Firstly, I hope everyone is having a good holiday season. I know I've had an extremely busy one. I work in a photo lab, and I'm pretty sure I've seen enough greeting cards to last nine life times.
Anyway, when I hand the cards or the photos over to my ever lovable customers, I find myself alternating between "Happy Holidays," and "Merry Christmas" with zero rhyme or reason. Now, I've gotten some non-responses and blank looks from "Merry Christmas!", but I've gotten outright chastised for "Happy Holidays!" As in, "It's Christmas! You're supposed to say 'Merry Christmas!'"
Now, I grew up Catholic and endured 10 very long years of Catholic school, and even now that I've moved on from that mindset, Christmas is still deeply ingrained in my soul. I still really love it, because it's by far the most cheerful and welcoming of Christian holidays. I'm no scrooge.
When I say "Happy Holidays," I'm not trying to be politically correct, or anti-Christmas, or anti-Jesus. I say it reflexively, as a sort of general salutation that encompasses Christmas and New Years and Life Day, or whatever happens to be your thing. I don't really think about it, and I don't feel I should have to.
Some of my coworkers talk of jobs, past and present, where they were specifically told not to say "Merry Christmas," for fear of offending non-Christian folks. Seriously?
What's the deal with this? Are people's lives really so shallow that they have to take issue with the things that random store clerks say to them? I can't honestly say I even pay attention to what people say to me.
"Happy Arbor Day!"
"Shut up, I hate trees!"
The thing is, no one that says any of these things to you wishes you harm. "Happy Holidays!" Is not equivalent to "Screw you, Christian scum!" and "Merry Christmas!" does not mean "Conform to my religion or die!" Or at least, not when I say it. I just mean have a nice day, and please leave my counter now. I'm very busy.
So Merry Whatever, everyone! Celebrate whatever you celebrate, hug your family, and don't sweat the small stuff. And, as always, happy reading!