December 7, 2011

Should Season’s Greetings be politically correct? YES: ‘Happy Holidays’ is a more considerate greeting for friends of different religions

YES: ‘Happy Holidays’ is a more considerate greeting for friends of different religions

By Michelle Eigenheer–

With the holiday season already upon us, retailers are once again faced with a compelling dilemma: Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? This controversy has been in the forefront for several holiday seasons, and either choice seems to remain offensive to various groups of people.

Religious ideology is a sensitive topic among peoples of different faith and must be treated in a respectful manner. A person can’t walk around wishing people a happy “Christmahanakwanzika,” like Adam Brody from “The O.C.” Not only is it a ridiculous term and mildly offense, it excludes and alienates people who do not celebrate Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza.

“Happy Holidays” is an all-encompassing greeting that should be adopted by retail stores and accepted by the masses. Rather than being offended that they’re not being wished a “Merry Christmas” or anything else, people should appreciate the sentiment and respect that there are holidays and ideologies different from their own.

According to a 2007 survey from The Pew Forum, a religious website, 78.4 percent of adults in the United States claim Christianity as their religion. This number has had a steady decline since. While 78.4 percent is a majority, it is not a consensus and there are many people who do not celebrate the birth of Christ. To wish these non-Christians a merry Christmas is insensitive and ignorant.

People must also think about the person whom they are expecting a holiday greeting from. It is against, say, a Jewish cashier’s religion to wish a customer a merry Christmas. Should they still be expected to do so? Of course they shouldn’t. To become upset with a store employee—or worse, to sue an entire company— for using a holiday greeting that isn’t to a single person’s liking is above and beyond being ridiculous and arrogant.

“Happy Holidays” is in no way a demeaning, offensive or degrading greeting. “Happy Holidays” is one person wishing for another person to be content during a time that for many is spiritual and often stressful. Again, the sentiment should be accepted at face value and appreciated for the kindness that it is.

Cartoon by Michael Layman/The Louisville Cardinal

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Photo: FLikr/Pixajen

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