Can’t we get along, for just a few days

Published 11:59 pm Saturday, December 11, 2010

Days ago, our elected officials came close to an agreement on taxes, which in itself is a miracle. The fringe elements of Republican and Democratic parties are all up in arms, which means the deal can’t be too awfully bad.

So, in the spirit of compromise, I would like to broker a holiday truce.

Three elements exist at this time of year — the happy holidays crowd, the Merry Christmas bunch and the Grinches.

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The Happy Holidays folks will agree to wish everyone a Merry Christmas on Dec. 25. From Thanksgiving until Jan. 2, Happy Holidays is just fine. On the national holiday, though, it won’t hurt to be wished a Merry Christmas, or vice versa, no matter what you believe.

Merry Christmas folks agree to respect being wished Happy Holidays and not feel slighted because of a lack of a Merry Christmas. In this season, let people celebrate whatever they want — Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Festivus or just being alive. Don’t get worked up over a Walmart greeter not saying Merry Christmas on Dec. 4. Be happy for the good wishes.

Just because the Christmas Buying Frenzy begins in October, Merry Christmases are not mandatory at every turn, unless it is Dec. 25. Would you wish someone Happy 4th of July on June 16?

The Grinches agree to leave people alone to celebrate how they want. That means giving up the skewed interpretation of the religion clause in the Constitution. How a manger scene or a menorah in the public square offends anyone this time of year is beyond me. Having police pulling motorists over and escorting them to church is a violation of the First Amendment, not driving by a scene of a baby’s birth with soft lights and angels.

Remember, before long we will be at each others’ throats all over again. Another election cycle will return and the constant drumbeat of all that divides us — black and white, Republican and Democrat, rich and poor — will bang louder and louder.

But for six weeks — a lousy 8.7 percent of the year — we should all just sit back, enjoy the spirit of being thrown together in this world and learn to enjoy one another.

It’s a longshot, I know.

Then again, this country’s founding was a longshot.

And Congress is close to agreeing on something, which is the biggest longshot of them all.

So Happy Holidays to everyone. (And an early Merry Christmas, since Dec. 25 does not fall on a Sunday this year).

Sean P. Murphy is web editor. He can be reached at