Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Holidays? Thanks!

It's that time of year again. Endless facebook posts pop up about keeping Christ in Christmas and my personal favorite "Welcome to Canada where we say Merry Christmas instead of happy holidays."

But here's what I don't get. What is so wrong about saying happy holidays?

Here's my two cents.

I understand that Canada is considered a Christian country. Christian holidays are also Federal holidays. But why does that mean the face of Canada is a white Christian? Why is the face of Canada not a Hindu from India? Or a Buddhist from Korea?

I see the confusion - how is someone from India the face of Canada?

In 2001 Stats Can said there were 34 ethnic groups with over 100,000 members of each living as Canadian Citizens.

Now, in my mind this is not an immigration debate, people immigrate here for various reasons and we let them in. And yes, I do agree that to an extent when one immigrates to a new country one should do their best to acclimate to the new country and what we believe to be culturally acceptable.

But does that mean everyone who immigrates to Canada should denounce their religion and become Christian? No, absolutely not and I would have no respect for anyone who did not hold on to their spiritual beliefs (unless they've genuinely changed their minds)

Here's my point. If I know you and I know you're Christian - I'll say Merry Christmas. But if I don't know - where is the harm in saying Happy Holidays? Or, for that matter, what is wrong with a blanket Happy Holidays statement anyway? Check the calendar - Christmas is not the only holiday in December. Hanukkah is another big one. So is Kwanzaa (and in fact many Christians also celebrate Kwanzaa)

Do I only give a seasonal greeting to my fellow Christians? Of course not. My oncologist is Jewish - I hope he has a happy Hanukkah but I also hope my Christian nurses have a Merry Christmas. Here is just such an occasion when a Happy Holidays card is PERFECT!

What I find the most ironic about this whole thing is that often times the people shouting the loudest about keeping Christ in Christmas are the very same people who rarely, if ever, set foot in a church, and go overboard crazy over the secular side of Christmas - themselves forgetting the 'reason for the season.'  I am by no means Super Catholic - I only go to church once or twice a month and yes, I too go overboard for Christmas but I've not forgotten the meaning of Christmas. If I wish someone a happy holidays it's not because I've forgotten I'm celebrating the birth of my Lord - it's simply that I understand and have accepted that you may not be.

And I will not be offended if someone wishes me a happy holidays or a seasons greetings.

Because, for me anyway, I'd rather you give me a blanket sentiment than nothing at all.

Happy Holidays
Seasons Greetings
and Merry Christmas!

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