One of life's lessons is learning how to pick your battles. It's with this in mind that I write this entry.

I think it's easy to become mired in pedantically correcting the names of things, in trying to reclaim, for example, the names of holidays. Sure it might be a direct invocation of a christian holiday but for the vast majority of celebrants the word "christmas" denotes not the Mass of Christ but the commercial tree-and-reindeer-laden festival of Santa and overindulgence. I don't even have a problem with nativity scenes (Baby Jesus is a part of the pageantry of the season and holds every bit as much real significance as Rudolph and Frosty) as long as an appropriately prominent biblically prohibited pagan-tree is also on display.

In keeping with human irrationality the pointless attempt at changing the name of christmas back to the winter solstice, or an insistance on replying to wishes of "merry christmas" with the words "happy holidays" serves to create an equally pointless rallying point for hard-done-by christian crusaders desperate to make a ludicrous claim to a sort of middle class martyrdom. Forget St Catherine being broken on the wheel, I had some godless probably communist reply in an unorthodox way to my seasonal greeting!

Let's see it for what it is. Just as the christian faith has appropriated "Oestre" to name their highest holy day, so the secular have reclaimed "christmas" to denote a holiday involving snow, presents and hopefully brandy.

If you really must be a pedant then just remember that when someone says "bless you" it's highly unlikely that they really think that your sneeze is an attempt by your soul to escape your body.

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