life on the funny farm

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I-Need-Therapy-Thursday: Merry Holidays

A repost from my old blog.....

I took my receipt from the cashier, white-knuckle-gripped the bar on the shopping cart, cast my eyes downward and muttered Merry Christmas under my breath as I sprinted out of the store.


Because I had this inner battle just before I opened my mouth: should I say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? I know that Happy Holidays is the PC way to go. Uttering the phrase Merry Christmas to someone used to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but nowadays I feel more like I've just delivered an insult than a friendly greeting.

Again, why?

I could comfortably wish the same cashier a happy Valentine's Day, even if I was unaware of her relationship status. St. Patrick's Day? I've wished a happy one to every culture and ethnic group under the sun.

Why then do the words Merry Christmas get so stuck on my tongue?

My questioning is purely hypothetical; I know perfectly well why. We've been brainwashed to believe that the merest hint of anything religionesque is to be stricken from our vocabulary. Now, fear not if your religion is in the minority. If fewer than 50% of the population worships alongside you, you may proudly decorate, sing, and greet others in the manner befitting your respective holiday. Your office manager will hasten to display your religious icons on the receptionist's desk, even while stowing away the two foot plastic Christmas tree in the stock closet with the extra TP and lightbulbs. But if you're Christian? Best to keep your household decorations pared down to some white lights and evergreen branches. Candy canes are iffy, but if you're feeling brazen, I say go for it. No reindeer, no Santas, and God forbid, no lawn mangers. Strike the word "Christmas" from the link with ___cards, ___parties, ___pageants, ___cookies and replace with the more anemic "holiday" and you're politically golden.

Well, call me a rebel if you will, but I'm not drinking that Kool-Aid. While I absolutely 100% believe it is wrong for the majority to force its religious views and practices on those who don't share their beliefs, I also think it is equally wrong to villify those of us who wish to publicly celebrate our religious holidays, just because ours is a majority view. If it is right to not just tolerate but welcome the celebrations of others, it is right to allow the celebrations of the majority, as well.

How can we hope for tolerance and acceptance of all cultures and religions if we try to sweep a selective few under the rug and pretend they don't exist?

As for me, I hope to learn about your religion, your culture, or at least enjoy the ways in which you celebrate what is important to you. I hope you extend the same courtesy to me.

Merry Christmas.......

Cartoon courtesy:


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  1. I can relate to this. When I am working it is "Happy holidays" unless of course someone says Merry Christmas first. The older people are not afraid to wish you a Merry Christmas. In my everyday life it is Merry Christmas.
    Merry Christmas to you!

  2. So true Anne and can tell you this I put Merry Christmas on my cards that I send out, purely, because this what I celebrate. If someone doesn't celebrate it that I am sorry, but I am Catholic and that is what I celebrate. anyways, loved your post and so very true!!

  3. I so want to say Merry Christmas, but am now conditioned to say Happy Holidays - it just doesn't have te same warmth. Good post :-)

  4. I don't say "Merry Christmas" either. It's just another one of those meaningless phrases that sound fake to me, like "Have a nice day." At the checkout, I will say "Thank you" and move on. Unless the employee responds with "Have a Merry Christmas," to which I am forced to say, "You, too."

  5. I always say Merry Christmas:) If someone told me Happy Hanukkah I would certainly wish them Happy Hanukkah back (even though I am not Jewish). Happy Holidays to me is combining Christmas and New Years together, since they come just a week apart. But Christmas is Christmas so its always Merry Christmas to everyone. Not wishing to go negative but being offended is not losing a Right. I don't believe anyone should lose their Rights because I might be offended. I am a big girl and can be tolerant if someone believes and expresses themselves differently from me, that's what our country stands for. So I expect the same from others. So live and let live. LOL I am not usually one to get on a soapbox but I just wish for everyone to accept each other and enjoy their freedoms and respect each other.

  6. I think it depends on how comfortable we are. I say Happy Holidays since the season now starts at Halloween and seems to encompass Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Merry Christmas is usually reserved for the day.

  7. it's actually not true that if you are in the minority religion you can display your holiday without a problem - did you know many town Menorahs have been found unconstitutional because they are a religious symbol? on the other hand, christmas trees are just fine because they are NOT considered religious. Being Jewish though, I'd prefer you go ahead and say Merry Christmas rather than Happy Holidays because Hanukkah is not our version of Christmas and we don't need to be wished happy holidays to make us feel included. In fact, our main holidays are in Sept. - Oct. But I'm sure if I was shopping and wished someone a Happy Rosh Hashanah they'd think I was crazy!

  8. Wow, so many interesting points of view! Loved reading every one of them. See y'all tomorrow!



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