What's wrong with the world besides me? This Christmas season there are some department stores that are restricting Santa Claus' use of the term "Ho Ho Ho". They actually claim that this famous laugh by children's most beloved character may offend some women. Apparently the term "ho", even if used during a laugh, is a degrading term for certain women. No real alternative has been offered but I presume that they prefer a more politically correct term such as "professional woman of the night". Some might think it strange for Santa to bring up a questionable profession while laughing or for carolers to insert a comment about prostitutes in the course of spreading Holiday cheer, but if this makes these stores feel like they have protected women from hearing degrading names all throughout the ever lengthening Christmas season then I am all for it.
Okay, in case you do not sense the sarcasm in my (writing) voice allow me to tell you that this whole thing is pure claptrap (that is a thesaurus word for nonsense). This is one of those issues where some people make issues out of non-issues especially in light of the fact that Santa has been saying "Ho" long before rap music popularized a new use of the term. It is like when stores say they will not say, "Merry Christmas" because it is too religious and in the process they offend even more people than they would offend if they used the phrase in the first place. This over-reaction is also like when Christians boycott stores for saying "Merry X-mas" thinking they are proving a point (when in actuality the "x" in Christmas is the Greek letter that begins the word "Christ" so it is actually a Christian abbreviation).
The point is that people over-react too much. Just this week I was talking with a world-renowned archaeologist who writes for the journal "Biblical Archaeology Review" and he was criticizing the large number of pastors who cancel their subscriptions when the review publishes information that goes against their assumptions about the Bible. He told me that he just couldn't understand how pastors could have such weak faith. Here was a Jewish man saying that these Christian pastors should have a strong enough faith in Jesus to not be affected by information published in a journal. As I walked away from that conversation I thought about his point and how much I agreed with it and how much I see this overreaction everywhere.
I walked out into the cold Jerusalem air and thought that this would be a great year of celebrating the birth of Jesus here in His homeland. With Christmas less than one month away, the cold air and the lights (for Chanukah) put me in the "Holiday Spirit". I thought that all I needed was some Christmas music so as I walked to the bus stop I turned on my i-pod and I listened to 2 Pac sing "Ho Ho Ho". And now I am in the Christmas mood.