Near Yellow Mountain

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The "Not PC" Christmas

Before I left the US in early 2000 to spend over a decade living and working in Asia, I always sent my customers around the world Christmas cards. When I lived in Japan I continued to send Christmas cards to customers worldwide and to my Japanese customers I sent "nengajo" or the traditional Japanese New Year cards. When I lived in China I sent Christmas cards overseas and, locally, greetings for several Chinese holidays including Chinese New Year. I did this out of respect for my tradition and the tradition of the culture of the country where my family was living.

My 2015 Christmas Card
 When I returned to the US just in time for Christmas 2010, I found my employer no longer allowed employees to order Christmas cards to be sent out under the company name - the cards had to say "Happy Holidays"- the logic was not to offend anyone. The company no longer allowed a Christmas party. We had a "holiday celebration". In China, we had a Christmas party. There was no stigma associated with saying "Merry Christmas" in the Shanghai office. My American colleagues often spoke about "communist China" yet after more than ten years living outside the US, it was a surprise to me that many Americans didn't seem to notice the freedoms they had lost. When you aren't supposed to say "Merry Christmas" at work in the "land of the free"- perhaps something was amiss......

 I asked my assistant to check closets around the office for old Christmas cards. She found several generations of unsent Christmas cards and I sent them. I was clearly out of step with tide of political correctness in America which is a major reason I am no longer working for my former employer. I never found Christmas cards offended my customers. The "holiday" cards were only a symbol of a society losing its way in the guise of being "non offensive" or "politically correct".

 From most of the past 25 years I have done business with people who believe differently than I do or not at all but I have never felt the need to hide what I believe. I respect the right of others to have faith that is different than mine or no faith at all. I wish everyone a "Merry Christmas" fully appreciating that most of my connections on Linked In believe differently than I do.

I respect everyone has the right to follow their own path but I remain a believer in Jesus Christ. Ben Stein, a Jewish economist, comedian and commentator discusses his perspective on the Christmas and makes the point better than I can. Depending on what country you are in - you may or may not see the Ben Stein video on Youtube. Click once after the "disabled" notice.

 Merry Christmas.