Merry Christmas or Happy holidays? This is debate that flairs up every November-December in America.
On the side of “Happy Holidays” you have people and businesses who are trying to appeal to the greatest number of customers. On the side of those who take offense to “Happy holidays” and prefer “Merry Christmas”, you have Christians who feel that “Happy Holidays” is an attack on their beliefs. Some on the “Merry Christmas” side have even gone so far as to call for a boycott of businesses that say “Happy Holidays” as opposed to “Merry Christmas.” I’m not sure about your locale, but you can often find people driving around with the following “Keep Christ in Christmas” car magnets.
It should come as no surprise that I feel that the “Merry Christmas” crowd is acting like a bunch of angry children. Let’s examine the rationale behind why a person might say “Happy holidays” or “Merry Christmas” :
The idea behind “Happy holidays” is simple. There are several holidays celebrated in the month of December. Since it is not easy to tell just by looking at someone what their religion is, it is a polite way of saying “I wish you well in whichever of the several holidays you will be observing.” It’s nice, it covers everybody, and doesn’t discriminate.
Now, for the “Merry Christmas” people who take offense to “Happy Holidays” their reasoning is some flavor of the following reasons:
I celebrate Christmas, therefore my holiday is the only holiday that really matters.
This is my country, founded on my religion, and everyone else should bow down to the superiority of MY holiday.
You can have your little Hanukkah, or Solstice, or whatever, but normal people like ME celebrate CHRISTmas!
To say “Happy Holidays” is to spit in the face of that majority’s cultural tradition! It’s an attack on my religious freedom [read as: freedom to oppress, marginalize, and belittle those of different faiths]!”
Now someone who takes offense to “Happy Holidays” might not hold every aspect of the above self-righteous rage, but their reasoning ultimately stems from one of the above mentioned examples.
When someone takes offense to “Happy Holidays” or any other attempt to include others of differing viewpoints in the seasonal celebrations, they truly are acting like a spoiled child throwing a temper-tantrum. I’m sorry if you feel uncomfortable by the existence of people with differing views. I’m sorry if you can’t stand the thought that your holiday might not be superior to, and deserving deference from, all the other holidays going on during this season.