With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s essential we talk about the importance of saying “Happy Holidays” to others. This is a matter of remaining inclusive, considerate and respectful to others around you.
It’s unfortunate to hear the statement, “How dare someone tell us that we can’t say Christmas anymore?” or “I’ll say Christmas if I want to say Christmas because that’s what I celebrate!” This argument is a selfish way of thinking and limits yourself to exclude those who don’t celebrate the same thing you do.
When people say “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” it shows that they care about the feelings of others such as, friends, classmates, colleagues and even strangers.
If you know the person that you’re speaking to celebrates Christmas, then it’s appropriate to say “Merry Christmas.” However, if you’re making assumptions, then it’s safe to go with “Happy Holidays.”
People question why this is even an argument since Christmas is celebrated nationwide. Although it may be widely celebrated in our country, not everyone celebrates it.
The U.S. is a diverse country with a multitude of different religions, backgrounds and cultures. Just assuming that someone celebrates Christmas is almost ethnocentric in the sense that you’re placing your culture above another.
This is usually said without knowing the impact of their statement and without the intention of offending anyone. This is why it’s important to bring awareness to this issue and help others understand the significance of inclusivity this holiday season.
During this time of the year, it is pertinent to prevent someone from feeling marginalized or less important just because they aren’t celebrating Christmas.
Saying “Happy Holidays” not only includes everyone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but it also includes all holidays being celebrated in November/December, such as, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Years Eve.
You aren’t losing any Christmas cheer if you choose to say “Happy Holidays.” This is a time to spread cheer and what better what to spread that kind of warmth than to be aware and inclusive to those who celebrate different holidays than you.
To some readers, it may not seem like a big deal to say “Happy Holiday” instead of “Merry Christmas.” However, if your goal is to give well wishes for this season saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is almost meaningless to someone who doesn’t even celebrate it.
Regardless, if you’re wishing someone Happy Holidays, you are hoping they have a positive time of the year. It’s more about the sentiment of the statement than it is about the holiday they’re celebrating.
We all live in this country, so why not make it easier on one another by being more inclusive and empathetic, especially during this time of the year.
With that said, the holidays is not the only time we keep this attitude, but we should apply inclusivity, open mindedness, and respectfulness year-round and for many years to come.
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