The Great Debate of Holiday Greetings

The long-lasting discussion of what the proper holiday greeting should be

The traditional saying of “Merry Christmas”, has now been deemed disrespectful to others of different religions.

This “war-on-Christmas” seems a bit more pitched than usual this year, and it’s likely that the election of U.S. President Donald Trump has served as a catalyst. The idea is that there’s an organized effort to remove Christmas from the public eye by harassing people into greeting co-workers, neighbors and store clerks with “Happy Holidays”, instead of “Merry Christmas!”

The right renews this claim each year as November comes to a close and retailers trot out red cups, Santa Clauses, and Black Friday sales. Yet Trump has amplified this war-on-Christmas argument, which otherwise seems to be losing steam.

With this altercation of the statements, the two sides need to understand one another’s stand on the argument.

Senior Andrew Pickett celebrates Christmas but is understanding as to why others may find it exclusive.

“To ensure that religions that celebrate the birth of Christ are not put above any other religion,” said Pickett. “Happy Holidays includes all religions whereas Merry Christmas does not.”

Junior Tristan Brown believes that if you are in a predominantly Christian country, you should expect an exuberant number of “Merry Christmas” signs on a public platform.

“The people who say Merry Christmas have the same rights as the people who say Happy Holidays,” Brown said. “People can practice whatever religion or holiday that they want and nobody has the right to be offended by others’ beliefs.”

When it comes to First Amendment rights, the whole argument diminishes. Both sides of the argument will end up bringing up the same points and it will result in a stalemate. With that said, posting “Merry Christmas” on a shop window should never be regarded as offensive.

“I think that ‘Merry Christmas’ should be posted wherever we want it. It would violate our rights of freedom of religion and speech,” said senior Travis Brown.

Travis also explained a scenario where a woman confronted him at a store for wishing her a “Merry Christmas”.

“As I passed a woman at Safeway in Warrenton and I wished her a “Merry Christmas”, she then began yelling at me for not being accepting of other religions.” said Travis.
Travis was very upset about this situation and wished that other people would be understanding that Christmas is not entirely a religious holiday, it is about the giving aspect.

Although the other side of the argument, not being accepting of other religions is big. A massive percentage of people accept it and certainly takes the holidays as a time to give back to those they love and care for.

Yet this question still lingers. Why are people so offended about this?

“Due to it being a widely accepted holiday, [and is recognized on a national level] people should not be offended, just because you may not believe in something does not mean it should offend you. For example plenty of people who aren’t Irish Catholics celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, though they don’t believe in it.” said junior Chris Kallighan. “They are allowed to say “Happy St. Patrick’s Day”. Yet, Christmas nowadays is more a giving holiday than a religious holiday like many others, so people shouldn’t get offended at that.”

Being more understanding of other people’s beliefs and actions seems to be a common goal for everyone. Without mature confrontation and reasonability, we will stay in this stalemate.