When did saying “Happy Holidays” become so offensive? These days, it seems that if you say “Have a happy holiday,” some people make it sound like you are killing Christmas. I think the true meaning of Christmas for Christians – celebrating the birth of Jesus – was vaporized long ago, and Christmas is more of a secular, commercial holiday where the focus is on giving – and getting – gifts.
I grew up in a very strict Catholic household but have been a lapsed Catholic for many years now. So if someone says “happy holidays” to me I won’t take offense, and if they say Merry Christmas to me I won’t take offense either. In fact, they can say “happy winter” to me and it wouldn’t bother me. If I know the person’s religious beliefs, I make sure that I acknowledge their holiday. But, I encounter so many people on a given day that I don’t know well (like a cashier working in the local supermarket) that “have a great holiday” or something of that nature is probably safest bet. I also have many readers of my blogs that come from all around the world and saying “Have a Merry Christmas” to everyone seems disrespectful to those who are not Christian.
No one is trying to kill Christmas by saying “happy holidays,” they are likely just trying to be respectful of the various beliefs, or maybe even non-beliefs, of others. My advice is that when you know if someone is Christian, feel free to say Merry Christmas. If you know they are Jewish, wish them a Happy Hanukkah.. If you are not sure, wish them a happy holiday, as it at least shows your hope that they enjoy themselves and have good times during whatever holiday they celebrate. And if someone wishes YOU a happy holiday, please accept it as a peaceful gesture.
Here is my wish: whatever you celebrate this time of the year, I hope you have a happy, peaceful time filled with family and friends!
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