Something that seems to pop up every year, at least in the United States, is a spirited debate amongst news pundits and common people about the appropriateness of “happy holidays” compared to “merry Christmas.”
Happy holidays is an all-encompassing term, and no one who uses it really insists that we can’t wish someone the specific holiday of their choice if we know it. However, in many cases, we’re greeting strangers, co-workers, and acquaintances whom we do not have that knowledge of.
The thing is, there are fifteen major religious observances in December, and more besides, if you include those that happen in November and January. Christmas is certainly not the only holiday someone might be looking forward to this season.
Choosing to say “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas” embraces the diversity in our society. It tells the person we do not know well or at all that we embrace them as part of our culture. It also includes them in the celebrations.
Now, we know there’s very little basis for all the hype the news pundits and social media make of the issue. Most people simply go on about their day and handle their holiday tasks however they normally would, no matter what we say.
There are, of course, those who make it a bigger deal than it is, and the videos are usually something else. This outrage feeds the media cycle around the “debate” for better or worse, though the answer is usually worse.
“Happy holidays” aligns with embracing the diversity that makes our societies better places to live for everyone, including the people who say “merry Christmas” to everyone they meet. It’s one small change that creates an inclusive environment for everyone.
And in that spirit, Happy Holidays from the USS Lilith.