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Friday, November 30, 2012

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays ...Whatever

I'm curious about this "Merry Christmas" vs "Happy Holidays" controversy. I keep seeing postings on Facebook where people insist we're supposed to say Merry Christmas to everybody, implying that somehow saying Happy Holidays is an insult. In fact, a few years ago I was in a local store and bumped into a high school classmate. I wished him a hearty Happy Holidays! and he jumped all over me. "It's MERRY CHRISTMAS!" he snarled. Oh. Hmm. I see, well yeah, you have a nice Christmas, pal.

At the risk of getting blasted here for "urban sensibilities," I lived in a place for a long time where not everybody celebrates Christmas. They do, however, celebrate many holidays at this time of year: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Boxing Day, and New Year's Eve and Day, to name just a few. I don't really want someone coming up to me and chirping "Happy Kwanzaa!" when I, not being Swahili, don't celebrate that particular observance. So what's so bad about saying happy holidays? It seems to me it's just a nice thing...to wish people a good time on whatever particular holiday they happen to observe. Folks aren't dissing Christmas when they say happy holidays. They're saying, at least from my perspective, "You go ahead and have a nice time in whatever it is you're doing this time of year." So I intend to continue my offering of "Happy Holidays!" and will risk the wrath of those who disagree. 

Speaking of the holidays, don't miss the 15th Annual Holiday Artist Sale at the Earlville Opera House from now until December 22. The sale is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm and Sundays from noon to 4pm. Beautiful handcrafted work from regional artists -- paintings, pottery, weaving, stained glass, metal, wood, quilts, cards, blown glass, jewelry, ornaments, soap, and much more. Remember: buying local is good for everybody.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My guess? After spending my life in both rural and urban areas...is that taking offense to "Happy Holidays" is a backlash against what some perceive to be "political correctness".
Nevertheless, since the world I inhabit is diverse, I don't presume to know or remember what anyone person does or does not celebrate. Happy Holidays seems to catch it all. If I know for certain, I will wish the person a specific greeting.

In any event, life gets easier when we all just lighten up..

About Me

Newspaper columnist; blogger; author of Delta Dead; author of 101 Tip$ From My Depression-Era Parents; author of Australian Fly; editor: ...And I Breathed (author, Jason Garner, former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation), "A History of the Lawrence S. Donaldson Residence"; "The Port Washington Yacht Club: A Centennial Perspective"; "The Northeastern Society of Periodontists: The First Fifty Years"; editor: NESP Bulletin; editor: PWYC Mainsail; past editorial director: The International Journal of Fertility & Women's Medicine; past editor of: Long Island Power & Sail, Respiratory Review; Medical Travelers' Advisory; School Nurse News; Clear Images; Periodontal Clinical Investigations; Community Nurse Forum