It’s that time of year again, the time to start seeing angry posts from people complaining about how the phrase “Merry Christmas” has been banned from use in our society. The posts usually consist of memes bemoaning the fact that we are ignoring the “Christ” in “Christmas” or making some comment about how vile political correctness is or attempting some stretch that Islam is valued more than Christianity in this country — all of these are reasons why nobody is allowed to say “Merry Christmas” anymore.
Gimme a break.
Has it ever occurred to anyone that the phrase “Happy Holidays” has nothing to do with Islam, political correctness, or being a lousy American? The day after Thanksgiving — Black Friday — is the traditional day where people being their gift shopping in earnest. The greeting “Happy Holidays” will start being used pretty commonly starting that day all the way through the start of the new year. “Happy Holidays” encompasses all the holidays many people associate with that time period — Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. “Happy Holidays” also encompasses the holidays of Kwanzaa and Hanukkah which also fall within that time frame. “Happy Holidays” also includes greeting politely those people who, for whatever reason, do not celebrate Christmas. Saying “Happy Holidays” is a phrase that is inclusive of all people, not just Christians who are celebrating Christmas. Christians don’t have the corner on the market of holidays in December; it’s presumptuous to assume all people celebrate Christmas. So when someone wishes you “Happy Holidays” try replying with something equally as kind, like, “Thank you! Same to you!” ‘Tis the season, after all.
I think I actually disagree with you on this one. While you’re right in that “Happy Holidays” is inclusive of (almost) everyone, the problem started when people started getting so bent out of shape over the phrase “Merry Christmas”.
When someone gets upset over being wished a “Merry Christmas” (even when they don’t celebrate it) they’re the ones that need to take the proverbial chill-pill.
There’s nothing wrong with playing the odds on this one: a vast majority of people will celebrate – or at the very least acknowledge – Christmas. Thus, saying “Merry Christmas” shouldn’t be frowned upon by those relatively few who think the world is out to piss them off. I don’t feel that appeasing the minority at the expense of the majority is always the answer. The result is often a watered down message that truly takes away from the original meaning.
I loved the episode of South Park when the kids put on a “the non-offensive, non-denominational holiday play”. There were no lights, no tree, no ornaments or star – all with the intent not to offend anyone which, in turn, ended up offending just about everyone. Censorship, in some ways, is ruining Christmas.