Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas

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.”

christ in christmasThe 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.

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About Twindaddy (328 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

73 Comments on Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas

  1. Yup. You said it perfectly. I’ll still say Merry Christmas, just because, but I don’t care if someone says Happy Holidays. Doesn’t bother me at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t have to imagine being Jewish:) Thanks for posting this, it’s right on point, sir. You have a Happy Holiday;)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one issue I have with some “Bible Thumpers” – intolerance. I say Happy Hanukkah to my friends who are Jews, Merry Christmas to my friends who are Christian and/or celebrate Christmas, and Happy Holidays if I am unsure. Great post, Scott!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Awesome! Thank you!

      Intolerance is my biggest issue with the “Bible Thumpers” as well.

      Like

      • You’re welcome. I didn’t mention Kwanzaa because of this: “The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture… Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday.” For a long time I thought it was also a winter religious holiday.

        Like

  4. As a Christian… I 100% agree. .. I’m not offended by HH or if someone who does not believe in God celebrates Christmas!

    I love your title!!!

    There are so many ways to show love… arguing semantics is not one of them. In my personal opinion… God does not need me to defend Him which allows me the freedom to just love people… even those who think I’m ignorant for believing in such a God. This is what I’m called to do… love… only love. I’m in control of no one except myself and my actions (there is peace and freedom in that truth)… am I going to show love or fight to the death over the phase… “happy holidays”?

    So… Happy Holidays my friend!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nicely said. I haven’t had too much “War on Christmas” bullshit showing up on my facebook (that just means I unfriended the right bunch of assholes this year), but it always seems to me that being upset about Happy Holidays was as stupid as someone telling you to have a nice day. I want to take back my well wishes and replace it with a nice big “screw you” instead.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Yikes – I meant to say as stupid as being upset if someone tells you to have a nice day.

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  7. The main problem I have with Christmas is the over-commercialization and hyperconsumerism we’re told is normal. I don’t particularly like the holiday, but I sure won’t infringe on anyone’s right to express it in their own way. That’s what the Constitution says and what freedom’s all about.

    The problem I think you’re describing accurately here is our societal trend to victimhood and infatuation with being offended. Apparently there’s nothing as warm and comforting as self-righteous anger and drama.

    /soapbox
    I’ll be under my rock on the 25th.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “societal trend to victimhood and infatuation with being offended.”

      YES. Somewhere, someone is being offended…and it’s probably over something stupid. I really don’t get how so many people became so self-righteous.

      The commercialization of the holiday bugs me, too. It, to me, is supposed to be about giving and spending time with family. Instead it’s turned into “Spend all your money! You better get the perfect gift otherwise your an asshole!”

      Sigh…

      Like

  8. One moment while I get you a pulpit…I’m pretty sure this message needs to be preached everywhere. Spot on. Seriously. And Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A no-brainer. People getting mad at this are the same people who got mad at U2 giving them their latest album… for free. “Take this gesture and shove it!” Ugh…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I find that I say “Happy Holidays” or “Have a good holiday” unless it’s Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Eve or Christmas or New Years etc.

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  11. Either way, I’m fine. I don’t celebrate the religious holiday of Christmas, but I do celebrate the American holiday, so they can wish me whatever the hell they want.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Amen. I’m an atheist, but I don’t get all wiggy when people wish me a Merry Christmas. I just feel bad for my Jewish friends this time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well said. I particularly like your graphic 🙂

    Like

  14. Well said. I’m an atheist, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. It’s all about the intention. If someone who believes in a higher power cheerfully tells me to “Have a blessed day,” I tell them I wish the same for them — because their intention is good and their belief is their business. Where’s the offense in wishing someone well?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. When I say “Merry Christmas” it is because I want to share the joy I feel during the season….it is not meant to be offensive to anyone. It is said merely to share happiness.

    Like

  16. Talk about your 1st World Problems …

    Like

  17. Scott, don’t take this shit seriously. They know there’s no war on Christmas! They roll it out every year to fill up space. They cater to their base and pick low-hanging fruit for the sake of ratings. Don’t pay it any attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jesus would have wanted it this way.

    I’m more troubled by The War on Fox News. It amazes me that few people see how it cleverly mirrors the absurdities of the other news channels. I wouldn’t trust the news to tell me what time it is…

    Like

  19. Absolutely! To everything you said here. I think that there is a desire to play the victim card. That’s the only reason I can think that anyone would make the leap from Happy Holidays to a war on Christmas. It also gets the minions that buy into this foaming at the mouth. So I guess it’s a spin/ P.R. campaign that plays into the victim mentality. It’s ridiculous.

    Like

  20. Kristi Campbell - findingninee // December 11, 2014 at 6:24 pm // Reply

    I don’t get why people care if others say “Happy Holidays” to them either. It’s kinda a dumb thing to get worked up about. I mean, really!! Also, I would totally not care if somebody said “Happy Kwanzaa” to me – that might be cool 🙂

    Like

  21. The media tends to get it’s knickers in a twist over a ‘war on Christmas’ here in Australia too from time to time. Judging by the amount of tinsel that goes up all over the place from October onwards in every shopping centre I’d say they are getting into hysterics over nothing.

    Like

  22. You did a great job of explaining this and showing that it’s just about someone being kind and wishing you a Happy “something”. It did bother me when the town next to ours ruled that the Christmas Tree had to be called a Holiday Tree. At least let a christmas tree be a christmas tree for crying out loud. 🙂

    Like

    • A Christmas tree can’t really be confused for anything else. Calling it a Holiday Tree really isn’t right, but not something I’m going to argue about either.

      Like

  23. Sadly I think we just live in a society today where folks just need something to be in an uproar about. Too bad we don’t feel as much passion about things that truly matter. I say ‘Merry Christmas’ simply because I always have. There is no religious anything behind it. If someone was to wish me a happy anything this time of year, I would take it as it is meant…a wish for happiness. Jesus, we should be doing that every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Just another thing to put in that category of crap people need to stop worrying about. At this time of year, whatever people say to me I simply take as a wish for happiness, as you said. You know, unless they’re saying something like, “Hey stupid beeyatch, I hope you get six cans of spam in your stocking.” And then I’d be like, “Listen here, son. You don’t talk to your mother that way.” Just kidding. My son doesn’t know what spam is.

    Like

  25. I’ve been thinking about writing something very similar to this, but I think you did much better. I agree. I’m not the type of person to come out and say any sort of greeting, not even “good morning”, so my rule is …. whatever the person says to me, I say it back. If someone says Merry Christmas, I say that back. If someone says Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah or whatever it may be (within reason….no Hail Satan, or anything) that’s what I say back.

    Another thing I don’t understand is the word “Holiday” literally comes from the two words Holy Day. Why would a right-leaning nut job be upset about someone saying “Happy Holy Day”? I don’t get it. I think they’re trying to turn our melting pot into something a little too bland.

    Nice post, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, BroJo!

      I don’t get it either. I can’t understand most of what upsets people these days.

      (I wouldn’t say Hail Satan, either. I do have SOME standards.)

      Like

  26. You always talk about the “hard” stuff in a sensible and inclusive way. I say “Merry Christmas” but am always happy to receive a “Happy Holidays,” too. Our upbringing sounds very similar…perhaps it’s my old age that has made me more moderate.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. At some point (and I honestly don’t remember when or why), I transitioned to Happy Holidays (versus Merry Christmas). I don’t think it was a conscious thing; rather, it just felt (and feels) right.

    I see the “War on Christmas” messages being shared on Facebook and I honestly just don’t get it. Why would anyone be offended by Happy Holidays? Why would anyone be offended by something that is MORE inclusive? Makes me shake my head. (Not to mention feed my feeling that too many people have way too much time on their hands.) Speaking of which, sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I haven’t had time to write at all, but have been trying to sneak in as much reading as I can, when I can. Hope all is well.

    Like

  28. betternotbroken // December 22, 2014 at 2:07 am // Reply

    The best part to me, is the people waging the war that do not consider Catholics to be followers of Christ as in NOT Christians but INSIST you call it Christ’s Mass. Huh? Do they not realize they do not have a Mass in their church? How about the fact it is an Old English term and not Aramaic? I love Happy Holidays, I see people pleased with themselves for using it because they are working for peace and to include everyone. I also say Merry Christmas if I know it will make someone happy but I will not say it under duress and mandate from The Fox News Crew.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. As a committed (and mental) Christian, I too get annoyed at the people who whinge about Happy Holidays. The word “Holiday” comes from “Holy Day”. There are a great many Holy Days for all belief systems in winter. To me, it seems way more appropriate to wish people “Happy Holy Days”. Even Christianity has more than one Holy Day in Christmas – there are quite a few saints days and other feast days in the Christmas season. But trying to point that out to these people just enrages them, so I tend to try to avoid them these days!

    Like

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