I’ve noticed an increase in “IT’S MERRY CHRISTMAS, NOT HAPPY HOLIDAYS!” postings on Facebook by various friends. And I need to get something off my chest.
First of all, it’s November. I don’t want to think about Christmas until about, oh, Christmas Eve. Okay, seriously, at least December 1. I can’t stand that Christmas merchandise is seen in stores this early and Christmas songs are played ad naseum for TWO MONTHS. Hell, I couldn’t stand listening to it for two months straight in some stores I’ve worked, let alone a month.
Second of all, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Not everyone is Christian. Others like Hinduism, Jewish, Islam, and Buddhism don’t celebrate it. Jehovah Witnesses don’t celebrate it. Some non-denominational, atheists, or anti-consumerists don’t celebrate Christmas.
I can’t blame the latter. Christmas has become so hugely consumerized that it’s more about shopping for gifts or companies making money than anything even remotely religious. Because of all the years working in customer service, I’ve become very bitter about the holiday because of how stupidly busy it gets and how very entitled or angry people get when they can’t get that specific they’re looking for at the last minute. Personally, while I enjoy spending time with family around that time, I sure as hell don’t enjoy how packed streets become around stores and how it’s near impossible to make your way through a mall during the season. Which brings me to my next point:
Third, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or other traditions in December, almost everyone enjoys getting a holiday around that time. Most people enjoy at least a few days off from work. Though I’ve voluntarily worked at Blockbuster Video and a call centre on Christmas Eve and Day. Got paid double time and a half doing it, too. My point is, though, that for nearly everyone, it’s a holiday season where they get time off to spend with friends and family.
Third, it’s just a phrase off good cheer. It’s a nice thing to say to someone. Either way, you’re wishing someone all the best in this season, regardless of what holiday they spend. It boils down to semantics. One phrase refers to a specific holiday celebration that not everyone in the world celebrates. The other is more widespread towards anyone who gets to enjoy spending time with friends and family.
Me, I say Happy Holidays. Since I’ve worked in customer service for so long, I’ve seen reactions from BOTH sides. When I tried saying Merry Christmas, I had people get mad at me for saying it because they don’t celebrate it or don’t believe in it. When I said Happy Holidays, people got mad at me. Personally, I prefer a nice gesture towards everyone rather than just certain people.
And I just realized I wrote all this at the beginning of NOVEMBER.
Now I feel all dirty inside.