The "Merry Christmas" Debate

Feathers are flying again over what constitutes an appropriate greeting this time of year. You would think our politicians and mass media have more relevant and influential topics to discuss, but apparently ‘tis the season for gutter sniping.

I have always been a “Happy Holidays” person. It covers most everyone I come in regular contact with. True, it does not work for a Chinese atheist who will not be celebrating Christmas, Chanukah, or New Year’s, but I don’t know any Chinese atheists, so I feel confident in my use of “Happy Holidays”.

For friends and close associates whose religious ties I am aware of, I use the corresponding greeting of the season; “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Chanukah”, “Happy Holidays”, “Season’s Greetings”. How hard is it to tailor one’s greeting to the audience? For believers, this time of year is supposed to be about goodwill. Is it not a sign of goodwill to extend a courteous and respectful greeting to one’s neighbor?

The assertion that companies’ use of “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” is somehow un-American or insensitive is in itself un-American, insensitive, and in cases where it applies…un-Christian. I am proud of my faith (Catholic) and proud to live in a country where all of my neighbors have the freedom to be proud of their chosen faith.

Have a Wonderful December!