Happy Holidays...or should I say Merry Christmas or Season’s Greetings?
What is considered politically correct to say around this time of year, or does it even matter?
The Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll found that nearly two-thirds of adults nationally – 64 percent – think people should say, "Merry Christmas," while less than one-third – 31 percent – believe the appropriate greeting is "Happy Holidays." Four percent are unsure, reported in the Sacramento Bee.
The proportion that prefers "Merry Christmas" increased slightly this year. Last year, 61 percent thought "Merry Christmas" was the more appropriate greeting while 35 percent preferred "Happy Holidays." Five percent, at that time, were unsure.
The Knights of Columbus is a Christian organization and favors the celebration of Christianity, so its logical that 64 percent of those surveyed would reflect those values.
A Canadian Approach
Others are grappling with holiday semantics as well. In Ottawa, Canada group of Ottawa residents fed up with "Merry Christmas’ being replaced by politically correct greetings took to Parliament Hill Saturday.
“When you tell me I can’t say Merry Christmas, you’re taking my Christ out of Christmas and you’re excluding me, so how about me?,” said resident Bruce Strickland, carrying a provocative sign depicting Santa Claus on a cross, according to defendchristmas.com.
His daughter, Miranda, 13, attends Henry Munro Middle School where “we’re not allowed to say Merry Christmas. We have to say Happy Holidays,” she said.
But Ottawa Carleton District School Board spokeswoman Sharlene Hunter said “we do not have a policy regarding this.”
In Defense of Non-Denominational Wishes/Greetings/Salutations, etc., etc.
Living in a multi-cultural society that includes Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, atheists, et al, some consideration for celebrations other than Christian is appropriate. Christmas might have little to no meaning for some, and it is discriminatory—perhaps even offensive—that “this time of year” is dedicated solely to Christianity.
Consequently, there is no room for public displays of the nativity scene or any greetings that includes the word "Christ." Politicians and corporate executives should be thinking twice about favoring single religious message. Why would retailers or politicians want to offend those whom they rely upon to be consumers or voters? Some go as far as to suggest that Christmas cards are a form of aggressive evangelism, which carries the concept to its extreme. But then Hallmark cards has already done that. Haven’t they?
Please weigh in on what you think about how to address people, cards, decorations, or any other symbol that signifies This Time of Year.