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Happy Holidays verses Merry Christmas

Updated on November 30, 2012

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 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.


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    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 4 years ago

      Hi Renee,

      I wasn't suggesting that you are trying to take Christmas away. By the way, I've recently come across a book you might enjoy. It is entitled "Dying To Be Me" by Anita Moorjani, with a foreword by Wayne W. Dyer. It's a lovely book. You might enjoy it. I hope life is treating you well these days.

      - Savvy

    • Renee Abbott profile image

      Renee Abbott 4 years ago from Arizona

      Savvydating, I have zero problem with those who wish to celebrate Christmas. There will always be Christmas cards. I believe in embracing all faiths, and this is why I wrote this hub. Christianity is not the only religion out there, and it is not a Christian world, though it is predominate. I feel it is time we begin to embrace outwardly all faiths, and lack of faith people. It is a path to peace.

      This hub was intended just for that.

      I do not take your remarks as disrespectful, nor does it lessen value in you. I hope you will see my remarks in the same light. I believe we need to embrace everyone. I believe Christianity cannot be the only valid belief, or invalid in this world. No one is suggesting to take away Christmas, but to embrace all faiths. Happy Holiday is one format to use in this. I still say Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, especially since Christians get upset if it is not acknowledged. Perhaps they can understand why other faiths can get upset too, when they aren't acknowledge. I pray this will never become a complete Christian world, or any one religion for that matter. Christianity is not for me. I ask that my beliefs be tolerated during holiday times. I am asking for tolerance, not embracing. I cannot embrace Christmas, but I do tolerate it, love the decorations and some of the movies. I will never embrace it as a religion. I would not have the gull to ask another to embrace mine. It would make zero cents to me to do so.

      You can say Merry Christmas all you want, which I am sure you will. Just remember though not everyone believes as you do. Not everyone wants Jesus as their savior. It has zero to do with seeing auras or new age. It has everything to do with human decency.

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 4 years ago

      When I go shopping for cards during the Holidays, I do see a lot of Happy Holiday cards. Happy Holidays sounds very nice and "catchy" but I think it would be disingenuous for some (but not all) to say Happy Holidays when they really feel like saying Merry Christmas, particularly if they are indeed celebrating the actual season of Christmas, which has been assigned an actual (celebration) date and which has significance for many. I see it as a freedom of speech and freedom of religion thing, which I would not want to have taken from me. However, if someone else wants to say Happy Yuletide, or or Happy Kwanza, or Happy Holidays, that is fine by me. But since Christmas is a separate Holiday, which I personally celebrate, then I'd just as soon say Merry Christmas, and ask that others respect my right to say it, just as I respect their right to say something else.

      I do not mean any disrespect to you or others. I am a spiritual seeker who also believes in auras and the afterlife, just as you do. But yes, I do lean heavily in favor of Christianity, although I am not very legalistic, as I think the point of Christianity is "to love one another." Long story short, I celebrate others' democratic right to practice their beliefs, just as I enjoy my freedom to celebrate my holidays and my expression of them as I like. I hope this does not damage our friendship, Renee, but I prefer to be forthright about my beliefs.