Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas: Debate on a Facebook Wall

I posted a status on Facebook that sparked a bit of a debate.  Names have been changed to initials for privacy.

:  WARNING: Strong personal opinion… I do not have an issue with wishing people “Happy Holidays” and believe it’s presumptuous and indignant to expect everyone to accept “Merry Christmas”. I respect the beliefs of others. To me, “Happy Holidays” means Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (TWO holidays)! Let the comments roll…..

MSE:  I’ve got a ton of non-Christian friends who are celebrating their own holidays at this time of year. I’m a “Happy Holidays” kind of gal out of respect to *all* the things people have to celebrate right now. 🙂

JM: Happy Hasha Wakinah

MHW:  Well normally Id keep my thoughts because no one ever agrees with me BUT Im a big mouth…I dont care that people say Happy Hoildays, But I am a MERRY CHRISTMAS person, was grown up hearing it said & thats what i say. I understand there are all kinds of people out there with their own beliefs but DONT try and push me into it or tell me what is right or wrong for me to say or feel. I just think Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year are for me 🙂 I respect others beliefs but that does not mean I have to follow them myself. If someone says Happy Holidays I simply say and same to you too with a smile 🙂

I dont want to make people mad or upset or bash me this is just my personal opinion..Maybe they run in the family..lol

Me:  More food for thought: It would feel wrong for a Christian to hear someone wish them Happy Hanukkah. How about “Happy politically correct, nondescript holiday”? LOL

MHW:  So there cant be Jewish Christians? Im for real sounds funny I am sure lol There is so many mixed religions! Im all confused..

Me:  I wouldn’t turn down 8 more days of gifts! LOL

MHW:  LOL I would I don’t get any on Christmas why bother shooting for 8 more..lol Im sure the kids would LOVE it though our wallets wouldnt..lmao

SP:  Merry chrism-hanuk-kwanza …. I know there are more but those are the 3 big ones. Melissa, I think we grew up in the same family lol. We say Merry Christmas because that is what we celebrate. I use to say it too, but after working in retail I had to say Happy Hoildays. The funniest part about working through the holidays <– Haha I said it, was when I would wish people Happy Hoildays and they would be like no its Merry Christmas. When people would say that, that would be the only time I say Merry Christmas, unless I was talking to somone I worked with and I knew what they celebrated. Thanks for the topic Shelia

LN:  Without Christmas we don’t HAVE Christmas. So it’s Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, or Happy Hannukah. Kwanzaa is not a holiday. I would not be offended if a Muslim wished me a happy “one of their observances.” I would take it as good wishes from them, not an insult. So why are they offended if I say Merry Christmas, which is what the holiday actually is?

PKS:  Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious low carbon footprint, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, low saturated fat, smoke free, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of all other faiths and minorities or those who choose not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms – This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual applications of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of any subsequent holiday greetings, whichever comes first, and the warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Merry Christmas from me and my attorney.

SP:  A holiday is your own definition. Sure Kwanzaa is defined at a “celebration” but to some people thats is their holiday. JUst because Chritmas is the main HOLIDAY!!!! doesnt mean that that we have to say Merry Christmas. we say happy hoildays out of respect for other people because we don’t all celebrate the same thing. I do have friends thatcelebrate Haunakkaand sure I do say happy Hanukka to them, but in return they say Merry Christmas. Seeing aas we don’t know everyone in the world and what they celebrate then happy holidays is completely out of *RESPECT* …. my mom would be proud of me.

Me:  Petal~ That’s hysterical! Thanks!  Sarah~ Right on!

MSE:  Don’t forget the “Happy Solstice!” greetings that my pagan friends share among themselves! Or hey – Diwali also overlaps the beginning of what most people see as the Christmas season. LOL Eh, there’s just too much ground for me to cover and yes, I know people who celebrate all of the above. Far easier for me to stick with Happy Holidays to whomever I’m greeting, that way, I’m blessing *them* in their happy time of the year and not simply sharing my own beliefs.

And no, there really aren’t Jewish Christians since Jews believe the savior hasn’t come yet, and Christians think it was Jesus.

I saw a preview for The Office tonight and at one point dorky Michael yells, “HAPPY MERRY!!!” LOL I guess that’s his PC way to cover his bases. I may start using that. LOL 🙂

TW:  Another of satan’s schemes to create division amongst Christians. I celebrate Christmas but the older I get the more I want to celebrate it everyday instead of just one day of the year. Let the other religions have their celebrations and express it as they wish. I will do the same and I’ll do it at any time if I want to. I take no offense to other greetings and I ask that they take no offense to mine. That to me is true respect for the beliefs of others.

TW:  Oh, the thought just came that what if a satanist greeted me with “Happy Grand High Climax!” on Dec. 24th which is one of their most important days of celebration devoted to all kinds of anti-Christian activities and sentiments? Hmmmmm…..I think tolerance and respect just flew out the window.

MSE:  Well, good thing no one was suggesting we happily support Satanists! LOL The others mentioned are all loving, kind-hearted religions who, at their core, believe in the basic Golden Rule and a divine power that we all owe ourselves to the worship of. Tossing in Satanists to the mix is apples & oranges.

TW:  No one mentioned satanism specifically but respect for ALL beliefs and their celebrations was mentioned several times. You can’t pick and choose, is my point.

MSE:  Sure you can. We, as a whole, understand how to respect “these people” but not “those people” all the time. It’s quite easy to say “I’ll respect – and hope others will respect – the kind-hearted religions of the world” and exclude those without kindness at their core.

Me:  We can debate it to the ground since the original comment didn’t take 57 pages to clarify what it did and didn’t include. Of course, as Marla considered them, I meant the “kind-hearted” religions/beliefs. <wink> I kinda like that Happy Merry! It’s fun without even trying to be PC or indignant. 😀

LN:  I celebrate Christmas. I say Merry Christmas. They can say back whatever they want to celebrate whatever THEY want. Otherwise the only “PC” thing to do is not wish anyone anything and just eliminate all good wishes so we don’t offend anyone. Geez Marie. If they don’t want to accept Christmas wishes, no one will make them.

TW:  Well, I will be sticking with Merry Christmas as it defines what I am celebrating better than the generic all-inclusive “Happy Holidays”. Maybe it should be “Happy Nice Holidays!”! : )

By the way, there are Jews who practice Messianic Judaism. They are Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah. See http://www.allaboutreligion.org/messianic-jew.htm.

Thanks for the topic, Sheila. It made some things more clear to me.

JCO:  Fun Read! My Jewish friends wish me Merry Christmas! Even though people may not celebrate Christmas doesn’t mean you can’t wish them a Merry Christmas. It is a holiday after all. If someone gets upset because you are wishing them a Merry day then that is their problem.

SM:  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! Jesus is the reason for the season whatever the belief.

SKC:  My husband’s place of work (large Native American/tribal organization) banned the use of “Happy Holidays” a couple of years ago. If one wants to offer a holiday greeting, one has to reference a specific holiday (any specific holiday, not just Christmas.) I have *no idea how this has been enforced, but the memo was (unintentionally) hysterical.

LN:  There are most certainly Jews who believe in Jesus. We have close ties to two Lutheran based mission organizations.


You can’t be all things to all people. You can’t serve God AND keep all mankind happy, too. Tamra, you are correct. Satan is indeed at work in dividing God’s people and secularizing them. When we begin to think there’s no harm in watering down our Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays so no one feels excluded, we deny God.Someone, somewhere is going to be upset no matter what you do. So don’t worry about pleasing man.

BH:  I say Merry Christmas. That’s what i celebrate. But the good part about living in Florida is you don’t have to worry about being PC… you can tell what people celebrate down here just by looking at them.

CG:  yes we say at work to customers Happy Holidays…

JM:  I believe I can fly.  I believe I can touch the sky. LOL

Me:  And the 11th commandment, set forth in the never published book of the New Testament said, “Thou shalt wish your neighbors a Merry Christmas.” I’m going to touch some sky now, too! LOL

JM:  To all who added the comments, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Me:  Exactly … TWO holidays right there, so Happy Holidays!

MSE:  Re: “You can tell what people celebrate down here just by looking at them.” How so? You can really tell a Jew from a Christian from a Hindu or whatever just by looking at them? I mean, I could understand it if they have a Santa sweater on or something, LOL, but other than that, I wouldn’t have a clue!

LN:  Maybe by looking at the decorations in their window! Or the cross or star of David around their neck. And Sheila, although there is nothing about saying Merry Christmas in the Bible, there are certainly enough places where we are told not to put man above God. The point is, if you compromise enough, you water down what the holiday is all about.

Tolerance is not about watering down your beliefs so that you offend no one. It’s about accepting that others have different beliefs and not expecting them to pretend not to. I am not threatened by someone who says Happy Hannukah or Happy Ramadan. Indeed I have more respect for them because they are not afraid to be who they are. But I am a Christian and I say Merry Christmas.

MSE:  Ah, I thought you meant by looking at them (not windows). I’m thinking of the cashier at the mall, the greeter at a store, the barista in Starbucks, the random stranger I encounter while out and about during the holiday season. If they aren’t wearing any religious jewelry or clothing, then I can’t imagine how I’d be able to tell “just by looking at them.” So in order to not make assumptions about what they might be celebrating, I’ll stick with “Happy Holidays.”

As for me personally and *my* beliefs, well, I have a Christmas tree & menorah, and in 11 days, I’ll attend a winter solstice ceremony. I like to cover a lot. 🙂

TW:  Wondering how the atheists feel about being greeted at all. The point is I don’t think there is any way to tell how a person celebrates any holiday and it is presumptuous to assume that everyone does. So I will be true to my own beliefs. There are probably those whose beliefs are not well defined and that is where the confusion originates.

EMP:  I think that it is perfectly fine to say “Happy Holidays”, but what is disturbing is the trend that people are trying more and more to keep all Christian references out of Christmas.

LN:  Marla I was not the original poster on that. I don’t assume anything about anyone based on how they look. I was just musing that possibly the poster was noting their home decorations or personal adornment in making a decision. And I agree with Tamra. If you truly want to avoid “upsetting” anyone – then don’t say anything at all. How sad that would be.

Me:  On Christmas Eve and Christmas day, I absolutely say Merry Christmas! On New Year’s Eve & day, I say Happy New Year! In the days leading up to each and in between, I say Happy Holidays. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I’m not putting anyone above anyone/thing/spirit/inner being/etc. or vice versa. I’m perfectly content up here on my fence. Peace, harmony, & blessings to all!

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