Happy Holidays Might Mean… Happy Holidays? It’s Not A New Phrase – Remember, Christmas Isn’t The Only Holiday In Town

Happy Holidays

“Happy Holidays” seems to be a very polarizing phrase these days, but just a few decades ago, it was just a generic way to include all holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s or to include other holidays from other cultures. Today, the phrase seems to be more political, dividing people over whether it’s an agenda to “do away” with Christmas. This is a total misunderstanding by many Christians. Real Clear Religion says it’s OK for Christians to say “Happy Holidays.” The author of the article says that Christians should not feel offended about wishing “Happy Holidays” to others.

The phrase “Happy Holidays” has been around almost as long as the term “Merry Christmas,” but recently people have adamantly objected to the phrase. It seems that some establishments, such as government agencies, retail stores and restaurants, among others, have asked their employees to use the phrase “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” However, contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean they are taking away our rights to celebrate Christmas, really it’s an effort to include everyone in the holiday festivities, because face it folks, Christmas is not the only holiday during this festive season.

So why is everyone so offended by the phrase? First of all, the word holiday itself means “holy day” so what is the big deal about saying “Happy Holidays?” People seem to think its a “war on Christmas.” The fact of the matter is that America is a country of many races, cultures, and religions. When you say “Merry Christmas” to a Jewish or African person for example, it really is pointless to them. If they told you “Happy Hannakah” or “Happy Kwaanza,” would it mean anything to you? Most likely not, so in that illustration it seems more practical to say “Happy Holidays.” Have Americans forgotten that we are a multi-cultural nation, a nation where people are free to worship how they want, and are free to observe what holidays they want? People who celebrate other religions and holidays during this time may feel that people are declaring a “war” on their holidays when the only greeting given them is “Merry Christmas.” What happened to respecting other’s beliefs? Think of a Jewish child who goes to school with non-Jewish children and the class has a Christmas party. How do you think the Jewish child feels about being left out?

And secondly, really what difference does it make whether you say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays”, or, let’s not forget this phrase – “Season’s Greetings?” All of these phrases have the same meaning – they are all intended to convey the message of the holiday season. Just like the recent Starbucks controversy about the franchise removing holiday graphics from their cups and simply serving red cups, the misconception about what is appropriate to say during the holidays should be a non-issue. Just because reindeer and snowflakes aren’t on a cup or someone doesn’t tell you “Merry Christmas,” shouldn’t take away the fact that the holidays are meant for families to get together and reflect on their lives and to enjoy and appreciate one another, whether its a family celebrating the birth of Jesus on Christmas, a family celebrating Kwaanza or Hannakah, or whatever religious holiday they observe, the sentimentality is still the same. Let’s not forget that during this time of celebration. On that note, “Merry Christmas,” “Season’s Greetings,” “Happy Kwaanza,” and “Happy Hannakah.” In other words, and for all the other holidays during this season, “Happy Holidays” to all!

[Image courtesy of Magnus Johansson via Wikimedia Commons| Cropped and Resized | CC BY-SA 2.0 ]