Happy Holidays verses Merry Christmas
Thank You for wishing me a Happy Holiday
There are many holidays in December; Kwanza, Hanukkah, Yule and Christmas. Just within this decade have people began to recognize that December is not just about Christmas. Yet, if polled many would prefer to keep Merry Christmas as a greeting in local stores.
At the age of sixty-one, I can recall my childhood as a Jewish girl. It was odd to not even have our holiday acknowledge. Everything was about Christmas back then, and any other holiday was ignored in the local stores. I personally love Christmas trees and the lights and glitter, yet there was no Menorahs displayed. Kwanza was not a familiar word for me, so I didn’t realize there was also another holiday occurring in December.
As I entered my twenties, I discovered some people celebrated the Pagan holiday Yule, which is not even mentioned in today’s general society.
The United States is a country of freedom of religion, and for me it stands for all faiths, not just one or two. The comment of Happy Holidays does not take away from Christmas. It is just one faith and one holiday, granted though it is the major one in the States. I am sure saying Happy Holidays might sound off to those who have heard Merry Christmas for years, but wouldn’t that be normal? It does not mean though that saying Happy Holidays is incorrect. In my view it is correcting a wrong and making it right. I am sure most Christians would not meet well if Hanukkah, Kwanza or Yule was celebrated only, and Christmas was left for just the family and church congregation to celebrate. This is exactly what Christmas has done to those who celebrate another holiday. I do know for the children of different religions seeing their holiday acknowledge would bring them joy. There is a need for children to share their holidays, as much as adults. The joy of lighting the menorah candle and recalling the meaning of Hanukkah is as important as Christmas morning. I am sure the same can be said in regards to the other two holidays of the season.
The holiday season adds its’ own stresses, and the busy bustle of the month at times can seem maddening. There are so many challenges that we face during this time. One challenge we really do not need is to ignore others’ holidays. It harms no one really to say Happy Holidays. The person you pass on the street might be celebrating a different holiday than you. I have seen on FaceBook.com pictures that state; “It is called Christmas not Happy Holidays.” These people that have started them are trying to get them to circulate. It to me though is sadness, for such a simple gesture of kindness to be discouraged is heartfelt. Is it so hard to honor another’s holiday? Is it so hard to conceive that Christianity is not the only religion in the United States? Can you not embrace others having another holiday? Can you not just do this for the sake of the non-Christian children? Do they not count in your book?
I use the terms Happy Holiday. I do so out of pride for being a citizen of the United States. I am grateful that I live in a country that honors all religions. I am even more grateful that there is an expansion in consciousness that there are many religions here, and to acknowledge them is a positive move.