Happy Holidays

December 17th, 2011

By Jan Barry

Combat Paper Project


Combat Paper Project


Artwork on this greeting card was designed by Walt Nygard, a fellow Vietnam veteran; typesetting on the back is by Eli Wright, an Iraq war vet. 
The cards were handmade and printed by Walt, Eli and me at the Printmaking Center 
of New Jersey as part of a Combat Paper workshop.

(This article was also posted at EarthAirWater.)

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9 Responses to “Happy Holidays”

  1. larry |

    Merry Christmas and God bless you as well as all others here at Opinion Forum. Be you Christian, Jew, Muslim, or non-believer, God loves us all. Be sure to check out His last minute conversion policy. Kind of a stay out of “Hell” plan.
    Your card states your view but fails to mention the holiday that your using to endorse you particular agenda.
    Another point of contention. Your organization needs to make it clear that you don’t speak for the vast majority of America’s veterans.
    Jan, I have great respect for you. You’ve been around O.F. for a long time. Having said that, I must speak up in defense of Christmas and main stream America.
    Once again let me wish you a Merry Christmas.

  2. Jan |

    Merry Xmas, Larry. I grew up in a Methodist/Dutch Reformed/Baptist family; the folks who farm the field behind my folks’ house are Amish; my partner is Jewish; neighbors down the street are Muslim (as is our town’s mayor); the Ethical Culture center is around the corner; my good buddy Tom is a professed agnostic! America sure is diverse when it comes to defining divinity…

  3. Jan |

    Oops, I almost left out my Catholic late wife; my Vietnam vet buddy who’s Russian Orthodox and celebrates Christmas in January; Vietnamese friends who are Buddhist; Indian friends who are … well, I can’t keep up with it all, frankly. So that’s why I say to one and all, Happy Holidays!

  4. Tom Carter |

    Like Jan, the friends and acquaintances of my life have been of all religious stripes, including none at all. One thing is certain, judging from people I’ve known and people I know about, religious belief doesn’t mean a lot in terms of how many individuals behave and deal with others.

    Larry seems to speak from a standard Christian, probably evangelical, point of view. God loves us all? Really? What we see around us and all over the world doesn’t provide much evidence for that. If one believes in the Christian form of God, it’s hard not to see that he’s pretty cruel and heartless.

    I like the Christmas season for many reasons, even though I attach no religious significance to it. There are billions of people in the world who don’t subscribe to the narrow beliefs of Christianity, so what’s wrong with saying “Happy Holidays” in recognition of that fact? Personally, I go with “Merry Christmas,” and it doesn’s mean anything at all in regard to religion.

  5. Dan Miller |

    I prefer a hearty “Merry Christmas!” when addressing my Christian friends and a hearty “Happy Holidays!” when addressing any non-Christian friends whom I consider likely be offended by a “Merry Christmas!” There are not many in the latter category, it costs me nothing and, if it brings them some pleasure, it’s worth every penny.

    Still, being at least somewhat irreverent (not to mention irrelevant), I occasionally want to pull their chains a bit; then I reverse the greetings due to premeditated wickedness, never asking myself “What would Jesus say?”

    An Agnostic, neither greeting offends me unless I think it was compelled by political correctness — among the most offensive bits of putrid offal now infecting Mother Gaia.

  6. larry |

    Jan, Tom
    Thanks for replying. I expected the standard litany of diverse friends that can and do celebrate Christmas. Neither of you disappointed me although you both failed to mention the Mormon faith?
    My concern is the fact that the holiday has always been a celebration of the birth of Christ. Both of you seem to be trying to ignore Christ but at the same time celebrate the season.
    I don’t doubt that either of you will argue the accuracy such a statement. My claim is based on the worldwide belief that the birth of Christ and the season are synonymous with each other.
    Faith and freedom of expression(opinion)is what we are all about. Right?

  7. Jan |

    Well, Larry, I did leave out my son who on any given week is Mormon, and on other weeks is exploding another religion; my aunt who lives in Israel praying for an end (literally) to the world; and other kin whose religious feelings I won’t try to characterize. But when I was growing up, Santa Claus was the epitome and center of Christmas. And that’s the figure I see most in the holiday displays lighting up the night in cosmopolitan NJ. So maybe the most universal greeting of this season is “Ho Ho Ho!”

  8. d |

    Merry Christmas to all! Come on people,why does it offend anyone to say,Merry Christmas,anyway.That’s what we always said,until,political correctness,and Dan,that is exactly what you are doing,with a greeting for each religion, or lack thereof. I say bah humbum! to all who mind,Merry Christmas,and Happy New Year. Wow<I am glad to know there is still hope for you and Tom,Dan,agnostics,not athiests.:)
    By the way, Mormons say,Merry Christmas,believing that Christ is the son of God, and the true reason for his namesake,Christmas. I am not Mormon,but have a few relatives who are. I do not believe in organized religion,and choose to worship our god,in my own way. Jesus wouldsay,I bet, you should proudly proclaim,Merry Christmas,then try to convert. I think,just let everyone worship however and whoever they would like and for God's sake,don't fight and go to war over religion. Can't we all just get along? Right.

  9. d |

    Oh,yeah,Tom,you can’t blame God,for the stupidty,and sheer evilness,of men. God helps those who help theirselves,and all those starving children and deserted,harmed babies,he’s not to blame. The mere mortals are in charge of that. I sincerely hope he does not forgive all who ask. I know,not too Christian of me.

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