In Defense of Happy Holidays

It’s the holiday season. Everywhere I go, I hear festive music and see beautiful decorations. My favorite shows have had holiday specials running since Halloween. Oh, yeah, and my Facebook feed is dotted with the posts that some of my friends make when they get all bent out of shape if someone tells them “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas”.
In case you’re not familiar with the United States, we have a society comprised of a lot of different nationalities, origins, and religions. Families here celebrate a variety of holidays, like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. I’ve never met a Jewish person who got offended if I said, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Happy Hanukkah”, but boy do the Christians get ticked if you generalize the season and don’t wish them MERRY CHRISTMAS.
I happen to find this behavior incredibly stupid, as I don’t think it should matter what words a person uses as long as the sentiment is kind. If I wish someone a happy holiday, I do it with the same sincerity as I do when I say Merry Christmas. I think that picking apart what exact phrase a person uses when wishing another person well is ridiculous and makes me want to wish everyone who has tantrums over this pettiness Happy Holidays just to annoy them.
I came across this lovely gem in my Facebook news feed today (I wrote this as-is, so please excuse the poor grammar and know it was not my doing):
What a crock! …we can’t say Merry Christmas now we have to say Happy Holidays. we can’t call it a Christmas tree, it’s now called a holiday tree because it might offend someone? If you don’t like our “customs” and it offends you so much then LEAVE…I will help you pack. They are called customs and we have our traditions. If you agree with this post as your status!! IT’S MY FREEDOM TO SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Do you have what it takes to repost this? I did and I will continue to say “Merry Christmas”. 
(Side note: who the hell says ‘holiday tree’?? Never heard of that one. Totally calling it that from now on!).
Now, I don’t know anyone who has actually gotten offended because someone says Merry Christmas to them. But I know plenty of assholes (sorry, to my friends, but you are being assholes when you act this way) who get offended if someone opts for Happy Holidays over Merry Christmas. Yes, those who celebrate Christmas are in the majority in the U.S. and I have no problem with that. But we are a nation founded by people from a variety of places, with a variety of traditions and customs. It’s what makes our culture so rich. We are promised religious freedom, and with that comes the right to choose what traditions and holidays we want to adopt. I’m not a Christian and as a whole I dislike religion. I personally celebrate Christmas out of a sense of nostalgia, because I enjoyed it when I was little and I like recreating those memories (and because it’s fun, and because a lot of Christmas parties offer open bars).
To sum up this rant, if someone wishes you Happy Holidays, it’s because they’re being friendly and wishing you well. Don’t be a jerk and get offended because they didn’t specifically cite the holiday YOU celebrate in their greeting. Just know that it was meant to be friendly and kind…and hell, let’s go crazy here, maybe you can even say it back to them.

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