OK ~ so I have been pondering this question for the last 2 days and I think I have finally sorted it out in my own little head so let me share…

The question of the day is “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”? As I have already said on several occasions I am an atheist so you would assume I would be the “Happy Holiday’s” sort, but I just can’t seem to find the logic in that, and it all comes down to one simple question…

What do you call December 25th?

Everyone I have asked no matter what their “religion” all have responded with the same answer ~ Christmas. Not one of them replied “Holiday” and this makes logical sense. I mean when have you ever heard anyone reply with anything else?  Imagine your kids  saying “Wake up…it’s holiday morning” or telling them that “Santa comes on holiday eve” or better still “I can’t wait for holiday”! All sound a bit crazy don’t you agree?

So lets look at the phrase “Happy Holiday’s”. What does it even mean? When does it start and what celebrations does it cover? Logic dictates that it should encompass Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years since all fall in the last 3 months of the year and by “retail” standards anyways, are thought of as the “holidays”. So then my questions become, why do we then still say Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy New Year and no one is offended? Who fed us the line of bullshit that Merry Christmas is offensive and religiously motivated?. Why was only one of these “happy holidays” singled out?

As odd as it may sound my theory has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with corporate america. I think this lunacy was dreamed up in some back boardroom as a way to increase revenue by introducing a brand new product line for an already established event. To make it fly with Joe Public they, corporate america, slapped it with a religious overtone, thanks to its very spelling and it’s well-known history and BAM…Joe Public, true to form jumped on the bandwagon eager to take part in a fabricated protest just to be politically correct. The result…Joe Public is now willing to spend millions to erase “Merry Christmas” and replace it with “Happy Holidays” and corporate america is laughing all the way to the bank.

The very wording should have sent up a red flag…Happy Holiday’S…with out that little “s” the marketing doesn’t work. No one would have bought simply replacing Merry Christmas with Happy Holiday because it doesn’t make literary sense. Without that “s” how would they also then include Kwanza and Hanukkah?

That brings me full circle back to my original question…What do you call December 25? Christmas or Holiday?

Bottom line…if someone is offended by you wishing them a Merry Christmas ask them why? I am willing to bet that the first reply is going to be something about religion, to which I would reply…I said nothing about God, I simply wished you a Merry Christmas during this Holiday Season…you know the one that starts with Halloween and ends with New Years but if that is offensive then I surly do hope that Santa visits you on Holiday Eve and leaves gifts under your Holiday Tree and that come Holiday Morning you find all your Holiday wishes came true, so have a very merry happy holiday….me…I will be having a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Posted on November 27, 2011, in LIFE LESSONS and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. On Christmas Day, I wish everyone Merry Chirstmas, however for the rest of the HOLIDAY SEASON, (October Thru January) I say Happy Holidays. What makes you think that people only say Happy Holidays to mean Christmas (or whatever christmas-like day they celebrate)? I certainly don’t say it just to represent this one day. It usually includes Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, and Russian Christmas. I don’t stop saying happy holidays until January 7th, on Russian Christmas. It is not singling out any particular holiday, it is just encompassing them all into one simple well wishing for whoever I talk to. It has nothing to do with religion, just what I personally choose to say. SO… Happy Holidays!

    • Because the introduction of “Happy Holidays” was introduced by retail america to replace the phrase “Merry Christmas” during the “Holiday Season”. Saying Merry Christmas is no more offensive than saying Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanuakka, Happy New Year or Blessed Kwanzaa, but it is the ONLY one of the holidays that retail america singled out and I have explained why.

  2. Also…not to be THAT person, but I don’t think there is an apostrophe in Holidays.
    An apostrophe implies ownership; like the the Happy belongs to the Holiday, or like you will be mentioning what Holiday owns shortly after.

    On the other hand, my memory is horrible and I could be wrong and remembering it completely backwards…If that is the case, ignore this comment 🙂

  3. I would assume everyone agrees that December 25th IS Christmas, but the idea of saying “Happy Holidays” isn’t about being anti Christmas, (of course except for all the religious nut jobs who get all crazy when you don’t say Merry Christmas…but to them I usually say, “Oh, I’m sorry…but I celebrate Kwanza” and walk away) or giving the actual day of Christmas a new name…it’s about wishing a Happy holiday season, whatever holiday you are celebrating. I, for one, have never heard of any “happy holidays” that was meant to include Halloween and Thanksgiving. I have only ever heard it in reference to the THREE gift giving holidays that take place in December, and usually throwing in New Years because it’s just so close (and let’s face it, people are lazy).

    So I guess the question you pose can be answered simply. What do I call December 25th? Christmas. But, what do I tell people the whole month in which I am wishing them happiness, no matter what their religion, or celebratory preference? Happy Holidays!!

    Sure, I might be leaving the Christ out of Christmas, or what have you, but I am not wishing a happy religious day…I am wishing that, whichever holiday you chose to celebrate, you find yourself surrounded by happiness!

    So with that I say….


    • The phrase “happy holidays” is meant to encompass the holidays between Oct 31 and Jan 1. All one has to do is take note in any store in the country to understand the retail thinking behind that phrase and that does not include Kwanzaa or Hanukkah.

      Kwanzaa and Hanukkah are fairly new to the party and actually if one takes the time to understand these two diverse celebrations one would realize the following…

      Kwanzaa was established in 1966 as a way to bring African-American communities together in celebration of the harvest and culture. The focus is not on gift giving

      The actual celebration encompasses 3 rules for the celebration:

      First, you should come to the celebration with a profound respect for its values, symbols and practices and do nothing to violate its integrity, beauty and expansive meaning.
      Secondly, you should not mix the Kwanzaa holiday or its symbols, values and practice with any other culture. This would violate the principles of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) and thus violate the integrity of the holiday.
      Thirdly, choose the best and most beautiful items to celebrate Kwanzaa. This means taking time to plan and select the most beautiful objects of art, colorful African cloth, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc. so that every object used represents African culture and your commitment to the holiday in the best of ways.

      Pay close attention to the Second rule. Wishing someone who celebrates Kwanzaa a “happy holiday” could be seen as disrespectful as the reason behind that wish is a mixing of cultures to begin with.

      As for Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, it is purely a religious celebration and meant to commorate the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The idea that they give gifts for 8 days is not the focus of this holiday and in fact seen as a “new age” custom. The actual practice is to encourage children to perform an act of charity each day.

      Again, this is not a celebration that should be tossed under the “happy holidays” umbrella.

      I maintain that this is a “political” and “retail” ploy and wishing someone a Merry Christmas during the weeks before Dec 25th you are in fact paying respect to a long standing celebration and not a religious belief.

      • If you discredit Hanukkah and Kwanza as holidays, how can you not, by the same logic, say that Christmas is a purely religious celebration as well, meant to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ?
        It wasn’t until later that the bastardized version of Christmas came about, where they pulled in the patron St. Nicholas and made it an excuse to smother everyone with greed and presents. But, by that same logic…Children who celebrate Hanukkah, while yes, are being taught to perform an act of charity each day, have always seen is as “sweet…I get presents for 8 days in a row”.
        As for Kwanza, though I’ve only known a small number of people who celebrate it, I’ve never been regarded as disrespectful for wishing them happiness during their holiday. I am not mixing symbols, values or any thing else into it…I again, am simply wishing they have a happy holiday.

        Too many people read too much into things, and I’m sorry if my wishing happiness brings thoughts of Santa into their overly greedy, present grubbing minds..Like I said, I bring no religion to it, I bring no wishes of shoving my beliefs or religion (or lack there of) down anyone’s throats, I bring no intentional disrespect or hatred toward anyone…I very simply, and with no other motives, mean have a HAPPY Holiday.

      • I did not discredit Kwanzaa and Hanukkah as holidays (as they are both still celebrated for one specific reason), I mearly took them out from under the “holiday” umbrella and allowed them the dignity they each deserve as they have not been a part of the “holiday” until recent times. To answer your question about Christmas, it is not a purely religious celebration and never has been. Yes, it is seen as the celebration of the birth of Jesus in some religions, but “Christmas” is actually associated with Sinterklaas, the 4th centure Greek Bishop of Myra who tried to make the lives of the poor better by providing things they needed not things they wanted. The fact that he was a Bishop was secondary, and had nothing to do with his mission. He, much like those who celebrate Hanukkah, tried to teach the lesson, “it is far better to give than recieve”. The Catholic religion is the one that started the “celebration of the birth of Jesus” in Dec. (he was actually born in the summertime).

        I agree with you however that Christmas has been bastardized, but by corporate america and not those who celebrated Sinterklaas, Father Christmas, St. Nicolas. It was in 1936 I believe that the first Santa Claus hit the scenes thanks to commercial marketing, and yet even then the message he brought was far far different than the message we are given today. I remember grandma telling me stories of Christmas when they were delighted to find a orange left for them. Today its about how much money you can spend. If there isn’t the latest video console or electronic gadget kids feel slighted. Can you imagine what a kid today would say if all he got was an orange? Which brings me to your statement that the kids of Hanukkah have always been focused on the “gifts”. That is far from the truth. The “gifts” they typically get are simplistic and in keeping with the traditions of the holiday, nothing close to what those who celebrate Christmas expect under the tree. The focus has always been on the act of charity and always will be as that is a cornerstone of the celebrate itself.

        The entire point I was making was this…Christmas is a celebration with two distinct and separate meanings. One celebrates the birth of Christ and has its roots in religion and one is the celebration of family and has its roots in giving to others. It was corporate america that muddied the waters here and planted the idea that saying “Merry Christmas” was in some way offensive because it carried a “religious” overtone. This was a necessary thing for them to do, as there is NO revenue to be gained from the “religious” aspect of Christmas. In this day and age when Joe Public is so very worried about his “political” persona it was pretty simple to introduce “Happy Holidays” to replace “Merry Christmas” as the phrase of the day. It was never intended to encompass anything more than Christmas, but retailers realized this could have a bonus effect and the proof of that is in the figgy-pudding, otherwise you would not be tripping over Christmas Trees to get to your Halloween Candy and New Years Eve supplies! Sad part is, the anti-religion crowd, at the same time, jumped on the bandwagon and started screaming about being “offended” because “Merry Christmas” was about God, and we all know he isn’t politically correct.

        So it doesn’t matter really if you say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays as long as you remember the “spirit” of the celebration and not the implied meaning.

        Merry Christmas.

  4. Tarie
    I just read this & I have to agree 100% with your logic. As you stated, nothing was said about GOD in this. It is about corporate America & the greed for the almighty dollar. I hope someone doesn’t take offense to “almighty”. I want to wish all of you a “MERRY CHRISTMAS” & know all your “CHRISTMAS TREES” will be beautiful. Love ya, sis.

    • Gerry,
      If anyone take offense at “almighty” that is their problem. I thank you for your comments and your support. Call me old fashioned but it is Christmas and always will be in my house.

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