“Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”? It’s a shame that a simple festive well-wishing has become politicized. Which to say? At its core, Christmas is a Christian religious holiday celebrating the birth of Christ. If that was all Christmas was, it would only make sense for Christians to say “Merry Christmas” to each other. However, Christmas is also a civic holiday. Christmas is part of our culture. Just think of the parades, decorations, albums, mall Santas and, of course, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” All of which have little to nothing to do with the religious meaning of Christmas. Christmas as a civic holiday is celebrated by most, regardless of religious beliefs, making “Merry Christmas” a reasonable greeting for all. On the other hand, “Happy Holidays” is inclusive, intended not to leave out those who don’t celebrate Christmas in any way. It is also inclusive in that one greeting works for Christmas and New Year’s. “Happy Holidays” is intended to avoid offense, and yet has become a weapon in the culture war. Everyone should stop reading into it and allow others to express their greetings in the way they want. It is a nice gesture, any way you say it.
John Crow, Boise