It's not going to be an especially heavy lift for 2021 to be a better year than was 2020. https://www.history.com/news/the-war-of-words-behind-happy-holidays Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday season! The greeting “Merry Christmas” has a pretty long history. According to a poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute in 2016, 66 percent of Democrats said that stores and businesses should greet customers with “Happy Holidays,” “Season’s Greetings” or some other general greeting, rather than “Merry Christmas,” as a show of respect for different religious faiths; only 28 percent of Republicans felt the same. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. If Jewish people are envious of the dazzling nature of Christmas, why don’t they just celebrate Christmas? What started as a dispute forged by religious preference became … When I was sixteen, I moved to the States to live with an American family in California. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images). To trivialize something that you are invited to trivialize, or to trivialize your own religion that you are not supposed to trivialize? As Andrew McGill wrote in The Atlantic in 2016, Christians have exchanged the greeting “Happy Holidays” among themselves for decades, most with the understanding that the “holidays” meant the season of Advent, the four-Sunday cycle on that includes Christmas and ends on the Feast of the Epiphany. Otherwise, what else would Christians expect non-Christians to do on “Christmas Day”? Here the desire to discourage Jewish people from enjoying Christmas is disguised as their respect for Christians. Should I feel guilty on St. Patrick’s Day, if I claimed that I am Irish for the day? It was replaced by a more generic, politically-correct version, “Happy holidays.”. Contact: dyske@dyske.com. In recent years, the debate over whether to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” has become as reliable a post-Thanksgiving tradition as the Black Friday shopping craze. For me, being able to say, “Merry Christmas!” to anyone was a … ©2004 DYSKE Occasionally I email you when I post a new article or if I have a question for my readers. The “Happy Holidays” tyrants want to get rid of Christmas … Doctor is bombarded with abuse for 'excluding Muslims' by wishing his followers Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas: The Last Thing That Ever Needs To Be Said About It 12/04/2013 04:00 pm ET Updated Feb 03, 2014 Every year at the beginning of December some Americans engage in a ridiculous rhetorical ritual that recycles righteous arguments about whether people should say to one another Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas and a happy new year " (thus incorporating two greetings) was in an informal letter written by an English admiral in 1699. By looking at historic literary works, you will see how far back this greeting can be traced. Christmas is not a major holiday in Japan, but the commercial aspects of it are enthusiastically embraced by many. I find both Judaism and Christianity intriguing, but when it comes to the holiday season, I prefer Christmas over Hanukkah. Fight back against that by doing one thing: say “Merry Christmas.” Don’t say Happy Holidays. I remember receiving a few Christmas gifts. Most notable is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol published in 1843. Whether you choose to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” sincerely wishing someone else well at this time of year—or any time, really—is never a bad idea. If anything, it’s a generic, catch-all greeting employed by companies looking to increase their customer demographic. It was in the early 90′s that I started feeling the pressure to stop saying “Merry Christmas” around the holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays used to be easily interchangeable. So, “Merry Christmas” it up all you like. In the book Season’s Greetings From the White House, first published in 1996 and updated in 2007, author Mary Evans Seeley offers details of presidential Christmas cards, messages and gifts through the years. I was impressed, or shocked, by how spectacular it was. The use of “Happy Holidays” spread in the late 20th century as a way for retailers to greet customers without fear of offending those who might not celebrate Christmas. White House Christmas card from George H. W. Bush, 1989. The commercialized aspects of Christmas have no historical basis in Christianity, but we enjoy it anyway. The "Merry Christmas vs. Until I moved to New York where I made many Jewish friends, I had never heard of Hanukkah. It was in the early 90′s that I started feeling the pressure to stop saying “Merry Christmas” around the holiday season. (Credit: White House/White House/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images). “Happy Holidays” was increasingly (rather exponentially) pushed on people during the 70s, 80s, and hugely in the 90s as part of the whole PC movement which was just fronting for the Neomarxist assault on Western Civilization, and especially Christianity. Whenever I say "Merry Christmas" to somebody, I'm basically saying "I hope you have a merry day on December 25th". Why do they have to invent their own holiday to compete with Christmas? But "Merry Christmas" has been used since at least 1534—a dated letter from bishop John Fisher to Henry VIII's chief minister Thomas Cromwell reveals as much. By Jeremy_Brener @JeremyBrener Dec 25, 2020, 6:00am CST / new. Pray in Jesus’s name. How did a simple salutation get so controversial? MERRY CHRISTMAS!” … for which I was summarily. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. What if he wants to celebrate Christmas? If you were confident of your own religious beliefs and identity, appreciating the customs of other religions should not be harmful. But you know, this year the emphasis almost has to be on the "Happy New Year" part of the traditional year-end greeting. 1925 Hallmark Christmas card. Hallmark, founded by J.C. Hall in 1910, started producing its own greeting cards in 1915. No festivals of religious origins would be enjoyable. Growing up in Japan, my family casually celebrated Christmas. Everyone seemed to understand that the spirit of the wish was more important than the exact words said. One Jewish friend recently told me that her family has always celebrated Christmas, but they made sure that no Christmas artifacts can be seen from outside. If Christians are happy with Christmas being a national holiday, non-Christians have the right to do whatever we want to do with Christmas. (Courtesy of the Hallmark Archives, Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, USA ). Happy holidays includes more religions than Merry Christmas, which is why it is better. The identities our society projects on us are in conflict with the identities we feel inside. Now we say “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” rather than “Merry Christmas.” While growing up we were always taught that saying Merry Christmas to whomever we saw was polite and courteous, we did not have to worry about offending anyone with the phrase. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate Christmas; happy holidays to everyone else. Therefore, then or now, to wish someone “Happy Holidays” is to wish them happiness from the first night of Advent through the Feast of the Epiphany, including Christmas. Just because he is Jewish, does not mean that he should or he has to celebrate Hanukkah. Controversy over phrasing rarely figured in to historical presidential holiday greetings. Continue Reading. ... Willie Nelson, wrote in 1963, and which Roy Orbison first made famous in the years before Willie became Willie, and he still sold his songs to anyone who’d buy ’em. When asked about how stores should greet their customers over the holidays, 42% of Americans prefer “Merry Christmas,” 12% prefer “Happy Holidays” and 46% say it doesn't matter. I mean seriously. “The company’s first line of Christmas cards prominently featured the sentiments ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Christmas Greetings’ and ‘Season’s Greetings’ on the front of each design,” says Samantha Bradbeer, archivist and historian for Hallmark Cards, Inc. Other sentiments, such as “Joyful Greetings” and “Yuletide Greetings” also appeared on early 20th century cards, Bradbeer explains, but they weren’t as frequently used as the Christmas greetings. Imagine Chinese-Americans digging out a historical event around St. Patrick’s Day just so that they can compete with the Irish on the street. Back in the 1950s, her research shows, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s holiday cards read “Season’s Greetings.” Later presidents, from John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, also tried not to alienate non-Christians in their holiday missives. But in 2005, just as the idea of a “War on Christmas” was gaining momentum in conservative circles, critics spoke out against President George W. Bush’s omission of the word “Christmas” from his White House holiday card. Now, however, these phrases have become casualties in the battle of political correctness. If I know my client well enough it's a no-brainer, but if it's a new client, I'm often worried I may offend them whichever way I go. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays From BRB . It was replaced by a more generic, politically-correct version, “Happy holidays.” For me, being able to say, “Merry Christmas!” to anyone was a beautiful thing, even though I’m not Christian. Since most Japanese are not religious, they readily import anything festive regardless of their religious origins. By the middle of the 20th century, the phrase was well established in popular usage, as shown in a study of ads run by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in Carolina Magazine from 1935 to 1942 to encourage giving the gift of tobacco. And before the 18th century, you could hear both “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Christmas.” The most likely reason for this is the fact that, well, “merry” was … A Merry Christmas … By saying “Happy Hanukkah” to him, we would be insinuating that he is doing something wrong. Imagine if we were no longer allowed to say “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” and instead had to say something like, “Happy drinking day.” Imagine if all holidays were used as platforms for asserting our religious identities, each religion digging out some minor historical event as an excuse to compete with the major one. If you know someone celebrates Christmas you can go with “Merry Christmas,” but ‘tis the season for interacting with strangers (selling to them, buying from them, bumping into them on your way out of Target). And, as offensive as it may sound to some Jewish people, I hold Hanukkah responsible for tainting Christmas. However, we did find a prominent non-political figure spreading “Happy Holiday” cheer in 2010. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and May Joy Visit You Often In the Coming Days. It is unfair to assume this. So no, “Happy Holidays” isn’t some PC alternative to “Merry Christmas”. According to it, around 1900, the first generation of Eastern European Jews embraced Christmas and “installed Christmas trees in their homes and thought nothing of the carols their children sang in the public schools.” I’ve observed that second-generation immigrants are more prone to having identity crises because the American culture insists on maintaining our immigrant heritage. In effect, they used the holiday season as a platform for asserting their religious identity. So while the debate over appropriate holiday greetings shows no signs of being resolved any time soon, there’s one thing we can all keep in mind. If Jewish people want to trivialize Purim by turning it into a Halloween-like costume party, I would gladly join the fun.    Setting aside politics, what’s the history behind the different greetings? Trump, Obama and the War on Christmas A look at how the phrases "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" were used under President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama. I am not an atheist either since questions about God’s existence does not interest me. Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which, in Western Christian Churches, is held annually on 25 December.For centuries, it has been the subject of several reformations, both religious and secular. I don’t believe it is true, can you If they do not want their holidays to be “trivialized” by non-believers, then let’s respect that wish too. Saying “Happy Hanukkah” to someone just because he is Jewish, could also be offensive. 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