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05 December 2014 @ 04:50 pm
Joy to the World  

I’ve been seeing that “It’s Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays!” thing going around again, and…

…look. I was young and totally ethnocentric once. When “Happy Holidays” started to intrude on my awareness, I thought it was silly. We celebrated Christmas. Everybody I knew celebrated Christmas. It was ridiculous to use the phrase “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Worse, it was that vertboten of verboten things: politically correct.

I was an asshole, in that regard. I have no idea when I got over myself. A long time ago now, as I became increasingly aware that everyone I knew did not, in fact, celebrate Christmas. I personally became happier with Christmas cards that said season’s greetings or happy holidays, because they conveyed joy and good wishes to a wider spectrum of my friends than the phrase Merry Christmas did.

Because let’s face it: there are innumerable mid-winter holidays, plenty of which predate Christianity. Maybe the person saying “Happy Holidays” is Jewish and doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Maybe they’re an atheist and they’re tired of perpetuating the presumption that somebody who says “Merry Christmas” is of the dominant religious sect. Maybe they’ve met people who feel belittled when their personal mid-winter holiday is overrun by the assumption that everybody celebrates Christmas, and are trying to do their part in offering joy and happiness to the world without making anybody feel left out. I don’t see how any of those can be considered bad things.

It’s not persecution if you personally celebrate Christmas and somebody says “Happy Holidays” to you instead of “Merry Christmas.” The correct response can be “Thank you, you too!” or “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Hanukkah!” or “Happy Solstice!” or whatever feels most natural to you, but “that’s not the right way to greet me at the holiday season” seems a bit mean and narrow-minded for a time of the year when we’re supposed to be filled with good will and kindness.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Jenindiana_j on December 5th, 2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
...have you cross posted this to FB because I feel such a strong need to share this (/beat some people over the head...)! This was exactly what I've been thinking!
kitmizkit on December 5th, 2014 07:15 pm (UTC)
It was someone's post on FB that caused me to write it. I fear it might be too pointed for me to repost it there, but you can certainly link to it. :)
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on December 5th, 2014 07:37 pm (UTC)
when they return to human sacrifice at the Winter Solstice...
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on December 5th, 2014 08:00 pm (UTC)
LOL...I was planning to do that this year...
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on December 5th, 2014 08:03 pm (UTC)
I grew up Jewish and became a Pagan as an adult. "Merry Christmas" has never been appropriate for me. I'm polite and always say, "Thank you, you too" to the folks who wish me a Merry Christmas, but you'd better believe that my cards say "Happy holidays."

A Pagan friend sent out a holiday card last year with his kids' pictures and the words "Happy Everything!" I kind of liked it :-)
Merlin Of Chaosmerlinofchaos on December 5th, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC)
To be fair, the vast majority of the people really prosecuting the War on Christmas are the people offended that we're "taking Christ out of Christmas" (never mind that the church put Christ into a pagan holiday in order to subsume it) and it's really about religion.

There are a few people who, due to youth or simple "everyone around me" bias don't really see it as a religious issue, but the ones *really* pushing it? They do. It's them trying to make the world us (Christians) against them (non-Christians, particularly atheists) and guiding the dialogue along that path.

The ones who don't understand it can grow up and get over it (yay for those who do) but the ones who do?

Well. They're the same people offended if you don't say the "Under God" part of the pledge of allegiance. They'll come up with all kinds of ways to try and defend it but it always boils down to evangelism and how, to them, "Freedom of religion" really means "Freedom to spread my religion as wide as possible."

But I'm not bitter. Or anything.
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on December 5th, 2014 10:56 pm (UTC)
I tend to say something like 'I hope you have a good time over the holiday season' because while I like the idea of Happy Holidays, it sounds a bit too American for me.