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Happy Holidays, Season Greetings and Most of ALL…Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays, Season Greetings and Most of ALL…Merry Christmas!

In recent years there has been a lot of chatter about the “War on Christmas”. People (mostly on the far right of the political spectrum) are ranting about businesses and governments not saying “Merry Christmas”

Well honestly, what is wrong with “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings”? Both phrases have been considered acceptable greetings for this time of year for decades if not centuries. So why is there all the fuss now?

Even if we ignore the fact that many of the symbols and behaviors that western cultures associate with Christmas have their roots in pagan tradition (i.e. carolling, decorating trees, mistletoe, holly, wreaths, and Yule logs), it seems to me that some people go through life looking for reasons to be offended.

Ironically, the very people who are complaining about the perceived attack on Christmas are doing more damage to the holiday than anyone else. Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love, and goodwill towards others. To walk around like Scrooge complaining about someone’s choice of words doesn’t sound very Christmas-like to me.

So Let’s ALL Have a Very Merry Christmas!

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  1. Merry Christmas, Bob, and Happy Holidays!

  2. As long as it is positive what is the problem.

    Merry Christmas
    Happy New Year
    Seasons Greetings

    To everyone (choose what you like best and ignore the rest)

  3. As a business you don’t want to offend someone. So no matter what you do some one will get upset. I say if they say Merry Christmas to you you say it back. If they don’t then say what you want to say.

  4. Happy Holidays for Thanksgiving thru New Years, there is a bunch of them, and tis the season to be a greeting, and on Christmas I hope you all have a merry one, some egg nog will help ;) but the best day will be Boxing Day :)

  5. To each his own. I am happy with whatever greeting I am given, however, Christmas is named after Christ. It is the day Christians celebrate His birth. It may be just another holiday to some, but for me and my family, I like to keep Jesus at the forefront.

  6. Happy Holidays I hope you have joy as the the season encourages & a wonderful rest of the week.

  7. It’s a sign of the times.
    Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings or Merry Christmas. Let our Congress decide. They’re masters at double talk . All three refer to the same occasion.”Happy Birthday ,Jesus”.

  8. Well, if Jesus-Child was not born two thousand years ago, we all would NOT celebrate Christmas, seasons, holidays or anything else!
    And no matter whether you are a “believer” or not, I wish you all:

  9. As a practicing Pastafarian, I can honestly say that I’m very happy to hear more and more corporates every year converting to our beliefs by wishing people “Happy Holidays”!

  10. Philip Walterhouse

    Great post. It really can get tiring especially when my facebook news feed becomes full of complaints about “taking Christ out of Christmas”. This was a nice change though. Happy holidays :D

  11. What I’ve heard from most of those who’ve wanted to maintain Christmas as such, is that they don’t want to lose the significance of the “holiday” being the commemoration of Christ’s birth. While I can understand the conservative argument to a large degree – I also have to say that the attitude of greed & gluttony during the holiday season by many of the same people isn’t “Christ-like”. Most of all, I believe and wish everyone would agree that this season is one of giving, good will and, yes, PEACE among humankind everywhere.

    What you’ve written is EXCELLENT and gives some very valuable food for thought. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. Im not offended if someone wishes me “happy holidays” or “happy kwanza”. I certainly hope no one gets offended when I say Merry Christmas

  13. Have a very happy holiday season and a joy filled new year.

  14. This supposed “War on Christmas” is just another example of people trying to berate others for being on their bandwagon. This goes for both sides. Christmas is a wonderful holiday whether for those observing for faith based reasons or for those only keen on observing for material reasons but whether and how one chooses to observe it is still a matter of choice. People who tell me either “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” will get a polite response in kind. Someone who says either of the two, usually does so with good intentions (goodwill in their hearts and what-not) and last time I checked, that’s what really matters.

  15. I have friends that are Atheist, Muslim, Jewish, and Agnostic. They will tell me “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or other holiday greetings. Personally I say “Merry Christmas” or I’ll say “Happy Groundhog Day” just to catch someone off guard. But I’m not get offended if somebody wishes me “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings.” I am a Christian and I do my best to live that way. I’m not going to criticize someone if they DON’T say “Merry Christmas.” What ever you celebrate this time of year, celebrate it with the ones you love and be safe. As an old hippy once told me, “Peace, love, and happiness. The order is up to you.”

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

  16. I do agree with you! Here in Italy there is the same attitude at the moment, particularly since many Italians are asking the Catholic Church pay local property taxes (the Italian Government is trying hard to reduce public debt). I only think these kind of greetings are more respectful towards people of other faiths and agnostics.

  17. I’m sticking with a very good tradition and wishing any and all a Merry Christmas.

    Along with that, all the best of the season and the happiest of new year celebrations.

  18. I think if people get insulted by being wished a Merry Christmas they just don’t understand.

  19. I had a conversation with an Australian medico recently who advised they had been asked/advised/instructed to only use seasons greetings or happy holidays for fear of offending people of other faiths. I lived in a an Asian country for a number of years populated primarily with Muslims however it is also home to many Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians Taoists and a few more varieties as well. Most of my Muslim and other friends wished me a Merry Christmas with no problem. What’s all the fuss? Sometimes I think us westerners grow monsters in our head and the political correctness power crowd capitalise on it. I also fasted one year with my muslim staff members, went to Deepavali celebrations with my Indian friends and attended many Buddhist ceremonis . As an white agnostic married to a Chinese Catholic its a HO HO HO and MERRY CHRISTMAS from Ric.

  20. “Happy Holidays” was never meant as a denial of Christmas, but as a shorter alternative to “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”. Those were the two holidays that were generally being referred to.

    Yeah, it’s all silly.

  21. looks good and I could not agree anymore
    very well put

  22. Very true. Those who complain about “Happy Christmas” are those unwilling to change themselves. I don’t hear anyone complaining about Happy Hanukkah or Happy Muharram, or whatever other religions say. Complaining reveals a hardened heart. So, even though I’m not religious, Happy Christmas to all, a joyful celebration of your existence and a wonderful new year.

  23. It is the thought that counts, whatever words are used. Wishing you all the best for this joyous season!

  24. Ahoy!

    A very Merry Christmas to all. :)


  25. There is never a winner in a semantic argument like this… primarily because someone has to choose to be offended and if that occurs then all is lost already… I automatically say Merry Christmas and the following week Happy New Year because it is my upbringing it is a greeting and well wishing… not a political/religious stance.

  26. There are WAY too many other more important things to worry about than how someone chooses to greet us during December. I will greet you how I choose to greet you. If my greeting should happen to offend you, may we both get over it. If not, then I reserve the right to tell you to go !#&!$ yourself! =)

  27. How about chrismahanakwanzaka or HanaChristmaKwanzadan.

  28. I think you should say what’s in your heart…if that means Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings or something else….it’s ok.
    I beleive the more you weigh the politics of the greeting the less sincere it may become.

  29. Couldn’t agree more. Seems that we forget that it’s a time to share and enjoy the hapiness on others, not on ourselves.

  30. I think that Happy Holidays is just as good as saying Merry Christmas. It IS a holiday after all and there is New Year’s in that as well. With those two holidays very close together sometimes is easier or necessary to say Happy Holidays to address both. On the other hand, I don’t feel as though “Merry Christmas” should be cut out altogether. Yes, Christmas is based more on pagan celebration because of the lights and Christmas trees, but the REAL reason for the Season was ultimately supposed to be about Jesus and his birth. Hence the name “CHRIST-mas” and even though studies have shown that December 25th was not the real day nor the actual time of His birth it is the day that we put aside to celebrate that day as His birth because we don’t really know the actual time. As a Christian, myself, I don’t get offended when someone says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas because I know what Christmas really means to me. For me it’s not about the gifts or the hectic life of shopping and spending and getting into debt, which Christmas has actually become. But for me the real reason is the birth of MY Savior and the gift that He gave of His life, which is the gift of Salvation. The REASON He was born was to give His life as a ransom for many. That is what I, as a Christian observe not only on Christmas but every single day of my life. And for those who may or may not agree….well to each his own. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. :)

  31. In my opinion, we live, well most of us, live in a multicultural world, where variety of faiths and beliefs live alongside each other- we must therefore, be open and tolerant of this melting pot.
    Going over the top and being too politically correct, often results in little more than positive discrimination and hypocrisy.
    If a Muslim says ‘Inchala’ or a Christian ‘Merry Christmas’ where is the problem – happy ‘eid’ can be wished to a Muslim after Ramadan by a Jew, a Christian or an atheist – I really don’t see the problem. I was speaking to some Muslim students recently who said that although they do not celebrate Christmas as nothing more than a traditional present-giving way (as frankly a great number of Christians do) Jesus is such an important prophet in the Qu’aran that they are not at all bothered by being wished merry Christmas, as they would be wished ‘Happy Holidays’. I know Jewish people who do not celebrate Christmas a religious festival, but still wish others Merry Christmas – I have Hindu and Seik friends who do the same .
    Being too politically correct is a pain in the arse – Merry Christmas to all those that will celebrate Christmas and Happy Holidays for those that don’t – it is after all, a Holiday season….

  32. We say “Merry Christmas” even without thinking into specific religion and think “a great time for family and friends” and not “buy as much as you can”…

  33. I wish everyone love and peace. It is a shame that I am afraid to say Merry Christmas just in case.

  34. I’m mindful of others and generally write “happy holidays” or “seasons greetings” unless I know they celebrate Christmas.

    I don’t really care what people say – for me, this time of year is about connecting with and loving others, about slowly down enough to truly experience community and not get swept up in the commercial aspects of the season.

    Wishing you a season of light, laughter and love, as we move from one year into the next.

  35. Wendy Cobrda (@TheDataDiva)

    I say “Happy Happy, Merry Merry” and wish everyone a sense of peace and brotherhood during the holidays. I find it offensive that people can’t just live and let live.

    What about all the other world religions who are ignored during this joyous time? We should be celebrating humanity not picking it apart.

  36. Happy holidays!

    Have a great and prosperous 2012.

    Frank H

  37. Completely with you on this one Bob… Well written, happy holiday season and a very Merry Christmas to you too! ;-p

  38. Generally, I say Merry Christmas. If someone says Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings, that is fine with me. The idea that there is a “war” on Christmas is far overrated. I think those who are making a big deal about this alleged war, should focus their energies on some other activity. I also do not get why I should boycott a business for not saying Merry Christmas. That said, to all Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, and a very Happy New Year!!

  39. Totally with you on this. Let it be what it be. Someone wishes you a Merry Christmas and you’re not into the Christ part of Christmas, take it as a general wish for a great season and be done with it! If you prefer to hear “CHRISTmas” then be Christ-like and forgiving of those who don’t! If you can’t, then work through it yourself. The other guy ain’t the problem… Oh and… Merry Christmas!(Now sometimes I do say Merry Humbug because I’m tired of running around like a maniac, shopping and losing the meaning of it all. But. It’s all good.)

  40. When I know that a person I’m talking to celebrates Christmas, I try to wish them a Merry Christmas. When I know that a person I’m talking to celebrate Hanukkah, I wish them a Happy Hanukkah. If they are more in touch with early pagan practices, I’ll wish them a happy solstice or maybe a happy yuletide. If I’m not sure, I wish them a Happy Holidays.

    Personally, if I really want someone to have a happy day, I try to meet them where they are at, instead of expecting them to yield to my biases.

  41. I agree with you on this. Now that the world seems smaller with the onset of new technologies, communities are more intertwined. Generations of new children celebrate Christmas even though they are not Christians. It’s a day now more celebrated as, you mentioned, “Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love, and goodwill towards others.” Also it’s a day when we all just want to be with the ones we love and “don’t like” in life. A peace/truce day if you like and share a meal and some sort of happiness.

  42. Absolutely agree – I’m an agnostic, and I’m happy for people of all faiths to wish me “happy anything they like” [So long as it's not an observance that itself involves intolerance or exclusion]. To paraphrase Dickens’ Tiny Tim ” bless us, every one”.

  43. On the US calendar, it is still called “Christmas Day”. I say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays interchangeably as a greeting this time of year. For my friends who specifically celebrate a different holiday, I will greet them accordingly. In general, I agree that some people are just looking for something to complain about. I don’t care either way what a stranger says to me if they care enough to try to wish me a greeting.

    I believe each individual should say by default what they believe and what comes natural to them. You’re wishing someone good will- why should there be rules on how you can do so?

    If you’re offended when someone wishes you a “Merry Christmas” (or Merry Xmas, or Happy Holidays or Hanukkah or whatever) then you are the one with the problem, not them.

  44. I totally agree. My wife and I just had this discussion the other day. We say ‘season’s greetings’ from Thanksgiving until New Years. On those days we usually say ‘Happy Thanksgiving’, ‘Merry Christmas’, and ‘Happy New Year’.

  45. I say it is the feeling behind the word. Some people want to be respectful of all people and especially in the workplace We don’t always know the other persons religious preference. Diversity is what makes the workplace exciting and empowering in terms of personal growth. If someone wants to be mindful of that let the folks on The Fox channel rant. Take well wishes in the spirit of which they are given. Leave the semantics for the talking heads who need controversy to sell their commercials. Respect the message and the spirit behind it.

  46. Merry CHRISTmas to one and all! And to those who are offended Happy holidays!

  47. This is an interesting discussion, based on all the comments. For me, I don’t care what people use in order to wish me a good time. Important is, they do and I appreciate that in any way it comes my way.

    The entire discussion is religious and the U.S. claim to separate government and religion. For those on the far right of the issue and all religions, celebrate what you want and let others celebrate what they want. Don’t force anything on others. It is important for all of us to respect each other. Disrespecting someone because of religious believe is, in my opinion, as low as one can go, no matter what “club” one belongs to.

    I am used to say/wish others “Merry Christmas” and this is what I mostly wish. I think most people understand what the intention is with the wish and can easily convert the phrase, as I do when I hear something else. A requirement for “political correctness”, in my opinion, is absurd, even though it really exists.

  48. Lynda White, The Brenda Doll Team, Keller Williams Realty Louisville East

    I’m not offended by anyone saying, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Kwaanza, or anything else they celebrate.

    However, because I know a few people are offended, I avoid saying them most of the time in business.

  49. Agree. Happy Holidays is just a nice way of saying whatever you celebrate, enjoy it. How can that be offensive?

    It’s not a war on Christmas, it’s “I don’t know you very well but you might be Jewish and we have a few days off, enjoy them!”

    Get over yourself!

    Enjoy the next week, or don’t, whatever.


  50. A very Happy Holidays to you too, Mr Rock’n’Roll Christmas Bear!

  51. Rather than offend someone, I shy away from Merry Christmas, unless I know someone is celebrating Christmas. This year I have taken to saying, “Happy December Festivities month” which is a little bit tongue in cheek for the hell of it.

    I feel that instead of saying, “People should know that I am just wishing them happy tidings and a good end of the year” that it is my responsibility to honor the fact that I can take the time to switch my own brain and speech over to respect them and whatever their religious preferences may be (even if that is to not have a religion).

    I feel that the spirit of this time of year is to go above and beyond for people, so when I force the Christian holiday upon someone, then I am being the lazy one and not doing my part to help someone have a great holiday season.

    Go above and beyond for someone, respect them and their religious preferences and don’t ram your holiday down their throats because it is what you believe.

    • Wishing someone a Merry Christmas is hardly ramming it down their throats. Also, I have many non-Christian friends who say Merry Christmas. I don’t believe you are “forcing the Christian holiday on someone”. The holiday will happen at the same time every year, whether they choose to celebrate or not. A simple “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” is not forcing someone to convert.

  52. Well said Bob! Besides, there’s always Festivus for the rest of us.

  53. Happy Festivus to you, Bob! ; )

  54. I always say Merry Christmas or better yet how about something like Have a Merry Jesus’ Birthday!!!

  55. Bob, I couldn’t agree more! I wish everyone a wonderful holiday – whether it is Christmas, Hanukkah, kwanzaa, or any other. I wish joy, peace and happiness to all. Lets celebrate each other!

  56. I love your point about the whole “point” of saying the phrase!

  57. I tweeted something similar myself earlier this morning. I’m bored of these liberals who try to protect us from being offended by what others say or do.
    Controls like the removal of Merry Christmas are an assault on our freedom of speech and even thought. I’m never offended by Diwali or hanukkah. Why should someone who is not Christian be offended of a Christian/Pagan celebration? It makes no sense to me!

  58. I agree with you Bob! It is respectful to EVERYONE to say Happy Holidays or similar inclusive phrases. I find that those who think “happy holidays” or “seasons greetings” is offensive are bigoted, hateful Christians, who refuse to respect or acknowledge people of other faiths or beliefs. Why not be respectful and cordial to people of ALL faiths and beliefs??? What’s the harm in that?? And to those Christians out there, Isn’t that what Christ would do anyway???

  59. I plead for ‘Festive Season’ ! Can we have an educated fight about that one, please ?

    You’re right, some always try to make themselves important on the expense of others using ‘guns’ and elbows instead of being creative.

  60. This is going to sound bad, but I wish there were an actual war on Christmas. I am so tired of everything Christmas, I can’t wait for it to be over. And if I hear one more Christmas song, I think I might lose my mind.

  61. Happy Holidays!

    I’ll not mention any specific holidays b/c I’m not religious. Nada. As an atheist, what do I celebrate? I celebrate kindness and happiness. Simply put. I’ll celebrate your smile :))

  62. Merry Christmas ….from my heart! If people do not want to hear that…..TOUGH!

  63. As an atheist, I couldn’t agree with you more, Bob! I honestly don’t care whether someone says “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” or whatever they’re comfortable with saying. It’s rather silly to get all bent out of shape over a greeting anyways.

    Happy Holidays! :)

  64. Interestingly enough, a study has just come out in the states suggesting that more businesses are getting more business when they use “Merry Christmas” rather than other than other greetings. I don’t know if this extends to other countries.

  65. Positive plus property investments

    I agree with you Bob. Merry Christmas everybody!!

  66. Merry Christmas and the lights in the tree are a remembrance of the lights in our hearts, up to us to light them or dim them.

  67. Those complainers also forget that even Jesus himself wouldn’t have lashed out at someone for not saying Merry Christmas. He loved everyone, without equivocation. I am a Christian, and I try, everyday, to live it. Bob, you hit the nail on the head. Be happy for life itself and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  68. Well. this is a two way street, isn’t it? Nobody should be offended about any of the terms used. So while people do should not complain about “Happy Holidays”, other should not be offended by Merry Christmas.

    In the end it is important what is in people’s hearts, not how they call it.

  69. Well said! I say, “Merry Christmas” by default. But to someone I know (or suspect) celebrates Hanukkah, I say, “Happy Holidays.” It seems more courteous and respectful.

  70. I don’t mind what people say as long as it is in the spirit of this season of loving, family and giving BUT I will not tolerate being corrected or told what is the so-called politically correct. I won’t have others beliefs forced on me by government or individuals. Merry Christmas to you and your family Bob and may SANTA be good to you

  71. at friends i say merry Christmas and happy holidays to customers. So I think to respect the cultures of all.
    Have a great day Bob

  72. I think the “war on Christmas” is purely in the collective heads of the people that claim it to exist. On occasion, I’ve heard people actually get annoyed and “correct” people who say “happy holidays”, as though though the phrase, one that communicates good will, were offensive or insulting. It’s entirely absurd.

    While the non-religious portion of the US is growing(or at the very least becoming more open about disbelief) and there have been more public pushes to maintain and enforce the separation of church and state laid out by Jefferson, Christians are far from being persecuted as some like to claim. Christians still make up about 70% or 75% of the country, can openly practice and discuss their religion, and complain about persecution. Asking to respect others’ beliefs rather than trampling on minorities rights is far from being tossed to lions.

  73. People spend too much time telling others how to behave.

  74. I don’t understand why people are offended when others say Happy Holidays. Equally, it should be the right of others to say Merry Christmas. The only reason everyone’s got up in a tiff is some places have outlawed any reference to Christmas including: Christmas parties, Christmas trees, and saying Merry Christmas. I doubt anyone would get in trouble for saying Happy Kwanzaa. Let’s not lose our diversity by everyone conforming to a vanilla form of political correctness.

  75. In italian:
    Nulla di sbagliato! Sono daccordo con te!
    Purtroppo per rispettare le altre religioni e le altre tradizioni, stiamo trascurando le nostre. Il Natale non è più solo un simbolo cristiano, ma anche un simbolo di pace e fratellanza.
    Quindi: Happy Christmas!

    Google translation:
    Nothing is wrong! I agree with you!
    Unfortunately, in order to respect other religions and other traditions, we are neglecting our own. Christmas is no longer just a Christian symbol, but also a symbol of peace and brotherhood.
    So Happy Christmas!

  76. Great Post Bob, I say “Merry Christmas” because that is what I personally celebrate. However, I am cautious when greeting strangers and will offer “Happy Holidays”

  77. Merry Christmas, Blessed Hanukah and a Happy New Year!
    May we all enjoy the pagan festivities, added to our own religious or non-religious seasonal feasts.
    Personally, I hope to celebrate the birth of the Christ child with my fellow villagers, as has been done in the same English parish church since the 1100s.

  78. Any Greeting of Goodwill Works Anytime Bob.

    Merry Christmas Works for me as Happy holidays does.

    As long as either is OK its OK

  79. Oh, I could not agree more!! Whether or not you are Christian, if someone mistakenly wishes you a Merry Christmas, what is so hard about smiling and wishing them a merry Christmas in return? I have no children, but inevitably, in May, I am wished a Happy Mother’s Day. Do I take offence and berate the well-wisher for assuming that, just because I am the right age that I MUST have children?? No, I smile and say “Thank You,” or “Happy Mother’s Day to you, too.”

    Folks, we HAVE to stop looking for things to fight about. There are so many important issues that we as a country must deal with each and every day… if Merry Christmas is the toughest issue that you will face this year, then I say count your blessings.

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