It seems that every year the same debate and controversy arises.
Though the season calls for joy, cheer and merriment, the debate about the war on Christmas and saying “Happy Holidays” rears its ugly head. Why do we get so upset over these miniscule details when we’re supposed to be celebrating the most wonderful time of the year?
When it comes to the ‘Happy Holidays’ vs ‘Merry Christmas’ debate, I can’t help but find the whole debacle ridiculous and childish. I’ve always been proud of the melting pot the U.S. has become and all the different religious holidays that come in it.
Christmas isn’t the only holiday Americans celebrate and it is important to be inclusive and respectful of the different holidays celebrated in the month of December. I’m sure people who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, etc. would like to have their holidays acknowledged and respected during the season as well.
Not to mention the whole debate would be over if everyone recognized ‘Happy Holidays’ as what it is, a polite gesture meant to wish someone joy in whatever holiday they may celebrate.
Of course if you know someone is Christian, acknowledging their faith and wishing them a ‘Merry Christmas’ would be appropriate. Similarly, wishing someone you know is Jewish a ‘Happy Hanukkah’ would also be appropriate.
However, if you don’t know the religious affiliation of a classmate, friend or random person on the street, ‘Happy Holidays’ would be the most respectful response considering you don’t know enough about them to name a specific holiday.
When someone declares the Starbucks holiday cup or the ‘Happy Holidays’ term as the worst offenses on Christmas, I can’t help but think of the business aspect of it.
Companies and stores are aware of the changing demographics of the American people and have began selling vague and inclusive merchandise, such as selling cards that say ‘Happy Holidays.’ This is good business practice and the best way to get as many paying customers as possible. Again, this is not an attack on Christmas, just business.
Even with these changes, Christmas decorations dominate store shelves and you can’t walk into any coffee shop without hearing classic Christmas music. It’s hard to call anything a war on Christmas when it’s still so prominent in our society.
So when someone wishes you a ‘Happy Holidays’ say thank you. Know this is not said with malicious intent, but with kindness and merriment.
Being kind to one another is all a part of the holiday season, no matter what you celebrate, so be respectful and civilized. Be merry, be bright and be kind this December.
To all the Cougars reading, Merry Christmas to Christians, Happy Hanukkah to Jews, Happy Kwanzaa to the African Diaspora community, Happy Winter Solstice to Pagans and to everyone Happy Holidays!
Drink plenty of peppermint flavored drinks and enjoy this time with your friends and family. We’ll see you next semester!
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