Christmas has been over for five days now, but I am obviously in withdrawal because I am still thinking about it and lamenting its end. I have one thought that I haven’t shared yet, so I figured it would be a good idea to post it before the month of December has ended.
Being in the super politically correct land that is New York City, I have rarely been told “merry Christmas!” in a public environment. At work, whether it’s on the phone, in person, or via e-mail, everyone will always write “Happy Holidays!” On office gifts that past vendors have sent me, the same “Happy Holidays!” greeting is on it. Even my own freaking friends, on CHRISTMAS cards they send and give me, write “Happy Holidays!” as the first message after “Dear Yvonne.” When I have said “Merry Christmas” to past colleagues and to friends who I know for a fact celebrate Christmas, they have almost always responded “happy holidays to you, too!” Is this really necessary when you and I both know that you and I celebrate Christmas?
Christmas is a national holiday in the United States of America. You don’t need to be Christian to celebrate Christmas; I believe in God, but I don’t consider myself Christian or label myself with any other religious affiliation, but I love Christmas, and most of the people I know who love and celebrate Christmas are not Christian; a lot of them are Jews! And everyone who actually is really Christian knows that 1) Jesus was not actually born on the 25th of December and 2) Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and Christmas lights and ornaments have absolutely nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. We could all learn a thing or two from Australia, where during the month of December, you see “Merry Christmas” written all over the Town Hall and major street stations, and where you can say “Merry Christmas” freely to anyone and everyone and know that they will happily respond “Merry Christmas” back and not be offended.
The term “happy holidays” is dead to me. I will only say it at work to clients if I absolutely have to, but I am more looking forward to saying “happy new year” when I go back, because for now, at least as far as I know, that doesn’t seem to offend anyone… yet.