It's happened already. The "Happy Holidays!" versus "Merry Christmas!"
Yesterday, at the coffee shop, the individual behind the counter wished me "Happy Holidays!" My response? "You, too!"
Now, I have been heard to say and have fully intended to respond with a firm and possibly partially judgemental, "Merry Christmas." Trouble is, it wasn't Christmas yet, despite what retailers would have you think as of well before Halloween (don't get me started on that one or we'll be here all day). Wasn't really even Thanksgiving yet - one more subject that I'll feel the need to expand upon at some point in time. I mean, to whom or what are you giving thanks, anyway? Think about it. Really think about it. We'll get back to this a little later.
Anyway, I didn't give my response any thought until just a few minutes ago. The "You, too!" just kind of came out automatically, as it does whenever someone says, "Have a nice day!" Don't judge. We all do it at some point. It's become the standard response to any well wishes, hasn't it? A little too standard but, again, another subject for further exploration at a later time.
Now, don't get me wrong. I have no problem with this current practice. Well, I don't anymore. I did at first. How dare you take away the holiday I celebrate? What's wrong with you? Forget the religious component, "Merry Christmas!" is tradition and you should never go messing around with tradition. Besides, a certain name is part of the name of the day. What are you gonna do? Change the name of the day? You can't. It's tradition. So there. It offends me that you are offended by me wishing you a "Merry Christmas!"
And I could go on. In fact, at one time, I probably would have. This year, however, if someone wants to wish me "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" I'm not going to publically chastise them for doing so. After all, "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings" were being used long before it became politically correct to do so.
It has also occurred to me that the individual behind the counter has probably been forbidden by their employer to even mention Christmas in polite company. After all, the employer is in it to make money and doesn't want to take the chance of offending someone who might object to being wished a "Merry Christmas!" We are supposed to be the melting pot of civilization here in North America and just because someone is in the USA doesn't mean they share the same political or religious views, morals or otherwise. And we don't want to go around offending people left and right, now do we? Um, no pun intended there.
So, this year and following, I have decided that I'll let go of my offense that someone might be offended if I wish them "Merry Christmas!", respond in kind and get on with my merry little life.
Who cares if I'm wished "Happy Holidays" and not "Merry Christmas!"? Doesn't matter in the least. I know what holidays I acknowledge this time of year and they are multiple - Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Which means, to wish me happy multiple holidays is, in fact, the correct greeting.
Now, about Thanksgiving. If you are in the USA, or even if you're not, to whom or what are you giving thanks today?