This seems to be a debate every year around this time. Some people say Merry Christmas. Some people say Happy Holidays. Some people get mad if you say the wrong one.
So what’s the big deal?
Well, its about inclusion.
There are so many different holidays in December, and a few in January and November. That’s why it’s called the holiday season. But you already knew that. So with all of these holidays happening all at the same time, why do we say Merry Christmas, as if Christmas were the only holiday happening?
The answer? It’s the most popular holiday happening. It’s also the most commercialized. Christmas has started to become more about buying presents for people than spending time with family. So, large companies can make a profit off of it. That’s why we start to see Santa in the Walmart seasonal section before the pumpkin patches open. It’s not because it’s Christmas time, and everything is happy, its because there’s money to be made.
But I’m not going to talk about money anymore.
Most people know that Hanukkah happens around this time every year, so why don’t we say Happy Hanukkah to the cashier at food lion?
Yule is also a big holiday happening this time of year. But we don’t say Blessed Yule to the customer service jerk on the phone.
This is because we just assume that everyone we encounter is celebrating Christmas. But that’s not true. It’s probably a safe bet, but you don’t actually know what other people celebrate. That’s why we have the option to say Happy Holidays.
Happy Holidays is a generic greeting that includes everyone, no matter that they are celebrating. Even if they don’t celebrate any religious holidays, there’s still New Years.
But many people are against saying Happy Holidays, and are even offended by it. They are calling it a form of oppression for the Christians who celebrate Christmas.
Now, I’ll try not to laugh at these people, but that’s ridiculous.
Let me try to explain it in terms of the population that each greeting applies to.
“Merry Christmas” – Christians, other Christmas celebrators.
“Happy Holidays” – Christians, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Atheists, Agnostics, literally everyone else. (Please notice that Christians were included).
So, please tell me which greeting is oppressive.
Here in America*, we have freedom of religion. That means all religions. Americans are free to practice which ever religion they want. The anti happy holidays people are people who believe that freedom of religion only applies to their religion.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. However, if you are against saying Happy Holidays, then, I’m sorry to break this to you, but you are an ass.
I will greet people by saying Happy Holidays. If that offends you, then I’m sorry that you’re so miserable in your tiny world. But, I’d rather be inclusive of non-Christmas celebrators, than ostracize them to please small-minded people who are incapable of imagining an experience other than their own.
I’ve never been so directly insulting on this blog before**, but I can’t think of a nicer way to say this. I hope during this holiday season, all of my readers are open minded and accepting of the diversity of the people around them.
*Sorry other countries, I know not everyone has these freedoms, but we do and that’s why this is so frustrating to me.
**Insults: Yay or Nay?