Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays—-Political Correctness Or Overkill?

Have people become too sensitive when spoken to nowadays? With all this rash of being socially and politically correct being placed upon us, I feel that sometimes, it can get too far.

Just take the simple act of saying “Merry Christmas’ to someone. In recent years, I noticed that it was very hard to find greeting cards with the words”Merry Christmas” on them. Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays on cards for sure are existing around.

Until some folks started a public outcry in my city about the absurdity of this over- the- top political correctness, that the words”Merry Christmas” is in vogue again.

Being too overly cautious that it would offend other folks of different cultures especially that of faith can get too far. I doubt very much that these folks will get too offended or sensitive about it. Personally, I would understand if such folks are more comfortable greeting me “Happy Holidays” if their faith so dictates but I would really get offended if a Christian is very uncomfortable greeting me “Merry Christmas”.

Let me elaborate this further. I once talked to this  lady whom I know is an active church-goer in the French  Roman Catholic Church in my neighborhood. Days before  Christmas Day, I bumped into her and greeted her “Merry Christmas’in  French  and  I was surprised that she was shocked and looked nervous  after hearing it. She then looked around as if afraid that someone might be present and then she faced me and with a smile said “Happy Holidays! in French. Let me tell you ,mon ami, I was equally shocked as well and I thought that I had seen a lot of crazy things in my life and this particular encounter will have to join them too. Tsk,tsk,tsk! At least Ebenezer Scrooge had an awakening after the visits of the 3 ghosts of past,present and future regarding the Christmas spirit. This lady particularly may need such visits too,IMO!

FYI BTW, Joyeux Noel in French is Merry Christmas and Joyeuses Fetes in French is Happy Holidays.

Saying Happy Holidays for me sounds too generic. To think that we describe this time of the year as the Christmas season to do Christmas shopping on Christmas sales and watch Christmas movies like A Christmas Carol. What about that poem which starts as “T’was the night before Christmas when all throught the house, not a creature was stirring,not even a mouse..”.

Imagine with the above sentences,substituting the word Christmas with the word holiday and then you’ll see how generic it can be.

The word holiday can mean any event that doesn’t mean Christmas like St. Patrick’s Day,Labor Day.etc.

If I’m comfortable greeting folks on their special days like Kwanzaa, Diwali,Eid-al-Fitr,Hanukkah,etc., then greeting with the words Merry Christmas should be no exception particulary between folks who do celebrate Christmas. Why single it out? What’s so embarassing about it? It’s like taking the Christ out of Christmas therefore, removing the essence and spirit of the season.

Just my 2 cents on this matter!


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