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Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays

Uh oh, from all the Facebook updates I've seen, that hideous phrase incites anger in millions.

Yes, Happy Freaking Holidays.

I have been living under a rock somewhere and did not realize that saying this greeting offends my Christian friends.

Oh wait, I'm Christian, I'm not offended....

In fact, I have to say that having someone wish me ANYTHING happy makes me smile.

So what's the big deal about this phrase that irritates people so much?

From what I can gather, people feel that it takes away from the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Christ.


Christmas is one day.  And hey, here's a historical fact, Christ wasn't actually born on December 25th.  It's an old pagan holiday that once the Roman emperor decided to "go Christian" for political purposes, he declared was now the day set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Everyone already had the day off.  Kinda like President's Day and Martin Luther King Day- not Washington, Lincoln, or King's actual birthdays. A date of convenience.

And besides, I think Macy's, Wal-Mart and every other retailer has adequately destroyed the true meaning of Christmas many years ago- not that horrible saying of -- hang on, here I go again "Happy Holidays."  Gives you shivers doesn't it?

When I tell someone "Happy Holidays" (sorry, I can't stop myself) it's for a two reasons.  The first one, I mean it as an all encompassing greeting that covers the time period from Thanksgiving through New Year's.  As in the holiday season. I'm not just wishing you one day of good wishes, I'm giving you an ENTIRE season of yuletide cheer.  And yesterday, Christmas Day, I said Merry Christmas to everyone.  I, however, intend to spend the rest of the week celebrating the wonderful holiday season.  Again, I waited until Thanksgiving to start, so if you're a Christmas Lights Up November 1st person, I'm guessing you're burned out.  I like to pace myself.  (And FYI, the Twelve Days of Christmas are supposed to be celebrated AFTER Christmas, awaiting the arrival of the wise men.)

The second reason I say it, I have friends of many faiths.  No kidding.  I'm crazy like that.  I even have friends who are Hindu.  Wow.  And they are all citizens of my wonderful country.  I think it's what makes my country wonderful.  I love that my country was founded as a place to avoid religious persecution.  You can be yourself here.  That's not the case in a lot of places.  The former Soviet Union, China-- for many years banned religions.  Even they realized they couldn't destroy faith. 

And you know what, with that said, if you want to put a nativity scene on government property, go for it.  Religious freedom allows it- calls for it even.  The separation of church and state doesn't mean the elimination of church from state.  It simply says the doctrine of a faith shouldn't override what's in the best interest of society.  I agree.  There are some crazy religions out there.  Ask people under Taliban rule.  Ask Iranians.  It happens.  My only request is, if someone wants to put up a menorah, you have to be good with that, too.

I also find it ironic that I have never had a Jewish friend or non-Christian friend be remotely offended when someone wishes them a Merry Christmas.  I've even asked if they are put off by my Christmas cards.  Their overwhelming opinion "Um, I'm kinda used to it. No biggie."  But holy crap (literally), if I say "Happy Holidays" some people want to call me a heretic and burn me at the stake.

I never get offended when someone of another faith says a prayer or offers blessings and kindness to me and my family.  I'll take whatever I can get.  I think it's a sign of love and friendship.

So here's the scoop folks, if I happen to say "Happy Holidays" to you it's with the sole purpose of wishing you and your family, regardless of your religion, the same joy and love that my family feels during this time of year, relax.  There is no politically correct undercurrent of me, trying to destroy your faith.  Let's face it, if your faith is that shallow, you should probably work on that.

And the next time someone says something nice, from the heart, that you find offensive, I hope you take the time to get the stick out of your ass and simply say "Thank you."
My children and I in front of the Christmas tree.  We are inadvertently blocking the Nativity-- it is by accident.  Not a statement of protest in my support of people having a Happy Holiday.


Kimberly Coats said...


Leggett said...


Leggett said...


Anonymous said...

I say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays is alright with me too. I was fine and not offended with all the different greetings before all this complaining started. As a kid, I thought it was interesting hearing the different holiday greetings by people of other cultures, I was even flattered that they said it to me. Lately I have been getting and awkward silence, because people are too scared to say anything, how sad. Whatever greeting you hear should reflect your God's love off your face back to the person. Being legalistic, rude & offended isn't God's way. People are picking bits and snippets about every little thing these days and wanting to fight about it. My view on all this mean childish bickering, ridiculous rants and nasty boycotting of certain stores about not getting the greeting you want when you are out shopping is Jesus said to spread the Good News not the bad news. So, my new response to all the haters that want to tell me the latest thing they hate these days and this is it, Jesus said to spread the Good News not the bad news.
(by Paula Humphries)

Rita said...

How did I miss this one! Sorry I didn't catch it. I felt a twinge each time I said "Happy Holidays" this year as if i was betraying Jesus. Really? Next year I'll just print out a copy of your blog. Explains my point of view perfectly. I say it for the same reasons, especially when I don't know someones beliefs. I don't like to presume everyone has the same beliefs I do. Just as I don't send opinionated political emails to anyone I don't know shares my views or is open-minded enough and up for a good debate.
Belated Happy Holidays!