The word for … The identities our society projects on us are in conflict with the identities we feel inside. Most notable is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol published in 1843. Whenever I say "Merry Christmas" to somebody, I'm basically saying "I hope you have a merry day on December 25th". Everyone seemed to understand that the spirit of the wish was more important than the exact words said. 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 … Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays From BRB . If trivializing of Christmas is unethical, trivializing of Hanukkah by Jewish people should be immoral by their own standard. The greeting “Merry Christmas” has a pretty long history. Hanukkah today is clearly a trivialized version of the original. (Credit: White House/White House/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images). But some people take offense to that simply because they don't celebrate any holidays on that particular day. 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. 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. And, as offensive as it may sound to some Jewish people, I hold Hanukkah responsible for tainting Christmas. As someone who is religiously neutral, I would like to suggest that we all let others fully enjoy their religious holidays without tainting them. While on the campaign trail in 2015, he even vowed to "make Christmas great again" by requiring people to greet others with "merry Christmas," not "happy holidays." January 4, 2004    ... 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. I was impressed, or shocked, by how spectacular it was. To trivialize something that you are invited to trivialize, or to trivialize your own religion that you are not supposed to trivialize? “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. Why should they have to feel guilty for celebrating Christmas? Now, I have to keep my Christmas spirit in check to avoid offending Jewish people. A book called “Every Person’s Guide to Judaism” poses a question to the Jews who celebrate Christmas: “Do non-Christians have the right to trivialize one of the most sacred and most important days of the Christian year?”. It was replaced by a more generic, politically-correct version, “Happy holidays.”. Hallmark, founded by J.C. Hall in 1910, started producing its own greeting cards in 1915. If Christians are happy with Christmas being a national holiday, non-Christians have the right to do whatever we want to do with Christmas. I find both Judaism and Christianity intriguing, but when it comes to the holiday season, I prefer Christmas over Hanukkah. Christmas cards on sale at a Target store for the 2017 holiday season. Which makes more sense? I don’t believe it is true, can you 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. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! “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. Let everyone know about the miracle that happened today all those years ago and why you are so excited to celebrate it. So where did the idea that it is threatened come from? If you were confident of your own religious beliefs and identity, appreciating the customs of other religions should not be harmful. Continue Reading. I remember receiving a few Christmas gifts. 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. Christmas has been celebrated since the 4th century AD, the first known usage of any Christmas greeting dates was in 1534. " Since second-generation Americans only have secondhand knowledge of it, they naturally feel insecure about it. But you know, this year the emphasis almost has to be on the "Happy New Year" part of the traditional year-end greeting. It's not going to be an especially heavy lift for 2021 to be a better year than was 2020. 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. The term appears in 1534 in a Christmas letter between the Catholic Bishop John Fisher and Thomas Cromwell. Now, however, these phrases have become casualties in the battle of political correctness. Over the years, Hallmark has expanded its options to reflect consumer trends and incorporate more religious and cultural backgrounds; Hanukkah cards were added in the 1950s, and Kwanzaa greetings were introduced in the 1990s. Because of this, it has been abandoned by a lot of official … So, “Merry Christmas” it up all you like. It was in the early 90′s that I started feeling the pressure to stop saying “Merry Christmas” around the holiday season. Seasonal greetings have never been so controversial. In modern day England, however, it is popular to say “Happy Christmas.” © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. 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. Merry Christmas - and any holiday, for that matter - to the lovely staff and users of NintendoLife! In effect, they used the holiday season as a platform for asserting their religious identity. Providing you do it in December. When I was sixteen, I moved to the States to live with an American family in California. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Every Christmas I'm faced with the dilemma of whether to write, "Merry Christmas," when creating cards to my clients, or, "Happy Holidays," instead. 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. Happy New Year, but Merry Christmas.” Christmas is a federal holiday celebrated widely by the country’s Christian majority. The answer to this question depends on whether Christians would say yes or no. Pray in Jesus’s name. Much like “Merry Christmas,” it turns out that “Happy Holidays” also has religious roots. 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. No festivals of religious origins would be enjoyable. (In fact, each year, Queen Elizabeth continues to wish her citizens a "Happy Christmas," rather than a merry one.) Before this, the term “Happy Christmas” was more common. I mean seriously. What if he wants to celebrate Christmas? By looking at historic literary works, you will see how far back this greeting can be traced. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Otherwise, what else would Christians expect non-Christians to do on “Christmas Day”? Should I feel guilty on St. Patrick’s Day, if I claimed that I am Irish for the day? But Christmas turned from a religious occasion to a largely secular one for many people, the phrase “Happy Holidays” also expanded its usage, becoming a more universal greeting used to include people of various religions, and even a nod to the New Year. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. Merry Christmas is felt to leave out too many people. Bill O’ Reilly said that Christmas is “under siege.” He was mad that Macy’s was using “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” President-elect Donald Trump joined the “War on Christmas” bandwagon this year. If by “trivialize” the authors mean enjoying the common customs associated with Christmas—installing a tree, exchanging gifts, singing carols, reading stories—the answer by the vast majority of Christians would be yes. Besides, if “trivializing” of other people’s religions is unethical, how about trivializing of their own religion? The "Merry Christmas vs. A 1937 ad proclaimed: “A gift of Camels says, ‘Happy Holidays and Happy Smoking!’” Other ads from the 1930s and early 1940s stuck to “Season’s Greetings,” but all featured jolly, grinning Santa Clauses, reindeer, Christmas trees and other recognizable Christmas symbols. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate Christmas; happy holidays to everyone else. 'Merry Christmas' versus 'happy holidays': A tale of two expressions. A Merry Christmas … So no, “Happy Holidays” isn’t some PC alternative to “Merry Christmas”. What started as a dispute forged by religious preference became … Like many issues these days, the great holiday greeting debate tends to separate along political lines as much as religious ones. 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. Controversy over phrasing rarely figured in to historical presidential holiday greetings. • America. 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. Very few care. In general, “Happy Holidays” is accepted as the broadest and most inclusive greeting at this time of year. MERRY CHRISTMAS!” … for which I was summarily. 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. If enjoying Christmas would weaken your faith in Judaism, you have only yourself to blame. 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. Jewish people simply used the otherwise minor festival as an excuse to compete with Christmas. We must feel secure and confident in our own values before we can embrace the values of others. 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. You may be surprised to find that while many people think of “Merry Christmas” as the more modern of the two phrases. That is, they would encourage Jewish people to “trivialize” Christmas. It was in the early 90′s that I started feeling the pressure to stop saying “Merry Christmas” around the holiday season. Fight back against that by doing one thing: say “Merry Christmas.” Don’t say Happy Holidays. However, we did find a prominent non-political figure spreading “Happy Holiday” cheer in 2010. On greeting cards, Starbucks coffee cups and in everyday conversation, history shows people have chosen from a diverse selection of ways to express goodwill around the holiday season. I am not an atheist either since questions about God’s existence does not interest me. December 25, 2020. by Celeste Fremon. Contact: dyske@dyske.com. What is wrong with enjoying a festival that happens to originate in a religion other than your own? From this perspective, it makes sense that the second-generation Jews began questioning the idea of celebrating Christmas. The commercialized aspects of Christmas have no historical basis in Christianity, but we enjoy it anyway. Growing up in Japan, my family casually celebrated Christmas. Why do they have to invent their own holiday to compete with Christmas? 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