Why Does the Phrase Happy Holidays Offend You?
I grew up celebrating Hanukkah. When my sister and I were teenagers we convinced our parents to let us have a Christmas tree, or as we called it, a Hanukkah bush. As long as we went to get it, brought it home and maintained it, they were on board. We had lots of friends who celebrated Christmas, lots who celebrated Hanukkah, some who celebrated both and some who celebrated neither. Which is why Happy Holidays always seemed appropriate.
It came to my attention a few years ago that some people are offended by the phrase Happy Holidays. For them it’s either Merry Christmas or nothing at all. As though somehow Happy Holidays waters down the meaning of Christmas. I’m sorry, but that seems a little ridiculous to me. It’s not like I’m saying Happy Eff You. Or Sad Holidays. I’m simply wishing you a happy whatever you celebrate. How can you be offended by someone who is wishing you happiness? I can’t tell you how many times throughout my life someone wished me a Merry Christmas even though I’m not Christian. Was I offended? No, of course not. The intention is good. And in a year like 2020 has been, is it really a big deal?
If I happen to know which holiday you celebrate my greeting will be holiday specific and appropriate. But the fact is I don’t know what most people celebrate, so Happy Holidays it is. Wait… is Season’s Greetings offensive? Maybe I’ll switch to Season’s Greetings. In any case, I hope you enjoy December.
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