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Friday, November 8, 2013

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Why not both? I've heard and read a lot of discussion about people not saying Merry Christmas any more. Well, I still hear Merry Christmas, quite often, in fact. But I do also hear Happy Holidays too.

I celebrate Christmas. So I say Merry Christmas--to those I know who also celebrate Christmas. Otherwise, I say Happy Holidays. I feel that's inclusive. There are several holidays in December, and of course there is New's Day in January. So Happy Holidays can cover a lot of ground, especially if you are saying it to someone early in the month who you probably won't see again for another month or so.

Store clerks are probably instructed to say Happy Holidays, because they don't usually know what holidays their customers might celebrate. And, of course, the customers might not know what, if any, holidays the store workers celebrate. So again, Happy Holidays covers it all.

Since already I'm seeing ads for Christmas on TV and in newspapers and magazines, and Christmas music will be taking over some of the radio stations either just before or just after Thanksgiving, depending on the station, I think there's plenty of Christmas in the air.

And of course decorations will be showing up in stores, churches, homes and in many businesses. The businesses may have more generic decorations, such as snow scenes, since, again, not everyone working at or coming into the business will necessarily be celebrating Christmas. But there will be Santas and Christmas villages and angels and Nativity scenes in many places.

So, it's early, but let me wish you Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays--whichever works for you!

10 comments:

  1. I am Jewish, and I have *never* -*EVER* been offended by a "Merry Christmas greeting. Although we don't have a tree and we don't go a-caroling, what is offensive about someone sharing their celebration with us? I just don't get it. Please merry Christmas me anytime! (But maybe stick to around Christmas time, lest it loses all meaning...)

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  2. I will Merry Christmas you when the time comes, Mirka! I've found it's usually grumpy people of any or no religion who take offense at Merry Christmas, or people who do celebrate Christmas who take offense at Happy Holidays! Go figure! :D

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  3. Ann, I think you've nailed the two groups most likely to take offense at "Merry Christmas." Getting offended is just so anti-the season! Really, who is diluting it more, the person who says HH or the person grumbling at having been so greeted? And it's not like the Happy Holidays greeting hasn't been around for decades and decades.

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    1. I know! Bing Crosby even sang Happy Holidays in Holiday Inn, the movie that introduced the song White Christmas! :)

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  4. I like Merry Christmas, but am perfectly content w/Happy Holidays too! The people who take offense are obviously not getting the whole reason for the season anyway-peace, and love, and goodwill! Toward everybody! =)

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  5. I lived 17 years in Asia, and felt so much at home during the holiday season. My holiday season went from Thanksgiving, through Christmas, onto New Years and then finished off with Chinese New Years. Now that's a holiday season. Still, I love the words "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"

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    1. That is a nice long holiday season! And an early Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! Or, to be brief, Happy Holidays. ;)

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  6. It's Merry Christmas for me, but I have nothing against Happy Holidays as well. I don't personally care for Merry Xmas, but I don't get offended by it either. Life's too short.
    I was at the mall today and delighted to already see some sparkly decorations. It did seem a tad early for Santa though, and he looked incredibly bored with not a child visitor in sight.

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    1. I haven't been to the mall yet, but at one store last week they were putting up the greenery and lights outside their building.

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