Why I say Merry Christmas

Every year as the winter season begins, the same battle of “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holiday” heats up. The politically correct say that “Merry Christmas” is offensive to people of other religions. Therefore considerate and sensitive people should use “Happy Holiday” instead.

Let us consider the following two scenarios:

Scenario A:

(Jane and Joe work at the same office.)

Jane: Happy Holiday!
Joe: Happy Holiday!
(Done till next year. Repeat the same routine every year.)

Scenario B:

Year 2014:

Jane: Merry Christmas!

Joe: Sorry! I am Jewish. We don’t celebrate Christmas. We celebrate Hanukkah.

Jane: Oh! I am sorry! Happy Hanukkah to you then! (Mental note: Joe is Jewish, and how do Jews celebrate Hanukkah anyway?)

Joe: Merry Christmas to you!

(Jane went to Wikipedia and research how Jews celebrate Hanukkah.)

Year 2015:

Jane: Happy Hanukkah! I got some chocolate gelt for your kids.

Joe: Thank you very much! You’re so thoughtful!

Jane: Glad you like it! Happy Hanukkah to you and your family!

Joe: And Merry Christmas to you!

Jane: Thank you!

Which version of Jane is more considerate and sensitive? Which scenario promotes religious understanding? The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of religious minorities are reasonable people, who will not be offended if they hear a simple “Merry Christmas”. By being political correct, we deny people their rights to be not offended, their rights to carry on a meaningful conversation about their own religions, and their rights to understand others who are different.

Obviously, for politicians and large corporations, they cannot possibly listen to every minority’s story and cater to each of their religion. Therefore a simple “Happy Holiday!” is nice and generic for them. But why should individuals speak like politicians? Why should we greet each other like we work for Walmart?

If you say “Happy Holiday” to me, I will assume that you only care about me as a customer, not as a friend.


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