26 December 2008

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

Not Saying Merry Christmas is like Denying Christ and Denying Christianity

by Austin Cline at About.com

The single biggest issue for Christian Nationalists may be the use of the generic greeting "Happy Holidays" over the Christmas-specific greeting "Merry Christmas." I don't think that a couple of years ago anyone was saying that it was designed to undermine Christianity or even that it excluded Christmas and Christians. Today, though, people like Lou Dobbs claim that saying Happy Holidays is a deliberate attempt to exclude Christians.

Why has the phrase "Happy Holidays" become popular? Over a period of many years Christmas has become less of a Christian-centric holiday and more of a generic cultural holiday. It is celebrated by many non-Christians in various ways and the religious connotations are lost even on some Christians themselves. Christmas isn't very "Christian" anymore.

More important, however, is the fact that America has become more religiously diverse....

Read the rest of Austin Cline's article Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays


J Cosmo Newbery said...

I structure my greeting to the receiver's views, not mine. Anyway, even if they are not Christians, it is still Christmas time and there should be no offence in that. Holidays are a truncation of holy days. I wish my Chinese friends Happy New Year on my new year, as well as theirs.

Thursday relates to the Norse god Thor; should I not greet someone on a Thursday if they are not born again Vikings?

Bah humbug.

C Woods said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C Woods said...

Reposted to correct typos:

I agree with Austin, that we are not just celebrating one holiday. We also celebrate the New Year, too. Some people celebrate more than one holiday because of family members who belong to different religions. If I don't know someone well, I cannot determine which greeting to use. Thus, Happy Holidays encompasses them all. I don't understand how a kind greeting of any kind, given with sincerity, can be offensive.

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