It's called Christmas
It's not that I have a problem with Happy Holidays. It's the fact that some people use it to discriminate. Truth be told just about every day of the year is someone's holiday, from the national Independance, to a birthday to a human rights day or national teddy bear or maple syrup days. Yes, those really are holidays. You could say happy holidays every day of the year, for that very reason. So why now? Because now is when the gear up for Christmas (albeit an overcommercialized one) is. And Christmas involves Christ.
Yes, I am Christian. Yes, I celebrate Christmas. And if I say Merry or Happy Christmas I am wishing you a wonderful, peaceful, light filled season of joy. I am not whacking you on the head with a baby Jesus figurine and saying believe or else, nor sending a Santa in a tank to force a conversion. Believe it or not, when the Old Kris Kringle or Saint Nick or Santa in 'A Night Before Christmas' says Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas, he isn't even quoting the Bible!
I wouldn't object if you told me Happy Hannukah or Kwanzaa. I may not believe in them, or know much about them, but I wouldn't figure you meant it as an insult. Happy usually doesn't imply insult no matter what it precedes.
Holidays Are All Year
What's more, you don't say happy holidays on valentine's day or halloween. Saint Valentine and Saint Nicholas and even Saint Patrick were catholic saints. I'm not catholic, but I can still enjoy the holidays without insisting someone say 'happy holidays instead of happy st nicholas or saint valentine or saint patrick.. And I wouldn't assume the person doing the wishing was catholic, though it wouldn't matter much to whether I liked them or not if they were. It's a holiday, what's not to like? Some christians don't like halloween. I say, dress up and eat the candy. The candy will be on sale anyway and costumes bring out people's creative side. If you think dressing as a witch or zombie offensive, you can always dress as a teddy bear or a robot.
I wouldn't be offended to be told 'Happy Saint Patrick's Day' even though I'm not Irish.
Happy New Year might give me pause if it wasn't January first, but explain it's the mayan or hebrew or muslim calendar and I'll go happy new year right back.
As for the fourth of July: for all I know the person wishing me happy independence day could be from canada or australia. Or the person I'm wishing it too could be from Austria or Bulgaria. Just because they aren't a citizen doesn't mean they can't enjoy the fireworks.
Yet for some reason, all these holiday well wishes are 'acceptable' and Christmas is not. Ironic, how everything is tolerated….except being a christian, whether practicing or not.
So Happy National Brownie Day. And National Ice Cream Day, Human Rights Day, Poinsettia Day, National Maple syrup day……….should I go on? So if we are going to go 'Happy Holidays'……then lets just say it all year. It's probably easier than saying Happy pop goes the weasel day, happy flip a coin day and all that. It's easier on the fatherless not to hear happy fathers day and the childless woman desperate for a baby to hear Happy Holidays than a Happy Mother's day.
Besides it's a sure fire way to see who is paying attention. Say Happy Holidays in May and someone will probably do a double take.
So lighten up people. Enjoy the Christmas or Hanukkah lights. No commitment required. Just an open heart and a childlike sense of wonder. But I'll bet without Christmas you wouldn't have all those holiday lights. We started it. And you can't take that away.