I don’t celebrate Christmas, but happy holidays isn’t the answer

This is most certainly a Christmas picture. Via Flickr user alamez.

This is most certainly a Christmas picture. Via Flickr user alamez.

It’s December, and I walk into a store — the grocery, a clothing shop, whatever — and all around me are the signs of the season. A Christmas tree in all its plastic glory sits at the store’s entrance. Red and green decorations prove inescapable. I check out, and the cashier is wearing a Santa hat.

“Happy holidays,” the cashier says.

I repeat back his sentiment and leave.

But what I’m really thinking is — I wish people would stop wishing me happy holidays.

No, this isn’t a war on Christmas. In fact, I don’t celebrate Christmas. I’m just sick of hearing happy holidays.

Under the guise of inclusiveness, people started replacing “merry Christmas” with “happy holidays.” There are differing theories as to why, chief among them being a desire to appear politically correct. But as one of the minority who doesn’t celebrate the holiday (nine out 10 Americans do), all I want for Christmas is for people to stop wishing happy holidays.

  • Even though I’m not Christian, I know Christmas exists. Shocking. You can’t hide it from me. And the holiday’s existence doesn’t offend me just because I don’t celebrate it. Are you offended by Chanukah or Diwali because you don’t celebrate them?
  • The vast majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, so when you wish a merry one, there is a 90 percent chance that it will cover the recipient’s situation. I understand that.
  • The store has a Christmas tree, and you’re wearing a Santa hat. And then you wish a happy holidays? Please, you’re not fooling me. There’s only one holiday you have in mind. I don’t know of any other holidays that include a tree and a man in a red suit.
  • Wishing happy holidays doesn’t cover or make up for the fact that everything around you is Christmas-related. Sending a red and green card with happy holidays written on it. Wishing happy holidays while wearing a Santa hat. I know that red and green aren’t “holiday” colors; they’re Christmas colors.

For these reasons, please just wish a merry Christmas. Own your holiday. I won’t be insulted if you bestow good wishes upon me for Christmas.

As 30 Rock would say, “Happy holidays is what terrorists say. Merry Christmas.”

  1. I celebrate Christmas, although I’ve lost the Christmas spirit. But I appreciate your post. Maybe it’s a business thing, like it’s safer to say happy holidays instead of merry christmas. I’ve never thought about this before, thanks for posting this topic!

    • Yeah, I think it’s because businesses like to stay away from anything that might have the remote chance of offending someone. But sometimes, it gets ridiculous.

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