Holiday Face-off: Happy Holidays

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” or so they say. To me, the holiday season is one of the most stressful times, and it’s far from wonderful. There’s always so much to do, whether it’s buying presents for loved ones, cooking huge meals or accommodating family members for the holiday; the list seems as if it’s never ending.
The holidays are an extremely important time for stores. They’ll do anything to get people to come in and buy their merchandise, such as crazy Black Friday deals, extreme markdowns or an endless supply of coupons. Many stores like to get into the spirit of the holidays by decorating for Christmas, but some say that this isn’t fair. There’s more than one holiday this time of year, hence why they are referred to as “the holidays.”
If everyone doesn’t celebrate Christmas, then why do stores only decorate for that holiday and specifically wish everyone a “Merry Christmas?”
There has been much debate about whether it’s proper to wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” If you think about it, it’s a gamble. It’s possible to wish people a Merry Christmas and unfortunately having to deal with the awkward moment with them replying that they don’t celebrate the holiday.
It’s quite easy for the awkward situation to be avoided: Cover all the bases and simply wish someone a happy holiday. This especially goes for all the retailers. Stores are all about making money off holiday shoppers and the last thing they want is a potential customer skipping their store because they are offended by its Christmas decorations and greetings.
Nowadays, people are easily offended by anything. Religion and what others celebrate around this time of year are a few things that can raise defenses. Obviously, Christmas is one of the most popular holidays, and more people celebrate it compared to other holidays like Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. If a store chooses to wish all of its customers a happy holiday rather than a more specific “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah,” it can avoid offending anyone.
Regardless of whether a person or store says “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” someone somewhere is going to have something to say about it. It’s very hard to please everyone; therefore, if there was any doubt of what you would say, you can’t go wrong with “Happy Holidays.”
So the next time you feel like spreading some holiday joy, make sure you wish someone a “Happy Holiday,” to make sure they stay cheerful.

-Danielle Gittleman
Sophomore journalism major

Printed in the 12-7-12 edition

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