No tree with decorations, no fat guy in a red suit, the songs of my childhood can't be sung in school...when did this happen and why did it happen?

I grew up in Minneapolis in the 60's and 70's. My circle of friends in elementary school were just kids like me as far as I was concerned. I look back at pictures now and see two of them were African American, one was Jewish, one was Catholic, another a Jehovah's Witness...you get the idea. We didn't differentiate based on religious upbringing, race, color, creed, financial standing or anything else other than we wanted to be friends.

So if I wanted to go to one friend's house for the lighting of the Menorah and have them wish me a Happy Hanukkah, I was cool with that, and still am. My friend Soma (he told us it was African for 'King". We were 8, I honestly don't know if it's true, but I've always remembered it) invited me over to his family's home for Kwanzaa. I was cool with that and would be today too.

What I'm saying is that I think everyone should be able to believe what they want and celebrate (or not celebrate) any way they want. It just seems like I shouldn't have to worry about who is going to be offended when I wish you a very Merry Christmas, because the intent behind the greeting is universal in whatever language, belief and celebration you honor. I just want to say I hope you have a great month.

Peace.