War on Christmas? Are seasonal greetings that important?

By Glenn Battishill

The media, and indeed many people, have been making a big deal about the upcoming trend of people saying “Happy Holidays” in the coming month rather “Merry Christmas.”

One side says it’s because not everyone celebrates Christmas and therefore it is more appropriate to say “Happy Holidays” so they don’t offend anyone.

The other side says that it is religious prosecution and the secular culture trying to put down their religious beliefs.

The result is an awkward exchange between strangers where ever you interact with them; shopping, eating or at work, no one knows if they should say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” because apparently saying both is out of the question. It always ends up with an awkward or very stern seasonal greeting.

As we near the month of December, I begin to groan at how much press this issue is going to start getting.

Simply put, why is this a big deal? I celebrate Christmas and I acknowledge that others might not. That’s their prerogative and indeed their right. I’ll admit that being Christian, I grew up saying “Merry Christmas” but when I worked in seasonal retail I simply said “Happy holidays and have a merry Christmas.”

If someone told me to have a happy Hanukkah, I wouldn’t be offended and feel like I needed to shove my personal religious beliefs down their throat. I would simply smile and say “you too.”

The Internet tells me that Hanukkah begins Dec. 1 and goes until Dec. 9. In effect, this person just wished me a happy Dec. 1-9 and that seems pretty nice of them. Gee! Nine whole days! I usually say that I hope people have a good day or week but never nine days. How thoughtful!

If someone wishes you a good (insert holiday that you don’t celebrate here) then thank him or her because they are hoping you have a great day that they will spend celebrating and to me, that seems pretty cool of them.

Is religious freedom worth fighting for? Absolutely. I just don’t see people executing their right to believe in one faith or another as them putting down mine.

The holiday season is a time of giving, charity and celebration regardless of which holidays you choose to partake in.