The “Happy Holidays” Fight

When I was a kid growing up in the 1980s, it was the birth of political correctness. We learned to try to include everyone, appreciate diversity, and be sensitive to other’s feelings in our words. Shopkeepers who used to say “merry Christmas” to all the people in the store began to replace it with “happy Holidays” to include more people.

I still think that’s a great thing.

Today there is a backlash against political correctness. Why can’t we say what we mean? Why do we have to censor our speech for some pansy people whose feelings might get hurt? They should just toughen up.

There’s this feeling that saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” is some attempt to hide Christmas. As though that were even remotely possible. I would challenge you to go a single day in December in America without hearing the word Christmas at least five times. Probably a lot more. Or at least references to Christmas. There is no danger of anyone forgetting that it’s Christmas.

I’d have more sympathy if there were any references at all to my holidays while they were happening. Barely anyone in America knows of the existence of Diwali or cares. So I don’t really feel sorry for them that they feel let down by people wishing them a happy holiday.

Christmas is a holiday!

Saying “Happy Holidays” doesn’t diminish Christmas. It brings more of us under the umbrella and allows for more goodwill and happiness. What is so wrong about that? Why would you pick a fight about something that could be about people coming together and wishing each other well? Is that really the hill you want to die on? You want to stand up for your right to say “F you” to non-Christians instead of enjoying good will and love at this holiday time of year?

By all means, wish your family and your Christian friends a Merry Christmas. But what’s wrong with saying “Happy Holidays” to the stranger you meet whose religion you don’t know? Is it really hurting you to allow for the possibility that they don’t celebrate Christmas?

Christians, listen, in America you already have everything. Even the “Happy Holiday” signs are in Christmas colors. Your holiday is the biggest festival of the year all around our country. Enjoy it!

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About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.


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