The Christmas season is here and consequently it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. In addition to my annual weight loss resolution, I have decided that 2006 will be the year for Jim McKiernan to be more politically correct.
Starting with Jan. 1, I will begin a new effort to make sure I do not offend anyone with my typical jargon. First on the list will be a look at what I call various holidays. Heck, if the president of the United States can become politically correct in sending out “holiday” cards, maybe I should, too.
First, for all those holidays named after important people, it would seem more appropriate to name them “Important Person Day.” One example is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is celebrated the third Monday of January. I consider him to be a very important person, right up there with former presidents. So let’s rename that day, “Very Important Person Day.” That way I won’t be offending someone who might not agree with my assessment of Dr. King’s importance.
We have Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays in February, celebrated on Presidents’ Day. But you know, some people may not agree that the president is an important person, so let’s change the fourth Monday in February to another Important Person Day.
I was thinking that renaming Valentine’s Day to be more politically correct would be a good idea but honestly, I don’t want my wife to make me sleep in the garage with the dog after reading this so I am going to leave that one alone.
St. Patrick’s Day in March might need to change as well, since I am sure there are some people who don’t believe in Leprechauns. Me being the Irish fellow I am, I am concerned that the non-believers aren’t offended. So maybe we will just call that “Green Day.” Green is a color many people are using to describe good things and that way we aren’t pushing the Irish thing.
There are a couple of religious holidays in February and March that we may want to think about. Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Easter might be a bit too controversial. I’m sure that vegan groups would want us to think about something other than eggs on Easter. But with all my political correctness this will probably mean I need to refrain from mentioning these holidays in public. I will have to keep my views on religion to myself.
Mother’s Day, wow, that one could really get me in trouble. There are likely a few people mad at their mothers for some reason. Maybe they made you eat your brussels sprouts, or even worse, cow tongue, so maybe I should consider renaming this to another “Important Person Day.” Actually, I think I will take the same tact on this one as Valentine’s Day since I really enjoy a Mom-cooked meal still.
Memorial Day is a celebration of those who have served our country. Well, it’s likely there are a few people out there who don’t think sacrificing a person’s life for their country should be recognized. I really am having trouble finding a new, politically correct name for this, so for now it will remain Memorial Day.
Father’s Day in June follows the same rules as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. But honestly, we could call it “Fishing Day” since it would be a great day to go fishing with my kids. But that would make the vegetarians mad because I don’t typically throw back my fish; I eat them.
Independence Day … OK, what do I rename this to keep from offending people who think we should still be British subjects? We can’t name it “Fireworks Day” even though I really enjoy blowing stuff up on that day. Maybe we can just call it “Birthday” to symbolize the birth of a nation. I don’t think the British will get too upset with us over that name.
Labor Day, in September, is another important holiday. It celebrates what makes this country great – the hard-working men and women who worked to better themselves and their families. This is a tough one to change. In celebration, maybe we need to actually work on that day and call it “Working Day.” Nobody disagrees that hard work is good for a person … do they?
Halloween is the epitome of political incorrectness but a great reason to eat candy. I might go out on a limb here and not rename this one because I really like trick or treating.
I just hope the neighbors don’t call the cops on me when I show up on their front door next year in costume with my bucket held out.
We have Veterans Day and Thanksgiving in November. The Memorial Day rule may apply to Veterans Day, leaving it Veterans Day, but Thanksgiving … well, that one will have to change. I have a lot to be thankful for and will continue to quietly give thanks, eat turkey (sorry vegetarians) and watch football. But my drapes will be closed to assure I don’t offend someone.
Finally, I come to Christmas … oops, the holidays. Darn, it seems that nobody wants to celebrate the life of Christ. States are asking schools to take God references out of the Pledge of Allegiance and our own president, who touts himself as a religious man, didn’t make reference to Christmas on the White House “holiday” cards. I didn’t get one this year, maybe because of some editorial or because I didn’t make the list of “Who’s Who” of Snoqualmie Valley publishers. But that’s OK, I’m not sure that getting a card that says “Happy Holidays” from the president would have had as much impact as “Merry Christmas.” Personally, I can’t quite bring myself to the point of that change, so for the McKiernans it will remain “Merry Christmas.”
There are other things I probably need to be more politically correct about. I’m sure my boss would prefer I didn’t wear tennis shoes to corporate meetings. I might need to trade in the diesel-guzzling behemoth I drive for one of those battery-powered golf carts that are the new rage. I should probably take down the C-9 Christmas (I mean holiday) lights that I put up each year since they send my electric meter into overdrive. I will put up some of those wimpy twinkly lights that use less electricity so they save a few more fish that maybe I can catch on “Fishing Day.”
For those of you who think I am nuts … I can’t think of a special comeback for that … you are probably right. But the more I think about being politically correct … to heck with it. Consequently, I will probably tell you “Merry Christmas” in the next few weeks.
Oh, and Howard, I promise to keep wearing tennis shoes to corporate meetings.