Debate and Discussion

Is "Happy Holidays" the new "Merry Christmas"?
TH89 at 3:11PM, Dec. 20, 2007
(offline)
posts: 36
joined: 1-30-2006
I've always thought the whole debate was ridiculous–both sides of it.

Any non-Christian who gets offended because a Christian (or otherwise) says “Merry Christmas” is being way too sensitive. Any Christian who gets mad because the government or their local superstore doesn't say “Merry Christmas” is lame for expecting public life to cater to their religion all the time.

So. As an atheist/agnostic I'm going to keep saying Merry Christmas because there's a Christmas tree in my house and it's fun to buy gifts for people and sing annoying songs over and over again.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:13PM
bobhhh at 4:37PM, Dec. 20, 2007
(offline)
posts: 893
joined: 5-12-2007
I have to confess I like the dumb songs as well.

As an atheist, I am sometimes ridculed for taking part in Xmas, but I like the goodwill aspect, and it's rare when people who can't sing can congregate outside of a Karaokr bar and not be openly scorned for their lack of talent.

MXM!!
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
arteestx at 8:26PM, Dec. 20, 2007
(online)
posts: 285
joined: 6-1-2007
For me, it's about inclusiveness. For a Christian to say “Merry Christmas” or a Jew to say “Happy Hanukkah” is fine, and those who are offended need to get over themselves.

But for a business to commemorate one holiday at the expense of others seems needlessly exclusive to me. I don't think any laws need to be passed, but instead of fighting over when to say Christmas, how often to say Hanukkah or Kwanza, when to start and stop Ramadan, why not go with the easy fix of “Happy Holidays” throughout the season?

Look, I think the govt has better things to do, and I hope Congress never takes up legislation about changing Happy Holidays to Merry Christmas or vice versa. And I know we as a society are never going to be 100% inclusive and celebrate all religious holidays equally. But when there's such an obvious and inclusive solution, why not do it? Personally I'm not going to picket any business that says Christmas instead of Holidays, but I will view that business as being more exclusive than needed. But geez, aren't there more important things in this world to fight than this?

Ultimately I would hope all businesses who cater to a wide variety of patrons would voluntarily do their best to be as inclusive as possible. I would hope that religious zealots wouldn't get bent out of shape for using Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas and fight some “War on Christmas”. I would hope agnostics wouldn't get bent out of shape over a sincere personal greeting that comes from a religious viewpoint and demand Holidays or Xmas everywhere.

Mostly I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday season, whatever you celebrate!

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
ozoneocean at 9:17PM, Dec. 20, 2007
(online)
posts: 25,085
joined: 1-2-2004
All very reasonable, seemingly, until you come to this:
arteestx
I would hope that religious zealots wouldn't get bent out of shape
Hmm…
Zealots? I don't think so man. Zealots have traditionally been the biggest enemies of Christmas and still are, worse than your fake PC thugs, atheists, or imagined attacks from people of any other religion.

Christmas isn't a religious holiday, it's a cultural one, that's what you have to understand. People who like Christmas most, who have always liked it most aren't in it for religion, they appreciate its social aspects, the celebration, the gift giving and other positive traditions.

Commercial interests aren't having some problem with “inclusiveness”, they want your business, whatever holiday you want to celebrate. That's fine and I sincerely hope they make massive profits this season and that their employees are happy, well fed and get big bonuses. But it's a bit silly for the guy on the street to ape such commercial pleas.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
arteestx at 6:57AM, Dec. 21, 2007
(online)
posts: 285
joined: 6-1-2007
ozoneocean
Zealots? I don't think so man. ….
Honestly, your post completely lost me. I agree that Christmas is a cultural holiday that can be celebrated without accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Plenty of people from all faiths and beliefs do. However, Christmas does have a strong connection to Christianity and there's a huge gray area about where the cultural celebration stops and the religious celebration starts. As an athiest, I love carols like Silent Night and What Child Is This?, but let's face it, those songs *are* about Christ as your Lord and Savior. But I feel no personal need to parse out and/or boycott the religious aspects of Christmas and keep only the cultural aspects. I just want acknowledgement from govt, businesses, etc. that there are other religions besides the one with Jesus, and that inclusiveness of other Holidays should be voluntary.

By “zealots” I was referring to the “put Christ back in Christmas” crowd who boycott WalMart if they dare use “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” To me, that's zealotry, but I'm happy to use some other word that may be more appropriate.

And I'm sorry but I could not follow the rest of the “ape such commericial pleas” post at all. Could you clarify?

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
ozoneocean at 8:42AM, Dec. 21, 2007
(online)
posts: 25,085
joined: 1-2-2004
The commercial plea is “Happy Holidays”, that's where it comes from. You're saying that businesses should use it to be inclusive, I say you've got it 180. As some of us have already said here; business is the number one biggest proponent of such nondescript phrases. By “aping” I mean “to imitate”, “to copy”, “follow the example of”; ie. an individual saying “happy holidays” is more likely to use the phrase in unconscious imitation of the commercial slogan than for any thinking choice -That's just how people are. :)
In the end though it does come down to personal choice.

And no, Zealots are the biggest enemy of Christmas and always have been. I know my history… The various puritan movements tried to do a job on it (they weren't the first OR the last), and extremists still do even today. Those people who boycott shops with their silly claim trying to bring Christ to the fore in Christmas are just as bad, they're out to kill it: your contemporary cultural experience and any historical knowledge of Christmas should tell you that the celebration is about things like gifts, a special meal, family gatherings, and decorations. Such attributes have been with the event since it first coalesced into being, and these are the very traits Zealots wish to strip from it!

One of the stated goals of these groups is “Christmas just for practising Christians”. Can you imagine what that would do to it? A dwindling group turning a revered and much loved holiday into yet another forgotten and boring strictly religious event…

Christianity has acted to preserve this positive, yet ancient artefact of European culture, adding new traits that are secondary. Over the centuries it has gained more. The latest traits are an association with increased commercial sales and an aspect of commercial celebration. This further enhances its prospects for longevity, helping to proselytize the essence of the celebration (but NOT the religion!) to very many different cultures around the world. Indeed, the commercial aspect of Christmas is celebrated in many different and quite non-Christian countries in Asia, which is a nice sign. And funnil enough, they don't much use “Happy Holidays” ;)

In the end though, the idea that the phrase spares sensibilities is naive: “shit still smells like shit no matter what you name it”, to riff on Shakespeare… :)
If you want to use it instead though, go ahead! Honestly, I'm just happy the tradition continues.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
TnTComic at 8:44AM, Dec. 21, 2007
(offline)
posts: 681
joined: 6-25-2007
Considering stores have their Christmas shit on the shelves before Halloween, “Happy Holidays” makes sense to me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
YoungNastyMan at 11:41PM, Dec. 24, 2007
(offline)
posts: 87
joined: 9-7-2007
Honestly, I don't care what they call it! Christmas isn't about religion or Jesus, anyway! It's about presents, and lights that go twinkle twinkle! Now, when i wake up, and open up my christmas loot, i'm not gonna think about religion. I'm gonna think about the kindness of giving, and the pretty lights that flicker! And, if I go to a store that same day, and someone says to me, “happy holidays there, sporticus!” I'll turn to them, wearing my santa hat, santa suit, white beard, and cool shades, and say, “You don't need to be politically correct with me, boy. Today's the day, and I'm feelin pretty damned jolly.” Then, i'll take a bite of a huge snickers bar, and then proceed to crouch down, and write my name and address on the sidewalk with it's chocolatey goodness, as if it were a fat piece of chalk.
(>^_^)>(>^.)>('<)
Tag you're it! Tag, you're it! Tag, you're….Oh, god dammit!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:53PM
KomradeDave at 7:31PM, Dec. 25, 2007
(online)
posts: 589
joined: 9-26-2006
I think we're all forgetting Sam Walton's dying words, “Keep the Jews out of my Wal-mart.”

Seriously though, if someone tells you to have a Merry Christmas, and they obviously don't know you well enough to know that it would offend you as a non-Christian, wouldn't the polite thing to do be to accept someone's wish for you to have a nice day, even if it's a day that holds no deeper meaning for you?
If someone walked up to you and said, “Happy Tuesday,” you might find it odd, but would you be offended? If that persons faith put a special significance on Tuesday does that change how offended you are? If it does then what does it say about you?

Also,
с pождеством, суки!
Handshakes and mustaches are the only ways to know how much you can truly trust a man.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:20PM
Loud_G at 9:09AM, Jan. 11, 2008
(online)
posts: 389
joined: 8-13-2007
This has been a great discussion :D Thanks guys!

I have always wondered why someone would get offended when I wish them a “Merry Christmas”

I mean its not like I wished them "A Rotten, Terrible December 25th and I hope you DIE!" :D

If they celebrate or not, I'm wishing them well. I'm glad that we have such a realistic and understanding group here :)
Find out what George is up to:

 
 
Go! Visit George or he may have to eat you!*
*Disclaimer: George may or may not eat violators depending on hunger level and scarcity of better tasting prey.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:46PM
teedomoonstrider at 4:02PM, Jan. 11, 2008
(offline)
posts: 42
joined: 12-7-2007
I'm actually more concerned that political people are wanting to do things about this. This isn't a government issue, this is a business/public issue in my opinion, and if a company wants to say “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” it's their problem. If people want to boycott them for saying something different then that's the company's issue. Like if I ran a business and greeted people with “Farty fart fart penis weasel!”, it would be up to the customer to run like hell or come in to see what in the world turned me insane.

Besides, it's not like it's going to change any of the damn commercials that keep pushing their crap endlessly, nor is it going to keep Santa Claus/Rudolph from pushing Coke/Pepsi/a cellphone/etc.

Also, I agree with TnTComic and Aurora Rose.
This is a signature. There are others like it but this one is mine.

Wang.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:08PM
JayBlaster at 1:40PM, Jan. 14, 2008
(offline)
posts: 10
joined: 12-15-2007
What surprises me the most (as well as gives me a great deal of gratification) is the sheer amount of replies/those who replied to this topic thus far. I wasn't half-prepared for such a conversation, so it's good to know I can excite opinions.
I must say that I would still prefer to stick with your traditional Merry Christmas, no because I'm religious, but because I don't see any point in changing a century-old(i think) custom just because a few people got their panties all knotted.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
StaceyMontgomery at 1:51PM, Jan. 14, 2008
(offline)
posts: 520
joined: 4-7-2007
Because the truth is always worth repeating:

Personally, I prefer “Happy Yule” or “Happy Midwinter Festival” - I don't see any point in changing a tradition that is many thousands of years old.

The Midwinter Holiday is much older than than the Christians are - I dont see why we should change anything because Christians have their panties in a knot.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Hawk at 8:30PM, Jan. 14, 2008
(online)
posts: 2,760
joined: 1-2-2006
StaceyMontgomery
Personally, I prefer “Happy Yule” or “Happy Midwinter Festival” - I don't see any point in changing a tradition that is many thousands of years old.

The Midwinter Holiday is much older than than the Christians are - I dont see why we should change anything because Christians have their panties in a knot.

Do you honestly meet Christians who are offended by “Happy Midwinter Festival”?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
StaceyMontgomery at 6:58AM, Jan. 15, 2008
(offline)
posts: 520
joined: 4-7-2007
Hawk asks:

“Do you honestly meet Christians who are offended by ”Happy Midwinter Festival“?


No. never.

But then, I've never met a non-christian who was offended by being wished ”Merry Christmas" either.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Hawk at 9:22AM, Jan. 15, 2008
(online)
posts: 2,760
joined: 1-2-2006
Good point.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved