I will greet anyone a Merry Christmas in general. If that person is Jewish I would greet that person a Happy Hannukkah. If someone greets me a Happy Kwanzaa (which I believe isn’t likely to happen any time in my life because I don’t know anyone here in my area (and I have plenty of African-American friends) who celebrates Kwanzaa) then I would greet a Happy Kwanzaa instead. The only thing that I have a problem in some ways is saying “Happy Holidays.”
Yes, we all should go through all this political correctness bit but I personally think that going all political correctness on a happy occassion such as Christmas is a little too much. If someone greets me a Happy Holidays (or any other similar to that such as Season’s Greetings) I reply with a Merry Christmas. I know some of these “non-believers” think that Christmas is evil and that it’s nothing but commercial-based but throughout hundreds of years of history the month of December has always been about Christmas.
I mean really, if all of us were to be asked to “ban” the greeting of Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays wouldn’t that also mean that we have to reword every single little Christmas carol written way before our time and change them to “Holidays”? Think about it… “It’s beginning to look a lot like (the) ‘Holidays’…” or “We Wish You a Happy Holidays, We Wish You a Happy Holidays…” … or even “God rest you merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay; Remember Christ our Savior was born on (holi-) Day…”?
Though I haven’t been asked by certain people regarding my major usage of Merry Christmas and not use the greeting of Happy Holidays to make it more general I might as well give the answer. I was born and raised a Roman Catholic in the Philippines in which Christmas is a major huge deal to majority of the people there (and I say a majority because the entire country is not Christian. I still have to think about our fellow Muslim Filipinos at the southern islands too) and if not for Maligayang Pasko it was always the general greeting of Merry Christmas. Our Christmas was not commercial-based like some people think it is here in the U.S., but it was always from tradition that our “Spanish parents” from 300+ years ago brought to us. We don’t just celebrate Christmas by going out to the malls and buy gifts for our loved ones, but it is also a celebration of Preparation for the coming of our LORD. We outdo ourselves with Christmas, from cooking the best dishes that we can whip up, hosting parties and gatherings for all our closest family, friends, co-workers, and companions from other places, and going to Simbang Gabi (Misa de Gallo) masses nine days before Christmas at 5 am (with a huge heaping of delectable pastries such as rice cakes (Bibingka) to more rice cakes (Puto Bumbung) with a compliment of a cup of Hot Chocolate (tsokolate) or Ginger Tea (Salabat) or just simply coffee. The gift-exchanging and gift-giving always comes last for us.
We still carry those same traditions here and is pretty much alive. I live in a community where the Filipino population is very prominent and that our local church hosts Simbang Gabi/Misa de Gallo masses at 5 am nine days before Christmas. Anybody who’s anybody who attend regular masses are always welcome and that you don’t have to be Filipino for you to attend the Simbang Gabi masses (though I have to admit that a few of the Simbang Gabi masses may be in Tagalog instead of the standard English but most of the time it’s in standard English). If you are a curious American interested in learning more about this Simbang Gabi bit then come on over and join the celebration!
With that aside all I’m saying here is that no one can take Christmas away from me regardless of the huge demand of political correctness. “Happy Holidays”? There’s a gazillion holidays throughout the entire year. Why are we only using this greeting during Decenber? It doesn’t make sense to me now that I think of it and these people who think that we’re being “bigots” for only recognizing the Christian holiday (has anyone forgotten that the good ol’ U.S. of A. was founded by different sects of Christian peoples? It’s always been about Christmas, people!) really need to check their history. Anybody who’s anybody can celebrate the month of December as they wish; no one’s persecuting them, but what about for us Christians? We feel persecuted every time that annoying “political correctness” is mentioned. What’s up with that?
Also, I think “Happy Holidays” is a misnomer too. Many of us full-time working people aren’t exactly on “holidays” throughout majority of December with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Sure it may be holidays for the kids, students, and those who work in schools but not everyone gets to have a long relaxing vacation. In the Philippines a lot of companies close just for the Christmas holidays alone and the top executives always encourage their employees to take some time off for their families and for themselves in order to have a better, longer life (and of course, healthy when they come to work).
Now that I’m talking about this now, if people are so nitpicky about Christmas (or to be more general, the month of December), why isn’t anyone complaining about Easter? As many of us know, Easter doesn’t celebrate the spawning of the Easter bunnies leaving Easter eggs. It’s about celebrating the death and ressurection of the LORD. Why are people demanding political correctness regarding the birth of the LORD then?
Sounds pretty hypocritical if you ask me.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you. Please be safe!