A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Sunday Morning Post (V.2, #49) - Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Funny you should ask...

My oldest dearest friend is a widowed, retired teacher living in Merseyside.  We have long corresponded now down through the years via mail.  Recently we were unsure if postal communications would still exist at this point in the year and we switched from letters whenever to weekly e-mail updates.  Recently she asked me this:

“Because of being surrounded by bad news I have been watching a lot of feelgood films, many of them Christmas themed with a happy ending so here's a question for you: over many years I have noticed that in American films or TV programs people are wished "Happy Holidays" rather than "Happy Christmas". Is that a thing based on religion, i.e., the person being wished the greeting may not celebrate Christmas or is it for another reason? I've always been interested.”

I responded:

I was used to hearing both expressions growing up.  I would use them interchangeable and, like most Americans, probably never gave a thought if the recipient of our greeting was delighted or offended.   I realized as I grew older that many people I encountered did not celebrate Christmas and I would make it a point to say Happy Holidays more often than Merry Christmas.  Over the last few decades, businesses and merchants went the safe route as well and began using the words Happy Holidays in their stores so as to not offend their non-Christian clientele.

Then an evil curmudgeon by the name of Rupert Murdoch invented Fox News.

This international broadcast news company started a campaign some years ago that Christians had the right to be offended if they did not hear the greeting Merry Christmas.  They have called this "The War on Christmas” and use it to rile up their right-wing conservative viewership.  They argued that Christians should not turn the other cheek, or just treat others as they wanted to be treated as Jesus taught us.  The Fox News Christians now get in other people's faces and demand that they say "Merry Christmas."  This has always struck me as being and acting "un-Christian".  These people have only gotten more militant over the years and I am not looking forward to see how they behave after this year's election.

As for myself, I will accept either Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays as a greeting.  I don't allow myself to get offended since I realize that whoever is greeting me is only a fellow member of the human race who is not wishing me ill will or harm.  I wish more people thought like I did, but they don't and I accept that as well.

I will also add today that I am also grateful and never offended if someone wishes me “Have a nice day”.  My rationale: we live in a society chances are about equal that the people we meet everyday will either wish us a good day, or shoot us just because they have the right to own a gun feel they have something to prove.  Given those odds I will always graciously accept a good day wish.

(Thank you for reading.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and please have a nice day.)


Blogger Ur-spo said...

Good day to you

December 13, 2020 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger anne marie in philly said...

I have seen "seasons greetings" being used back in the 1930s.

there are SO many winter holidays; we should all try to be more inclusive of diwali, solstice, hanukkah, xmess, kwaanza, boxing day, new years. or nothing at all.

December 13, 2020 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm all for inclusivity! Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated at this time of year.

December 13, 2020 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Mistress Maddie said...

I have always said Happy Holidays and then the week of Christmas generally say Merry Christmas. Or Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends. None of my friends of color celebrate Kwanza.

Like everything else from shows to movies, to fashion and it seems everything, everything is over thought, and blown to proportions and dissected to bits. If some tells me any holiday greeting, I ain't offended.

Like Anne Marie. my one grandmother always used Seasons Greetings. You very seldom hear that anymore.

December 13, 2020 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Dave R said...

Mostly I say Happy Holidays because I know and work with quite a number of people who are not Christian. The holiday has become quite secular, and it also gives me a chance to piss of Christians.

December 13, 2020 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

And a good day to you, Spo.

I forgot all about "Seasons Greetings, WQ. Yes, this works as well.

Happy Holidays, Debra.

Thank you Maddie and Happy Holidays.

Good thoughts, Dave R. I would try not to piss off all of the Christians; just the arrogant ones.

December 14, 2020 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Happy Holidays encompasses all the holidays that occur this time of year, so is that such a bad thing to say?
I think not ... Happy Holidays!

December 14, 2020 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Travel said...

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, I am like an old dog, I will respond to anything as long as it is said in a kind voice.

December 15, 2020 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

No, it's not a bad thing, Bob. Happy Holidays to you!

Thank you, Travel. The tone in the voice just mean a lot.

December 15, 2020 at 12:52 PM  

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