Monday, December 21, 2009

Why I don't like the phrase "Happy Holidays"...

... or any other generic, all-inclusive greeting.

It's not that I don't want to be inclusive. It's that I want everyone to be able to celebrate their own holiday without someone else getting offended. Everyone.

As a Christian, yes, my holiday at this time of year would be Christmas, and so yes, I choose to greet others with "Merry Christmas".
If you choose to reply with "Happy Hannakuh", "Happy Kwanzaa", or even "Merry Festivus"... then so be it.

I am so tired of hearing how sharing a happy greeting, any happy greeting with someone is offensive.
I'm also tired of hearing non-Christians make comments like "I wonder how they would feel if the tables were turned.
Go ahead! Please do! Turn those tables! Greet me with the greeting of your holiday!

If I wish you a Merry Christmas, it's not because I'm trying to offend you, or because I'm trying to ignore your beliefs, or because I'm trying to convert you or anything. It's because Christmas is a big deal to me, and I want to share that with you, if even in some tiny minute way, by wishing you a Merry Christmas as well. I want you to share in the joyousness of what this season means to me. I want you to be as happy about what Christmas means as I am.

And if you want to share your holiday with me, in even a tiny way, then... Thank You! Thank you for caring enough to want to share something that is important to you, with little ole me!

I just really wish we would stop watering this stuff down, making everything so politically correct. Wouldn't it be a better world if instead of pretending like none of us have a specific holiday to celebrate, we all take joy in seeing each other celebrate whatever holiday we want? Without worry that we might be offending someone by doing so? I think it would be.

So... MERRY CHRISTMAS to each of you. I wish you & yours a very happy holiday season.


Beth said...

I'm a fellow nestie. I just wanted to say Thank you- thank you so much for spelling out exactly how my heart feels. This is perfectly said. Merry Christmas to you and yours and may many blessing fill your home this new year!

I was so touched the other night while shopping and to people actually cared enough to wish me a "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays" between that and their genuine smiles tears filled my eyes! Such a magical moment!

sarah said...

I think you're missing the point of saying these greetings. The purpose of wishing someone a Merry Christmas isn't about sharing your holiday with them - it's about sending good wishes to them for the holiday that they celebrate. While I wouldn't go so far as to say it's offensive, I do think that wishing others a Merry Christmas just because that's what you celebrate seems a bit selfish. If I am Jewish, why would I wish you a Happy Hannukah, if I know you celebrate Christmas? That would be like me going around on my birthday telling everyone Happy Birthday. That's why people in public who you don't know wish you Happy Holidays. To me, that's a way of saying, "I don't know what holiday you might be celebrating, but I hope it's a good one," rather than wishing a Merry XYZ that you don't even celebrate.

As you said, "Wouldn't it be a better world if instead of pretending like none of us have a specific holiday to celebrate, we all take joy in seeing each other celebrate whatever holiday we want?" If I know you celebrate Christmas, I will gladly wish you a Merry Christmas. But if you're Jewish, I will wish you Happy Hannukah. and if I don't know what you're celebrating, I will wish you a Happy Holiday. That's my way of wishing you joy in whichever holiday you may celebrate.

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