December doesn’t belong to you

12234968_938132669611540_1102603823186483744_nThe amount of people getting genuinely angry over a greeting is growing increasingly confusing to me. I’m talking about the greeting “happy holidays”.

“Happy holidays” is a wonderful, all-inclusive greeting that encompasses every holiday being celebrated in December. Lately, though, people have been claiming that “happy holidays” is being used to avoid offending anyone. These same people, then, are getting offended over the avoidance of  “Merry Christmas”. This has gone from an attempt to include others, to the assumption that we are trying not to offend others, to people being offended by trying not to offend others. I can’t be the only one who thinks that progression is silly.

The thing is, most people don’t get offended at “Merry Christmas”. People say “happy holidays”, not to avoid offending anyone, but rather to avoid excluding anyone. It is a courtesy. It is meant to curb the violence that is assimilation and erasure–a violence that, for some reason, we feel we are entitled to dole out just because we are in the majority.

To add, there is more than one holiday around this time of year. Even if you do celebrate Christmas, the New Year is just a week after. “Happy holidays” collectively says both. Most people celebrate more than one holiday during this time. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and many others are also celebrated, and that’s why we get so much time off from work or school–so that everyone gets the opportunity to celebrate the holiday of choice. Christmas is almost always the majority. Saying “happy holidays” to someone doesn’t mean you’re taking away from Christmas, but rather that you’re acknowledging that many people live in our part of the world who may celebrate differently from you.

If this seems like a no-brainer, that’s because it should be! Do we really need a reminder that different people celebrate things differently?

Take a moment to realize that people are wishing you well when they say “happy holidays”. They are not trying to offend you; they are not trying to avoid offending anyone. They are telling you to enjoy this time of year, sometimes despite the fact they don’t know you well enough to know what holiday, if any, you celebrate. And, by the way, if you feel it’s ridiculous to get offended over someone saying Merry Christmas, then I would counter that it’s equally ridiculous to get offended over someone saying happy holidays.

December doesn’t belong to Christians. December doesn’t belong to any one denomination. Canada is not a Christian country, but rather a beautiful cultural mosaic that respects people of all religions and creeds. In fact, there is no one Christian nation; there are merely nations with a Christian majority. So happy holidays to you, no matter which holidays you celebrate or recognize. And if you don’t appreciate my greeting, that’s cool too. I’ll gladly save it for someone who does.

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  1. Thank you!! 😀

    I found myself on twitter facepalming over the mass amount of bigot comments I had seen on both this topic and the Muslim fear issue….

    It’s fascinating how we can build up our walls from educated childhood fears.

    Honestly if people did bother to learn about the world, they might learn they have move in common then they ever thought.


    I wish my old christian friends might some day learn that the Muslims also believe in Jesus.
    The story of Jesus’s divine birth and virgin conception is even told in the #Quran.
    It’s basically the #Christmas story.

    All this fear mongering of hate has been insane, and no different then what was done to the Jews during WW2.

    Ultimately the 10 commandments apply to all three branches of religions.
    “Thou shalt not kill” being one of those.
    Any who pretend to wear a name, or justify war and violence are not serving the words expressed by this creator anyway~

    They just become bigoted liars falsely hiding behind a title.

    December is a season of unity, between all the spiritualities. When a sense of selfless loving takes over and we wish to bring joy….

    🙂 Thank you for your article again!!!
    Much love to you and the fam.

    • Hey Sonya, thanks so much for your reply. You’re so right! There’s so much ignorance and fearmongering. We can all stand to remember that this is a season of giving, and extend to others the same kindness we would offer to our own friends and family. Have a beautiful holiday!

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