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Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays?

Written By: Jenn - Dec• 09•11

Reprinted from a post I did on Polite Canada.

I came across a great haiku submission for our “Sensational Haiku Wednesday” meme today, and thought I’d put my 2¢ into the mix.

The Teen and I were discussing the “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” politically correct nonsense just yesterday. Depending on where we would go in our shopping travels, we’d hear both, and more often than not, the “Merry Christmas” would sound like a challenge, rather than the heartfelt sentiment it’s meant to be. The Hubby and I spent a few days away in Pennsylvania this week, and heard the same thing there. In one case I was purchasing a gift in a small store, and the owner handed me my change, looked me square in the eye, and ground out “MERRY. CHRISTMAS.” as though she were daring me to make something of it. Frightening.

How far we have fallen that such simple words can bring us to hurl them as epithets.

The Teen and I both have friends who are Muslim or other “non Christian” faiths (or no religious faith at all, like our family). We got to thinking about those friends, and came to the conclusion that not a single one of them would have a problem with someone saying “Merry Christmas” to them. It would not cause them to recoil from the wisher, make them angry, or cause them to feel insulted. In fact, one of the Teen’s friends is a lovely Muslim girl who makes it a point to wish people a Merry Christmas during this time of year, even if she herself doesn’t celebrate it. She gets it, and she’s still a kid. There is hope for us yet.

Who thought this whole “politically correct” change to the holidays up, anyway? No doubt a group of small-minded, narrow-thinking “do-gooders” who couldn’t bear the thought of a single person being insulted for any reason, and figured it needed a rule. No matter that the kind of person who would be insulted by being wished “Merry Christmas” is likely the kind of person who would find fault or imagine ethnic segregation in just about anything anyway. Fortunately, that isn’t the vast majority of people. All people, and that means people of all race, creed, and colour, appreciate kindness and good will. We are not so different that it could possibly be any other way, except in the small, damaged groups of people who take it upon themselves to cause trouble for people who aren’t looking for it.

Past the obvious Christian roots and meaning to the holiday, Christmas can mean many things, and will depend on those who celebrate it. I grew up and continue to this day to believe that Christmas is a time for family. It’s a time for extra love, extra joy, and perhaps also a time to get past the minor things that caused us angst or hurt throughout the year. It’s a time to celebrate being together, eat good food, and sing great songs. (Unfortunately it also means extra bills and calories, but we don’t need to go there just now!)

I have been wished “Happy Hannukah”, “Happy Kwanzaa”, “Happy Diwali” and many other things throughout the year, and take it all with the spirit in which it’s intended; as a wish for my happiness during a special time.

How can anyone have a problem with someone wishing them well? Let’s stop being ridiculous, people.

Merry Christmas, my friends.


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  1. jenn says:

    I could not possibly agree more! Merry Christmas and a hanppy life to you too! :)

  2. jenn says:

    heh. That would be “HAPPY” life…wish I could blame the typo on some weird smart phone issue but it was just clumsy fingers. ;)

  3. Two sources.

    One, the merchants who don’t want to alienate non-Christmas celebrating shoppers instructed cashiers and staff to wish “Happy Holidays.” Makes sense and hopefully adds up to more cents.

    Two, right wingers looking to stir up angry resentment to use as voter bait. So angry repub voters will get out to the polls and push the repub ticket because liberals won’t let us celebrate Christmas!! Grr!! When in reality, most corporate big-wigs who endorse the Happy Holidays rule are Repubs. Sounds kind of conspiratorial, doesn’t it?

    Sadly, it must work. Repub pollsters must find that their base gets motivated and out to the polls. And there are enough of these disgruntled uber Christians to make it worth the Bill Rileys and Laura Ingrams of this planet to beat the drum year after year.

    Yuck. American stupidity on parade.

  4. carma says:

    Merry Christmas to you too. Things certainly have gone insane haven’t they?

  5. Broot says:

    I say Merry Christmas unless I know for sure that someone doesn’t celebrate it. I’ve had people tell me off for saying “Happy Holidays” when they do actually celebrate Christmas. LOL

  6. And a Merry Christmas to you. As I see it, the only people who complain are not other religious groups, but liberals who think traditional western culture has no right to exist. Being happy in one’s own culture does not mean you persecute others. The world is a beautiful diverse place, yet to use that old New Age cliche, you cannot love others until you love yourself.