If you happen to be one of the brave who journeys out Thanksgiving night and into Friday morning to buy Gigli on Blu-Ray for $7.99 or a Coby DVD player for $39.99, chances are you will hear a store employee utter those two little infamous words: “Happy Holidays.”
Some see this as a polite greeting and meet it with a smile and return the gesture with a similar expression. However, when some hear those two little words their blood begins to boil and the evolution of Bruce Banner into the Incredible Hulk takes place right in the checkout line at Macy’s. Why do those words cause so much anger? Maybe because we think “Happy Holidays” has become a substitute for “Merry Christmas.”
While some may disagree with me entirely, the phrase “Happy Holidays” does not bother me. Here are 3 reasons why:
1. We’re in the middle of 3 “holidays”
The 5 weeks between November 24 and January 1 give us 3 different holidays. November 24 is Thanksgiving. December 25 is Christmas. And January 1 is New Year’s Day. When someone tells you “Happy Holidays” it doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is saying “I’m being politically correct and taking Christ out of Christmas.” Maybe he or she is just saying an abbreviated version of “I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, have a great Christmas, and have a great New Year.” After all, holidays is plural, so it’s inferring more than one. Think about the song, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” We don’t cut off the last line and say, “We wish you a Merry Christmas and…yeah, that’s it.” So before you get too upset, consider that the phrase “Happy Holidays” may not be an attack on your spiritual beliefs; maybe it’s just a way to incorporate all 3 holidays into 1.
2. “Happy Holidays” is a friendly greeting
I doubt there are many people in this world who utter “Happy Holidays” just to stir up trouble. Sure, groups like the ACLU may try to do it, but for most people saying “Happy Holidays” is a friendly gesture. And let’s be honest, I’ve said it, you’ve said it, and many others have said it without even thinking. When I say it to a friend or a store employee I don’t think, “I don’t want to offend him so I’ll go neutral with my greeting.” No, my actual intent is to genuinely wish someone happiness. So whether you like the phrase or not, remember that the person saying it is likely doing it out of goodwill, not ill-intent.
3. The phrase may have been authorized by a “higher-up”
I hate political correctness as much as anyone, and I honestly don’t like it when I hear people say their managers have warned them against mentioning “Christmas” and have even threatened their jobs. Yes, that bugs me. But it’s important for us to remember that the “higher-ups” may be the ones making that call, not necessarily the employees. Believe it or not, there are retail employees who say “Happy Holidays” who also celebrate Christmas. Before you jump all over the high school kid who is working a seasonal job to pay for college, consider that he or she may only be doing what was asked. If you’re upset, your fight is with management, not the worker.
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, and my opinion is that “Happy Holidays” really doesn’t bother me. However, what does bother me is seeing people jump down the throats of the workers who utter that phrase. When you talk back to the 17 year old who works at Best Buy or go off on the 25 year old working at Walmart, you’re doing everything BUT showing the spirit of Christmas…and THAT bothers me!
[Photo source: http://bit.ly/sQNAkk]