The last few years there’s been an uproar over the fact that businesses, TV commercials, and people in general say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” I’ve received chain emails, seen chain posts on Facebook, and even comedian Jeff Dunham has included it in his Christmas Special show. Fox News has even dubbed the phenomenon “The War on Christmas.”
The beef is that CHRIST is in CHRISTMAS, or, if you prefer, Jesus is the reason for the season. Well, I have a few problems with this logic.
I was raised a Catholic, and I celebrate Christmas. I am not, however, under some arrogant illusion that everybody does or should celebrate Christmas. Not everybody believes in God – at least, not the Christian God. Nor does everyone believe what I believe. Quite frankly, I doubt anyone else believes exactly what I believe personally.
My first problem with the “War on Christmas” crowd is they assume “Happy Holidays” is somehow trying to invalidate their holiday. This is sheer arrogance. Christmas is not the only holiday we celebrate this time of year. There is Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. And depending on your faith, you could celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Imagine for a second that you’re Jewish and people just keep saying “Merry Christmas” to you. The intention is good, but that doesn’t mean anything to you since you don’t celebrate Christmas. Now imagine you’re a person who celebrates Christmas and someone says to you, “Happy Hanukkah.” Well, that’s meaningless to you. But if someone says “Happy Holidays,” they are at the very least being inclusive of you no matter what you believe. There’s no confusion. There is no need to clarify that you don’t celebrate a certain holiday. There’s no reason to be offended.
Since there’s no way to tell what someone’s beliefs are just by looking at them, it’s just easier to say “Happy Holidays” than take a poll before making any wishes. The intent is the same whether someone says “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” It’s a wish for happiness. Moreover, saying “Happy Holidays” fits everyone you come across.
It baffles me why some people get bent out of shape about someone saying “Happy Holidays” to them. People mean well when the say “Happy Holidays” so don’t get pissed about it. Take it in the spirit in which it was given. They are wishing you well. Do onto others…and such.
Another thing people should realize before forwarding that “War on Christmas” email or Facebook status is that this country was founded on religious freedom. That means that you are free to believe what you want to believe. It means you can worship (or not) any god you wish to worship. It also means that there is no official religion here in the USA. So I don’t have to believe what you believe and if I want to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” I can do that and there’s not a damn thing wrong with it.
Please, people, stop getting pissed about every…little…thing. Stop forwarding your crap to me. Stop posting stupid chain posts on Facebook. Getting pissed about someone saying “Happy Holidays” to you is like getting pissed about someone saying “Salutations” instead of “Hello.” I know exactly what Christmas is all about. And whether someone says “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas,” that person is wishing you well and you shouldn’t be offended or go off on a tangent. Saying “Happy Holidays” essentially says, “Hey, I hope whatever holiday you celebrate doesn’t suck.”
There is no “War on Christmas.” No one is trying to take Christmas away. People are simply acknowledging it’s not the only holiday people celebrate this time of year.