Happy Holidays: When did this replace Merry Christmas?


Elizabeth Prankard, Cactus Contributor

In today’s society we are bound by being “politically correct” when it comes to the holiday season. Now we say “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” rather than “Merry Christmas.”


While growing up we were always taught that saying Merry Christmas to whomever we saw was polite and courteous, we did not have to worry about offending anyone with the phrase. I grew up in a prominent Jewish community, which allowed me to learn about and understand the Jewish customs and traditions during Hanukkah, along with our own Christian holiday of Christmas and Spiritual celebrations like the Solstice. We had Christmas parties and we went around singing Christmas carols throughout the neighborhood. Not once were we told that we had to say “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas” and to those who we knew were Jewish, “Happy Hanukkah”.


Society seems to have lost the true meaning of Christmas and has become consumed with having to buy the best of the best for their family instead of understanding what the holiday is truly about. Christmas is celebrated by Christians in recognition of the birth of Jesus, deriving from the Pagan holiday Yule which celebrates the Winter Solstice. Roman’s had Saturnalia, which was celebrated from the 17th of December through the 25th of December celebrating the rebirth of the year.  However, now it has become a commerce-based time of year. Buy! Buy! Buy! Sell! Sell! Sell! Everywhere you look you see advertisements promoting this item on sale or that item being ridiculously marked down. This year the retail madness started in October with some retailers assembling trees, trains, decorative ornaments and such before taking down the Halloween decorations.


Buying bobbles and trinkets for people is not what this season is about and you should not have to worry about being “politically correct” when you wish someone a “Merry Christmas”. If you celebrate a different religion or none at all you should not take offence if someone wishes you a Merry Christmas, instead respond with “Blessed Yule”, “Happy Kwanzaa”, “Happy Hanukkah” or the all too allusive “Have a Nice Day” for those who are not religious.

Many people who know me know I am not a very religious person, I lean more towards the spiritual side of all things and I do not deliberately try and offend anyone.  Merry Christmas and a Blessed Yule. Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa from the editorial desk of the Cactus! Have a happy and safe winter break.