“Have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”
This phrase was coined in 1699 by an English admiral in an informal letter he was writing. Since then, the phrase has been used by millions of Americans to quickly and courteously say, “I hope you have a great holiday season.”
It is closing in on the 2017 holiday season, a year in which hyper-sensitivity and political correctness run rampant. One cannot do or say anything without getting a flood of scrutiny about how offensive they are being or how outdated the term they just used is.
According to a PEW Research Center survey, about 9 in 10 Americans say they celebrate Christmas. It is safe to say that almost all Americans are celebrating Christmas
When one says, “Have a merry Christmas,” they are assuming that the other person celebrates the holiday, which is not a totally absurd assumption to have. They are not saying that Hanukkah is a lesser holiday, or that no family celebrates Kwanzaa. They are simply saying “happy holidays” in their own terms.
According to the same PEW survey, 81 percent of non-Christians in the U.S. also celebrate Christmas. How can that be? If they do not follow the religion, how dare they celebrate that holiday? It is the birth of Jesus Christ, our lord and savior, and is to be taken very, very seriously.
The truth of it all is that only 51 percent still look at Christmas as a purely religious date, while 32 percent look at it as more of a cultural holiday. Sure, in technical terms, those people are wrong. But, in the highly commercialized, mega-company that is the United States of America, they are right.
Christmas advertisements start months before actual Christmas Day. These companies push their deals onto consumers, and a large number of holiday movies revolve around the concept of Christmas Day with the family. Almost every TV show, whether it is a critically acclaimed drama or a low-budget comedy, use the holiday as a plot device or just something to simply shake up the program.
The way we are today is not the way we were even five years ago. People seem to simply care less about some things, but a lot more about certain things. Like words. If you celebrate something other than Christmas, or nothing at all, and somebody says “merry Christmas,” just take it as a wish for a happy holiday season. It is not meant to wage a war against religious preferences.