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Happy Holidays?

[Photo: Happy Holidays by Kazze]

Does the politically correct wish, "Happy Holidays," offend you? There have been a couple stories in recent news regarding a number of retail establishments' return to the use of "Merry Christmas," instead of "Happy Holidays," due to consumer backlash. However, one retailer in particular decided to stray from the pack, recently asserting that it will continue to use "Happy Holidays" in advertisements in efforts to respect and encompass all of the traditional holidays celebrated at the end of the year.

Today, I received an email urging me to "take action" against this retailer by contacting them in order to express my discontent with their socially conscious decision! Although controversy regarding holiday greetings is not new, I have never been able to wrap my mind around the short sighted motivations behind such protests. The fundamental principles on which America was founded -- tolerance and diversity -- seem to have gotten lost in translation. Why must a retailer in America -- "the land of the free" -- adopt a specific religious tradition in order to conduct controversy-free business?

Protests and upheval regarding a holiday greeting do not appear to celebrate the true and intended spirit of the religious holidays soon to be celebrated. Rather, the efforts are mere attempts to force religious convictions and traditions on others, demonstrative of intolerance. In my opinion, and as Sam Harris points out in The End of Faith, efforts to strengthen religious diversity and accentuate religious differences are a waste of human time and energy. Religious diversity serves as a divisive roadblock, claiming unproveable tenets as absolute truths. Differences in opinion regarding intangible concepts mask humans' ability to identify with each other at the most base level -- we are all human beings. If allegiances to the unknown can be shed, all that is good in religion, such as ethics and spirituality, can be cultivated in order to foster a global human community. Only then can Peace on Earth reign.

Call it whatever you like -- it's a reason to gather and celebrate when it's cold outside.

Calling over for Click & Comment" Monday, best wishes, The Artist

I don't care what they call it. I just wish it started IN DECEMBER NOT AT THE END OF FRICKING OCTOBER!!!! Grrrrrrrrr.......

It is all just too commercialized, I like thanksgiving because it's about foood, friends an socializing....I cannot stand the commercialized xmas...Happy Holidays is not ffensive..didn't we settle this country for relihous freedom...

It has nothing to do with religious freedom.

My take... the reason all these retailers are making major bucks leading up to Dec 25th is Christmas. It's not folks out buying Chanuka, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, etc... presents.

So... Some of us, like me, will shop at retailers who at least acknowledge why I am in the store. I'm not there buying "winter presents" or "holiday gifts"... I'm there shopping for Christmas presents.

So... they can take their "holiday trees", their "winter festival wrapping paper", their "Seasonal gifts" and all the other junk they try to sell me starting right after the 4th of July and sell them to someone else....

Maybe I'll just skip the whole retail side of all of it this year....

I'm a Christian and I celebrate christmas. Therefore, I prefer to use the phrase Merry Christmas. If you are Jewish and I know this I will likely wish you a Happy Haunukah...etc.
As far as what stores call it, it does kind of annoy me to see Happy Holidays, but I agree that it annoys me more to see it before I have even started wearing my flannel jammies.

If you spin this around a smidge, does it make a difference to you? (any of you)

If the retailers ALL switched from 'Happy Holidays' to only 'Happy Hanukkah', would you be offended?

Would you still be willing to buy wrapping paper displaying menorahs and dreidels and such, and just elect to celebrate 'Christmas' at home, even if the stores said we're celebrating something else?

Stores used to fill their halls with 'Merry Christmas' stuff.. Then folks that celebrated something else complained.. said it really wasn't right to just say "Look, we get that you don't celebrate Christmas.. and since Hanukkah's right around the same time, can't you just deal with the Christmas stuff and do your own thing at home?"

They neutered it, to try to appease all with "Happy Holidays" (which I see nothing wrong with), and now the Christmas folks want it changed again? That's partially why I asked the above.. Fine.. we'll change it from Happy Holidays to something specific. But what if it's not your choice?

Merry Christmas!! :)

The problem is that a *christian* holiday has been commercialised and the whole meaning of Christmas has been lost.

I wish Christians a blessed Christmas, Pagans a Blessed Solstice and Jews a Happy Hanukkah.

I shop all year around for my gifts - I avoid the Holiday rush like the plague - I refuse to buy into the commercialisation. I make my own cards as well.

It wont make any difference if they call it Christmas shopping or Holiday shopping to me.

Loki, thanks for summing up my thoughts! :)

If stores opt to use Merry Christmas, fine. But I think it is very elitist of Christians to insist that they must, and then threaten backlash if they don't. Again, it seems demonstrative of intolerance and narrow sightedness.

Nicola also made a great point -- the true meaning of Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with commercialism and buying presents. So why insist that a religious holiday be celebrated commercially and publicly?

Christmas is such a conglomeration of Pagan, Babylonian and Christian concepts to begin with...where do you start..Yeshua was certainly not born on December 25th!

The big question for me has been who will get to ride the sacred ostrich through the flaming hoop on Equinox Day?

Our present PC debate is ludicrous. It should be celebrated however you choose..and hats off to all of my Ukrainian Eastern Orthodox friends who celebrate Christmas after all of the Boxing Day Sales!

Isn't xmas all about stupid people, buying extra stuff they don't really need, so the people they are buying it off have an extra special time? We're on an orbit. The earth goes around the sun. Where's the specialness in any position on the journey? And turkey's are stupid?

I'm a Christian and personally, I like to keep the "Christ" part of the Holiday intact. As far as what the stores call it... I don't really care. But, I do think that it is wrong of large retailers to force their employees to use a generic greeting if they prefer something else. If I were told that I could only say "happy holidays" I probably wouldn't be too happy about it.

Rob -- it's understandable that you wish to respect your own tradition and do not want to make your holiday generic. However, are you going to wish someone of Jewish faith a Merry Christmas? Would you be offended if that person wished you a Hanukkah? In my opinion, the wording reflects our tolerance, or intolerance, of religious diversity.

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The whole matter is a bit silly to me, as usual both sides of the arguement have their faults and weaknesses. I do find it interesting that the people who are the most intolerant of other religions/belief systems are often the ones screaming the loudest that theirs has been neglected or slighted in some way. I seriously doubt that Jesus would be upset with a store for not saying Merry Christmas, but would probably be more concerned that the spirit of the holiday is more about getting and gifts than spirituality itself.

::hops down off soapbox::

the FAUX war on Christmas brought to you by FAUX news. Such Bullshit.

Nothing seems to shock me anymore, but my gosh!! CHRISTmas is all about our precious Savior Jesus Christ. Yes, as a matter of fact I do think he IS displeased with how Christmas is today. Why in the world would He accept something that is supposed to be revolved around Him o.k.? I think the commercialized stuff is rediculous. It's not about accepting other's religions, why would we do that when we have already accepted our own? The reason for this amazing season everyone, no matter if they are religious or not celebrate for some odd reason, is Christ. I don't think people take the time to really think about things and why they're the way they are. Seek the truth, don't just sit back and go off whay "you" think is right. We're humans, we don't know it all, but God does. He is our Creator. And by the way, I love people even of different religions. I love them SO much I desire them to accept Christ in their hearts, in their lives and to have complete peace and joy. God bless you all.

At the same time, nowhere in the word 'Hanukkah' do you find Christ's name, and those that celebrate their religious traditions during the same time period should not be forced to celebrate yours.

> It's not about accepting other's religions, why would we do that when we have already accepted our own?

As have they, and they accept that during this time of year, you're celebrating a holiday too. A happy one, at that. And thus: Happy Holidays. Something you can say to everyone. :)

Hi Megnlu, thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

It seems that you are making the assumption that Christianity is the one true religion. However, many people practice religions that are not Christ-centered and thus do not celebrate CHRIST-mas. Happy holidays is simply an all encompassing wish, respecting the vast religious diversity of today.

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