Most people think this is the biggest way to differentiate between “merry” and “happy” is simply that. Don't get mad at a bakery that's selling "holiday" versions of their sweet products instead of "Christmas" ones, they're just out to make money. Merry Christmas OR Happy Holidays? Anyway, I totally agree that putting up a Nativity scene in a public school cafeteria is inappropriate, but what's wrong with some wreaths and holly, since they're Pagan in origin anyway? Merry Christmas and Happy Christmas are both greetings used during the last part of December, around Christmastime. In other words, I was brought up to believe in God, to celebrate Christmas, to worship the baby Jesus and to long to visit Bethlehem and see the special shining star that guided the Magi to the inn those many years ago. I sang in the church choir. Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas is a moot point. Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas. This move was met by significant opposition, causing Wal-Mart to change course in 2006 and subsequent years, where it began using the term “Merry Christmas” once again. And, I grew up and expanded my world view—having friends from different races, learning about other kinds of belief systems and understanding the various ways and forms that God appears to others. Breadcrumb Trail Links. Wal-Mart actually began encouraging the use of the term “happy holidays” in place of “Merry Christmas” in 2004 and 2005. God is Buddha, Mohammed, Yahweh, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Mother, Father, Husband, Friend, Stranger, ET (the extraterrestrial) and Enemy. Let's face it, there are a lot of Holidays towards the end of the year. Sometimes I say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Posted November 24, 2016. “Merry Christmas” is used in the U.S. while “Happy Christmas” is used in the U.K. But I think there are more and better defenses. d: "Z3VhcmRpYW5sdi5jb20=", Even many Native American tribes had midwinter celebrations that happened to coincide with Christmas long before they met any Europeans. Of all the things happening in the world, this type of disagreement should not be one that activists take a major stance on. Variations include “happy Christmas” and “merry Xmas” (where the “X” stands in for “Christ”). Why not put more up, of every December holiday you can think of? seems to indicate a persecution complex on the part of the listener. + qs; My mom always went all out for Christmas, and to this day it’s remained one of my favorite holidays. Instead of embracing another opportunity to walk in love, many would rather argue a ridiculous point of view. They see it as a war against Christmas itself, if I am interpreting this debate correctly. You may hear the phrase “Merry Christmas” around the world, including in England. Also, most people don't think about another's feelings enough. Each deserves to be acknowledged and respected. Happy Holidays, Round 2,016, Top Image Courtesy of tengrrl’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License Merry Christmas vs. You don't tell people "Happy Birthday" unless it's actually their birthday. var qs = Object.keys(params).reduce(function(a, k){ a.push(k + '=' + encodeURIComponent(params[k])); return a},[]).join(String.fromCharCode(38)); Also, several U.S. chain retailers, such as Walmart, Macy's, and Sears, have experimented with greeting their customers with "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" rather than with "Merry Christmas". According to these books, the phrase "Merry Christmas" is a far more importantpart of our literary culture than "Happy Holidays." The German teacher got in trouble for teaching us 'Stille Nacht'. If you live in an area with mostly Christians, or if you know someone has a Menorah and not a Christmas tree, you can generally feel safe with a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah.” Which, for the most part, was what everyone could agree on. }; I want to advocate for the God whose name is being blighted and whose glory is being shoved as far from public circles as possible. Be nice; it's the perfect time of year for it. Light a gigantic fire, get together with friends, eat, be merry, and parrr-tay like there's no tomorrow, because in those days there was truly a chance there wouldn't be a tomorrow for you. "Happy Holidays" is not a bad thing. By M. Smith. I sent him back an email saying that maybe a Happy Holiday message could be sent instead, so that we could focus on our similarites (Holidays) instead of our differences (Christmas). I would not presume that you would impose your beliefs or choice of celebrations on me. Don't get me wrong, I'm right with anybody who argues that being p.c. For example, you might say: Have a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year! The early Christians adopted the birth of Christ into the pagan holidays of the time. To most Americans, though, the holiday season is thought of as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, and all the days in between. It is something I can honestly wish everyone I know. For example, when “it doesn’t matter” is included as an option, 63% of Republicans or those who lean Republican say they prefer “Merry Christmas,” while 5% choose “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” and 32% say it doesn’t matter. The first word of each is only capitalized when used as a greeting. Because they are clowns, that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous. The path to “heaven” has many roads, many teachers and many ways to hear the right messages. And, as a result of my broader education and opportunity to think for myself, I am no longer Catholic. Think of it this way: “Happy Holidays” includes Christmas as one of those holidays, and “Merry Christmas” leaves out everything other than Christmas. This is all good except they must have forgotten Christ was not an original ingredient of this season. It must take the most intolerant and mean-spirited of people to take offence to that. I lived in a white, suburban Christian community. d.getElementById("contentad622858").appendChild(s); Ilana Mermelstein can be reached at imerm@umich.edu . There is only one choice. They are often inundated with Christian stickers, metal fish symbols on their vehicles, and sporting their Christian t-shirts, as the real world continues to pass them by. Maybe they should read a few of those write-ups here. That day is truly Christmas and nobody, not Jews, Muslims, Atheists, corporations, or the Government, can ever ever take that away from you. Nor would I expect that you would do the same to me. That was part of my catechism, it’s in the Bible, it just makes sense. Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters. Don't take all the decorations down! Perhaps that's taking it a bit too far. Culture 'Merry Christmas' versus 'happy holidays': A tale of two expressions. var params = That is the tragedy of this whole debate on Happy Holidays vs Merry Christmas - many are greeting others based on fear rather than greeting them. When living in America during the December holiday season you may have noticed a little more than just Christmas trees, Santa hats, and other festive decorations. The Atlantic: Merry Christmas vs. Well, now they just call them Winter Oreos. And, for the most part, that is what it still means to me. Even still, without any research or foundational information, many have succumbed to the default belief that Xmas should be viewed as offensive. I still think “O Holy Night” is one of the best Christmas songs there is (and I try every year to hit the notes as purely as the best singers do). Happy Hanukkah! 0 . Not all people celebrate the season the same. This helped continue the celebrations and festivities without ignoring the Christian religion. One of my values—supported by my early teachings from families and teachers and constantly reinforced by everyone I respect—is that I should “do unto others as I would have done to me”. Hence the question, “What would Jesus do?” Surely, he would want people to display loving behavior toward everyone — especially if they are different. Five emails later, the closest I can get to this guy understanding me is his reply wishing me a happy Hannukah and a Very Merry Christmas. Save the statement for when you mean it. I see it as a way to wish people well on all of the holidays they celebrate this time of year, a shorter way to say "Have a Merry Christmas/Hanukkah/Ramadan and a Happy New Year." By a large margin. What makes this a dumb debate? With all of the chaos going on in the world, that energy should be used to unite the already divided church and love the unchurched. In other words, we got the secular versions of holidays. is going way out of control these days, but I don't necessarily think that wishing somebody "Happy Holidays" should or could be lumped into that. There was no singing Silent Night in choir class for the holiday concert. By Cherese Jackson on December 22, 2017Comments Off on Happy Holidays Versus Merry Christmas and Other Dumb Debates. All content copyright © original author unless stated otherwise. Obviously. But, I believe firmly in separation of Church and state. Should we greet each other with vague holiday cheer or specific Christmas-related well wishes? In the 18th and 19thcentury when Christmas began to be more accepted in popular culture. Merry Christmas refers, specifically, to the Christmas holiday, celebrated December 25th. Besides the parenthetically mentioned All Hallow's Eve, you have Thanksgiving (both Canadian and American), Chanukkah or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, St. Lucia, St. Nicholas Day, Ramadan, Juletide, Weihnachtszeit, Dagur nemenda, Winter Solstice, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, and Christmas, just to name a few. So, before getting bent out of shape this season, one must ask, if a letter cannot really replace the Son of God, why are they offended? I don't think it's overpandering to political correctness. You have the right to say it, and don't worry you always will, it's just that it's not always appropriate. It won't be in the november-december bracket for another 9 years or so.". It is important to understand that some Jews actually get pissed when you wish them a Merry Christmas; that node actually touches on some of the things I'm going to go over, but not all. It seems like, if I believe the chatter I'm hearing on the radio and television this month, that a lot of Christians are getting up in arms about rampant political correctness in the form of a war waged against "Merry Christmas," in favor of being all-inclusive with "Happy Holidays." (function(d) { In Culture Exchange. Inline Image Courtesy of Erin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas is a moot point. I prefer Happy Holidays. Today, I got an email from the alumni director of my high school. So, using Happy Holidays is not anti-Christmas, it … I've tried to cover every aspect of the debate, but I probably haven't. I'm sure that somebody out there, maybe somebody on E2, might be thinking "But, you're missing the point, what about...?!" "Inclusive" isn't a bad word. To interpret it as 'Hey Jew/Buddist/Muslim/Whatever, why don't you believe in Christ for a change!' Still, try to at least understand what I have said. Calling, always calling, not understanding, but calling still. This season, I want to greet people the way I want to without being afraid of criticism from others. I have friends that are Muslim. This is a great place to highlight another dumb debate – Xmas. The ecumenical symbol originated in the early Christian church and has since become a source of disagreement for followers of Jesus. But I don't think saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" has to do with any of that. How to Use “Merry Christmas” “Merry Christmas” is a traditional greeting used to express good tidings during the holiday season. Bottom line: if you don't know someone well enough to know what they celebrate, either don't wish them anything or just wish them a Happy Holiday. I believe that now in a profoundly different way than I did when I was young and believed everything that I was taught by my early teachers. There was no day off for Yom Kippur. I was raised a Catholic—attended Catholic school through high school.I lived in a white, suburban Christian community. themanwho says: "oh... you can remove ramadan. And compared with five years ago, a growing share of Americans (52%) say it does not matter to them how they are greeted in stores and businesses during the holiday season – whether with “merry Christmas” or a less-religious greeting like “happy holidays”. With all of the chaos going on in the world, that energy should be used to unite the already divided church and love the unchurched. Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors. Keep in mind that you're being quite paranoid if you think that people are trying to stop you from saying "Merry Christmas," like there's a Holiday Gestapo out there ready to suit up and beat everybody down who likes to say it. Merry Christmas everyone! Christmas has almost arrived and while it is time to exchange pleasantries — this year it would be mostly virtual meet-ups and couriered presents due to the coronavirus pandemic. Christmas is conspicuously the only time of year when the word “merry” receives heavy use. In other cases, the Christmas tree, as well as Nativity scenes, have not been permitted to be displayed in public settings altogether. I was raised a Catholic—attended Catholic school through high school. Why Americans Say Happy Holidays Vs Merry Christmas. Instead, it falls under the “dumb debate” category that surrounds the glorious season of Christmas. They don't realize it, but, yes, it can be actually a Big Deal. Nobody's trying to pass laws making them do this, they do it on their own because, generally speaking, businesses try to make as much money as they can. Part of the whole new issue of having to specifically wish people a Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays is relgious profiling. Is it too much to expect the same with the celebration of Christ’s birth? In addition to Christmas, there is Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, and the newly minted secular HumanLight. Not once mentioning that I was Jewish, or impling that I was offended, just sort of an FYI thing. 0. wid: "622858", Do you wish people a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holidays? And, I respect your path to God, despite what name you give her. Most people will say something along the lines of: Oh, sorry. var p = 'https:' == document.location.protocol ? She would jingle bells while I was “sleeping” aka staring at my ceiling waiting for Santa to come so that it sounded like Santa’s sleigh. So Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, Feliz Navidad or even Happy Xmas; whichever works, just make sure it is a time of sharing, caring, joy and peace. The debate is different, though, when you get into situations where schools are taking down Christmas decorations, be it an earnest effort to be politically correct or to avoid a lawsuit. So, where am I in the controversy over “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays”? Everything2 ™ is brought to you by Everything2 Media, LLC. There seems to be renewed debate this Holiday Season over "Merry Christmas" versus "Happy Holidays." Why can't "Happy Holidays" mean wishing you well on all of the holidays you celebrate this time of year? Try to see it from that perspective. And try to consider what it'd be like to be Jewish or Muslim and feel left out, being bombarded with images of Christmas everywhere, even though a lot of them have nothing to do with Christ. some Jews actually get pissed when you wish them a Merry Christmas, The Preoccupation with Qualifying Opinions, Some Jews actually get pissed when you wish them a Merry Christmas, Sometimes it's not political correctness, just respect and caring for others, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems, Winter solstice is the reason for the season, Thank you for not knowing me at all, Captain Shallow, The Dalai Lama's response to terrorist attacks on the United States. The perennial debate gets a new coat of cheer from Donald Trump. "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays": A Summary of U.S. Holiday Greetings. One reason is that I view the church’s teachings in many areas as just wrong. As a Christian by culture but not by belief, the few occasions I have been wished a 'Happy Hanukah' I have felt warmed by the fact that someone wants to extend the good feeling of their own culture and beliefs out to me, I love it. I am Jewish. The phrase "Merry Christmas" refers to a specific Christian holiday, while "Happy holidays" covers the winter holidays from a variety of traditions. It's a simply a marketing strategy. And I appreciate it. My husband is Catholic. And don't get upset at a TV station that airs "Happy Holidays" bumpers during commercials. So let me end by saying Happy Holidays! Actually any time is a perfect time to be nice, but that's another whole argument in and of itself. You shouldn't necessarily be afraid of offending them, but keep in mind that even if you don't piss them off, you're going to be telling them something that's totally meaningless to them, something they can't relate to. One of the teachings is that the church is the “one, true universal church” and that only people who are Catholic in good standing (e,g, confession, weekly Mass, no mortal sins) can enter the gates of heaven. But I digress. Well of course, it’s all down to “political correctness”. It is a traditionally Christian sentiment. If somebody were to wish me a Happy Hanukkah, I wouldn't be upset, but I'd look at them with a blank stare and maybe say "Um...well...OK." Of course we're all human, we all err, and we slip up from time to time and I don't think anybody should jump all over your ass if you wish them a Merry Christmas when they don't celebrate it. I say Merry Christmas a lot. Ultimately, life boils down to what people make things mean, not what others say. I don’t know about you, but I want to stand up for this Christmas season I love. In good conscience, I can no longer accept that notion. Making Christmas Oreos will likely only sway customers who are Christian. Just say the greeting you think is best. She was as extra as they come with Christmas. I sang in the church choir. For me, it isn’t about saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays." Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are the three major holidays that can be found in December. In other words, I was brought up to believe in God, to celebrate Christmas, to worship the baby Jesus and to long to visit Bethlehem and see the special … The start of December brings with it many different holidays that are celebrated across many cultures and religions. The holiday season in Windsor-Essex is centred around Christmas, but not everyone celebrates it. Or Muslim? Maybe put up paper depictions of the Festival of Lights candle, too, as well as "Christmas" decorations? Happy Holidays December 22, 2017. Happy Holidays! How no-one dares to say “Happy CHRISTMAS” in public anymore? For the most part, only Christians are in their circle of peers. That adds up to more paying customers. Christians are wasting energy on the same “Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas” useless chatter. So I switched to happy holidays, to which I was yelled at because of the war on christmas. God is anyone or anything that helps me grow and learn about myself, my world, my responsibilities and my reason for being. The Bible Study Site: Why is Christmas shortened to XMAS? He was wishing them a 'Blessed Merry Christmas'. There were 'vacation days'. Too many Christians are so Heaven bound; they have no connection with the people they are supposed to evangelize. When somebody says "Happy Holidays" to me, it means that they are wishing me well on all of the November/December holidays that I celebrate or mean anything to me. Why say Merry Christmas to somebody unless it's actually on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and unless they actually celebrate that holiday? 'https' : 'http'; id: "440c396f-3561-4a33-985f-879a46a8d585", Each of us must find our own path, our own teacher, our own way to hear the messages that will take us to the promised land. My favorite Christmas song was “O Holy Night”. Whether it’s “merry Christmas” or “happy holidays,” they say the same thing: I hope you have a happy, healthy holiday season. Why would you want to wish somebody a Merry Christmas who you know is or could possibly be Jewish? People have used this greeting since at least 1534. The dumb debate over whether one should say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy holidays” has been going on for decades. Most of the people who fight for “Merry Christmas” are Christians who want to “put Christ back in Christmas”. Merry Christmas vs. Author's Note: I realize I may be preaching to the choir here given the liberal and diverse nature of E2, but we are being Googled a lot lately and more and more our messages are reaching the entire world. "Happy Holidays" is a catch-all phrase that really just prevents the person saying it from looking stupid. Trump and the conservative media machine is telling you that liberals want to make saying Merry Christmas illegal. Happy Holidays? Happy Hannukah. It is the last that bothers me the most. })(document); on Happy Holidays Versus Merry Christmas and Other Dumb Debates, Missing Indonesian Plane Crashes Into the Java Sea, Insurgents Plan Riots Ahead of January 20th, Capitol Hill Riot (Fueled by Alternative Facts) Confirms Two Americas, Manhunt in California for 6 Escaped Inmates, PGA Pulls All Golf Tournaments From Trump Owned Courses [Video], Kudos! out beside it and dare them to reveal themselves. Merry Christmas! Every year, around this time, the same debate comes to light. Therefore, I wish you a very “Happy Holiday”! There are many holidays around this time of year because in the beginning or the middle of winter, midwinter celebrations used to be essential in the days before modern technology where winter truly meant death, lots of people died from exposure to the cold, and you truly didn't have enough food unless you'd stocked up. I was taught that God is ubiquitous—that God is everywhere and in everyone. When one is speaking of a happy or merry Christmas, the adjectives are lowercase. Happy Holidays, Round 2,016. Makes you sick, doesn’t it? Some pro-Merry Christmas people are saying "What's the big deal? I have arrived at some insights that have caused me to view the “Christmas v. Holiday” controversy in a very different light than I would have in the 1950s and early 1960s. Trump, Obama and the War on Christmas A look at how the phrases "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" were used under President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama. Sometimes I say Seasons Greetings. However, the resilience of the U.K. with this term actually has to do with some of the British upper class. var s = d.createElement('script'); s.type='text/javascript';s.async=true; Another thing to consider is when you're saying "Happy Holidays" in a commercial context, it just makes good business sense, if you are selling a particular product or service, to be as inclusive as you can. They need to get thicker skin!" It does not inherently affect people’s lives. If you've noticed they actually do still have "Merry Christmas" ones, but they only air them on December 25th. According to the findings, evangelicals, on average, strongly favor “merry Christmas” and seculars prefer “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings.”. What would actually be so bad about that? I went to a public high school. He sent me back a message saying that everyone should be wished a Merry Christmas in order to celebrate the birth our our lord Jesus Christ. And being dangerous doesn't mean they aren't clowns. 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