Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Another example of the religious right taking offense at nothing.

I was born and raised Catholic. I don’t practice it these days, but I still consider myself “Christian.” The winter solstice holiday I celebrate is Christmas.

Almost every year, I send out Christmas cards. Well, to be fair, they’re not all Christmas cards. Some of them are holiday cards. Because not all of my friends celebrate Christmas. Some of them are Jewish and celebrate Chanukah. And I’ll admit that I’m not even sure what some of them celebrate because I don’t go around asking my friends about their religion.

I have a collection of Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays cards. I send them out primarily based on the picture on the card or the sentiment inside the card. I don’t, however, send a Merry Christmas card to someone who I know is Jewish. Or someone who might be Jewish. I do this out of respect for their religious beliefs. After all, why should I wish them a Merry Christmas — a holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, who isn’t anyone terribly special to them — when I could wish them a Happy Holidays?

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that the wish I’d like to share is for a happy and healthy holiday season. Isn’t that what we all wish everyone this time of year?

Now I’m definitely not a supporter of George Bush Jr. In fact, I don’t like him at all. But I think he’s taking a lot of undeserved grief with the White House Christmas card debate. I think the card is fine — a Happy Holidays wish covers everyone, without offending anyone. Christmas is a Christian holiday. Not everyone who received the card is Christian. Why should it wish everyone a Merry Christmas? And what the hell is wrong with a Happy Holidays wish?

Come on guys. Is it really that important? Don’t you think homelessness, unemployment, and hunger within this country are more important than the words that appear on a White House Christmas (or Holiday) card? Yet I don’t hear any of the religious right whining about any of that.

And, for the record, it is a Christmas tree. Sheesh. What other holiday puts a pine tree (or a fake pine tree) in people’s living rooms every December?

One thought on “Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

  1. I think Happy Holidays covers it. I also celebrate Christmas, but in greetings to people I don’t know I say Happy Holidays. I have a friend that is Jewish and she is going through a hard time with her child’s school. It is a public school in Texas, having the 1st graders write letters to Santa and Christmas Parties. They know not everyone in her class celebrates Christmas. I think that is a no no in a public school.

What do you think?