazing.
 
So we'll fill you in tomorrow once I've heard from HarperCollins regarding any other appearances (there will be some) and how to go about getting tickets. I promise you'll learn about it here first. Okay, so now to today's journal....
 
Think about it: one month today, Christmas will be over. For better AND for worse. I am so grateful to get your feedback about last week's "Friday Fave" (the sunrise lamp) and there's another one on the way this week: something I'd only read about and thought, Oh, that's neat.... But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Still Monday.
 
As always, the fake "War on Christmas" has raised its ugly head, although with Bill O'Reilly mostly out of the picture, the rhetoric seems to be carrying a little less momentum. I'm convinced the whole religious persecution thing was spread by Fox with the same glee as the vile Birther movement against President Obama, just to divide people. Boy, didn't it work, though? And while I am a firm believer in a meme I ran across a few years ago, we met a woman last week who most definitely is not. I don't know who wrote it, but it read:

No one said you can't say Merry Christmas. Some people choose to say Happy Holidays to be inclusive to everyone. No one gets offended when you say Merry Christmas. There is no War on Christmas. Just say something nice and people will be happy. It's really pretty simple.
 
Chill. Be happy.

Last week in the pre-Thanksgiving rush at Costco, Rob and I found a rare parking spot and observed as a woman who was likely in her 80s struggled to unload the heavy contents of her cart (which we couldn't help noticing included a Kirkland brand bottle of vodka - complete with handle). We asked the tiny lady, whose hair was perfectly coiffed, her makeup maybe a little heavy, if we could help her unload. She thanked us and when we were finished, she said, "Merry Christmas. I still say that."
 
We responded in kind and I added, "You always could."
 
I realized at the time it might have sounded to her ears as though I was saying, "Back in the good ol' days, that's what we all said!" but what I meant was, "No one says you can't, honey. That's just made-up garbage to help you hate people who might have different beliefs from yours."
 
At least, that's what I thought at the time.
 
My sister works for a very large multi-national retailer, famous for paying its employees so little that they have to use the food bank to which shoppers donate within their stores. (That job, it seems, is about to become another line in the history of employment on her résumé, thank goodness.) When I posted my opinion on the bogus War on Christmas, she informed me that her store told employees only to say Happy Holidays and not Merry Christmas.
 
I find that hard to believe, but I guess if she says so, it's true. It's also sad. I think that whatever anyone wishes you, if it's said in the spirit of kindness and goodwill, it should be allowed. I suppose store employees should have to stick with whatever is most widely acceptable to everyone, but honestly, if someone wished me a Happy Hannukah (and I'm not Jewish) I would say thank you and wish the same thing back. I don't have any problem with people just being nice no matter what time of year it is! Isn't it all about the "thought that counts?"
 
For another, much more pointed blog on the War on Christmas, you definitely want to read John Pavolovitz's take on it. This guy's goooooood. 
 
Talk to you here tomorrow.
 
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(@erindavis on‌ Twitter)

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