Discuss: "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"?

Which term do you use and what are your reasons for it?

Keep it friendly, people.

Answer #1

I say Happy Holidays, reason is by sayin that I’m less likely to offend anyone

Answer #2

Merry Christmas. I’ve always said it since I was little and my family have always said it to one another although I don’t see how it can cause offence (it’s never been explained to me) No one’s ever told me to say Happy Holidays I guess saying that is the polite way to say a ‘seasons greetings’ to someone without the ‘fear’ of offending them. However, I don’t see the harm in using either.

Answer #3

Happy Holidays when I don’t know whether the person I’m talking to is Christian. Merry Christmas when I know they are.

Answer #4

I don’t use either, I don’t feel the need to tell people that unless I’m obligated to and if I am I just say what they do. However, if I did tell people that I would say Happy Holidays because you never know if they celebrate it or not or their views on it. Like I hate the holidays so I feel uncomfortable when someone says anything like that.

Answer #5

Albanians have skipped this dilemma by just wishing everyone a happy new year :)

we do the Christmas tree and decorations but we dont celebrate it like Americans do…

Answer #6

If I’m talking or writing a Christian friend I say “Merry Christmas.” If I’m talking or writing a Jewish friend I say “Happy Hanukkah.” I haven’t dealt with many Muslims since I worked at my university but for Muslim colleagues I’d say, “Ramadan Kareem.” I don’t know what to wish Buddhists or Hindus but if I had someone of that persuasion I was sending a card to I’d find out what their traditional winter holiday greeting is. If I don’t know what faith someone is I wish them “Season’s Greetings.”

Answer #7

I don’t really say it to people first. I wait to see what they would say, and then reply with what THEY say. I deal with a whack load of people all day and I have gotten both. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen if you say Merry Chrismas to someone who doesn’t recognize? You can alway apologize and say Happy Holidays instead.

Answer #8

Merry christmas. Always. It is my religion. Not trying to offend any body but its offending me by not being able to say it. If someone said happy hanakkah to me i would be just fine with it and reply with merry christmas. no feelings hurt. why cant people just be happy with the gesture. its all in good spirit. nobody is TRYING to offend. It is my religion and if it offends someone that there own problem. They know i was just trying to be friendly. If i say merry christmas and they reply with happy hanakkah then all its all good. its all in good spirit. Everyone is so worried about offending somebody they forget what its really about…. love, family and friends. time for us all to unite and be cheerful. who cares what religion you are. If you are jewish speak it proudly and i will speak mine proudly and we all can just be nice. no feelings hurt

Answer #9

By being overly conscious of not offending anyone you have already offended the christians or someone else, who feel they shouldnt have to tone down their beliefs. thats exactly how i feel

Answer #10

Consider this, if you are sending someone well wishes than aren’t their views what count? It’s kinda like when you travel overseas; people appreciate it when you use their language to ask for or thank them for something even if you end up mangling it. They appreciate the effort. I’m not offended by “Marry Christmas” either, my family celebrates Christmas even though we are not Christian. We have a big feast, have time off of work, spend time with family and friends, exchange presents, drink cheer, etc. We celebrate all of Christmas except the Christ and the mass part.

Answer #11

Cool!!! I dont think like that. I dont judge people that way. they are trying to be friendly and thats what counts. However you celebrate it, you shoudl be able to speak it freely. and people shoudl just take it as them being polite. peace on earth and good will towards mankind. People should except people for who they are and their beliefs. but it is not the case im aware. But im not gonna stop my holiday tradition to avoid offending people. its offending me. and i dont expect people to stop theirs either

Answer #12

They should appriciate the effort in me being so non judgemental. and letting them have their beliefs freely

Answer #13

I’ve never really thought about why, but I’ve always said Merry Christmas (:

Answer #14

Depends who I’m talking to. I usually say X-mas though, because I don’t believe in Christ and I don’t go to mass. xD

Answer #15

Merry Christmas. I’mma Christian. A few people have said they say Happy Holidays, just in case the other person is a different religion than them. Honestly, I don’t care. I don’t think I should have to refrain from saying something, just in case someone gets offended.

Answer #16

I say happy holidays because saying merry “Christ-mass” implies that everyone I interact with is christian and or white anglo-saxon protestant, which is entirely false :D So… Bah, Humbug! and happy holidays to FA and everyone else on the dirtball!

Answer #17

I laways say Merry Christmas, i actually don;t know anyone who says Happy holidays. But that could be a scottish thing, like i probably wouldn’t say Happy New Year, i’d mostly likely say Happy Hogmanay

Answer #18

Happy Holiday may not just be Christmas, it can also be Easter.

Answer #19

Happy Holiday may not just be Christmas, it can also be Easter.

Answer #20

@filletofspam: “Happy Diwali” for Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs. I don’t know about Buddhists. And don’t forget “Joyous Kwanzaa” for those who celebrate the African American cultural festival.

But be careful with Ramadan; it isn’t seasonal because the Islamic lunar calendar is shorter than a solar year, and so its dates cycle backward through the seasons. This year, Ramadan was more or less the month of August; next year it will be late July and early August.

Somewhat similarly, the timing of both Diwali and Hanukkah also varies on the Gregorian (common) calendar, although they remain within the late fall to early winter season, because the Hebrew and Hindu calendars are both mixed lunar-solar calendars; i.e., lunar months reconciled by various mechanisms to the longer solar year. Hanukkah (an eight-day period) sometimes coincides with Christmas, but can be several weeks earlier. I think Diwali is a bit earlier than Hanukkah, but I’m not sure.

Sometimes people who recognize from my appearance and clothing that I’m a Jew wish me a happy Hanukkah around Christmas time, weeks after Hanukkah has ended. It’s a bit odd.

For my first 30 years or so on the planet it used to bother me when people would wish me a merry Christmas, because I thought it meant they were assuming I’m a Christian. Now I think it is just their way, as Christians, to wish me peace and goodwill, whoever and whatever I am. I used to respond by saying something like, “Thank you, but I’m a Jew; we don’t celebrate Christmas.” Now I generally return whatever greeting I’m given.

When I’m the first to offer a winter holiday greeting, I’ll give the one appropriate to the other person’s tradition if I know it. I also say “Happy Hanukkah” to non-Jewish friends (or to aggressive Christian proselytizers). Otherwise it’s “Happy Holidays.”

When Christmas is over, I start saying “Happy Gregorian year” to friends. Or sometimes “Shannah tovah,” as a bit of a joke; that’s normally the greeting for the Jewish new year that falls in autumn (Rosh HaShannah). To strangers, it’s a simple “Happy new year.”

Answer #21

It’s not about offending, not being offended or judging people. It is about being thoughtful. If you say Merry Christmas to all of your friends regardless of their worldview are you thinking of them? While the majority of Americans are mainstream Christian we are becoming a more multicultural society every day. Nobody is trying to keep you from celebrating your traditions. Just recognize that some people follow different ones.

Answer #22

I do and they should recongnize mine. as i say Merry Christmas they can say happy Hanakkah and peace be with us both…I dont know everyones religion just by lookin at them. So should i tone down my beliefs. I live in America. If i was in some other country then i would tone it down, Christmas was a season of goodwill and good cheer for all. In the last few years, it has been seen as an offence. There are the traditional Christians who perceive that the politically correct are attacking their religious beliefs and the customs their country was built on. Now, if someone came up to me at the office and wished me a happy Hanukkah, or a happy Chinese New Year would I take offense? No, I would not,Lets not contort a positive into a negative on the merits of political/cultural correctness.Lets not attempt to secularize our religions, or to blur our religious differences.If you can’t say Christmas at Christmas time, when 85 percent of the population is Christian and 96 percent of the population celebrates Christmas, something’s wrong. You cant please everybody. Its all in good spirit. I dont WANT to offend anybody. If you say happy holidays then it offends athiests.. “Holy” days…The word holiday derived from the notion of “Holy Day”… You see??? Now I wish everyone would just stop being so nit picky and except it as a means of just being nice

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