It is time to get past this
It is that time of the year again. Along with the sounds of tinkling bells and holiday brass comes the familiar refrain: “Should I say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?”
It is amazing so much time is spent debating this issue. On Thanksgiving, a national telephone survey done for Rasmussen Reports indicated 68 percent of American adults prefer stores to show signs saying “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays.”
“Only one-quarter of adults favor signs that say ‘Happy Holidays.’ Those figures are virtually unchanged from our survey conducted this time last year. Men (71 percent) favor ‘Merry Christmas’ slightly more than women (65 percent),” the report states.
The survey found Republicans (84 percent) overwhelmingly prefer “Merry Christmas” more than Democrats (51 percent).
There is no surprise there given Democrats seem more sensitive to political correctness.
But, more telling in this political aspect of the analysis is the fact that only 53 percent of those surveyed will be attending a Christian church service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day this year.
The report said that is down four points from last year. Republicans (68 percent) are more likely to go to a Christmas church service than Democrats (45 percent).
There is nothing wrong with trying to be inclusive.
For many of those who prefer “Happy Holidays” the reasoning is that this greeting applies to everyone. It is appropriate to use around Jews, Muslims or others who do not follow Judeo-Christian teachings.
After all, the season boasts of “goodwill to all men.”
Their approach appeals also to merchants trying to attract customers, including many non-Christians who celebrate the gift-giving part of Christmas.
But, there is also nothing wrong with staying true to a tradition, either.
Those who prefer “Merry Christmas” often say they stick to it because it is the traditional American greeting.
It also incorporates the word Christ, signifying the reason for the season according to Christians — the birth of Jesus Christ.
The plain fact is that Dec. 25 is Christmas — not Channukah, Muharram — or even Kwanzaa.
It is not as if a majority of people who say “Merry Christmas,” are hoping they can insult a Jew or a Muslim in the process.
A holiday greeting should not be a source of argument.
No matter what words are used, if it is said in a spirit of holiday cheer, it should be accepted in the spirit offered.
Let us embrace the words of Rodney King who said, “Why can’t we all just get along?”