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Do you support calls in some countries to replace expressions like “Christmas tree” and “merry Christmas” with “holiday tree” and “happy holidays?”

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Personally, I also don't care too much for the expression "Xmas", either. They are literally taking Christ out of Christmas !

0 ( +15 / -15 )

Leave individuals alone to say or not say what they want.

. X is the Greek letter “chi,” the initial letter in the word Χριστός. Χριστός means “Christ.”

23 ( +26 / -3 )

I don't really care what they do in 'other countries' (it's their country, after all), but here in Japan I object to people saying 'happy holidays' when Christmas isn't a holiday and all the Christmas decorations are taken down and put away on the 25th, well before the New Year holidays get going. Just get the facts straight, fer X's sake!

24 ( +30 / -7 )

Christmas trees are not being allowed in at least one U.S. municipal government office because the "have been deemed to promote the Christian religion."

So at any rate, I suppose this is where the notion that certain people want to replace "Christmas tree" with "holiday tree" comes from. Still, those people probably represent a minuscule/insignificant percentage of the total population, and the story is more a matter of crafting click bait geared toward boosting advertising for revenue-hungry media outlets by manipulating, enraging and feeding the paranoia of evangelical types who think persecution of their faith lurks behind every corner.

As an aside, I find it quite ironic that a pagan Yuletide symbol like the Christmas tree has been re-purposed to promote Christianity, along with Christmas wreathes and a host of other symbols symbols of 'heathen' religions — not to mention the commercialization of Christmas.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Thank you, @Cleo. You usually come up with a good one, and this is a perfect example of your insight. At my end, a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree and while I don't put one up anymore, I still admire people who do so, a week before the 25th, and leave it up until New Year's Day. It's what it's all about. Bless the children.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Just do away with all these terms, and use one everyone can enjoy - "Festivus".

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Personally, I do not like it when someone says Merry Christmas to me. By the way, today is the first day of Hanukah. Lit one candle after sunset last night.

The Japanese should just stick with the opening of the new year thing, and dump all this christmas stuff, but that will not happen, as too much money to be made at Col. Sanders and Bakeries for christmas keki.

-19 ( +8 / -27 )

Do you support calls in some countries to replace expressions like “Christmas tree” and “merry Christmas” with “holiday tree” and “happy holidays?”

As far as I've seen this phenomenon doesn't really exist. Private businesses and government departments might choose to recommend that the employees under their jurisdiction recognize holidays apart from Christmas during this season, but I've never heard of any call to change the terms in general usage.

The controversy is just yet another form of signaling language. No one is trying to get rid of Christmas, and even if they were, wishing you "Happy holidays" in no way interferes with your ability to celebrate Christmas. But for people who want to signal to the world how devoutly Christian they are, ranting about this nontroversy is a convenient way to do so.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Festivus for the rest of us

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus

http://www.wikihow.com/Celebrate-Festivus

The holiday's celebration includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole, practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength", and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles".

2 ( +6 / -4 )

If its totally against your religion to not respect the Holiday's of other religions and you feel insulted.... just go back to the country where you're in the majority and enjoy yourself. Let us do the same.

21 ( +25 / -4 )

As far as I've seen this phenomenon doesn't really exist.

But for people who want to signal to the world how devoutly Christian they are, ranting about this nontroversy is a convenient way to do so.

@katsu78

Amen to that. Well said.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

If people want to use the word "holiday" instead of "Christmas" then their not really celebrating Christmas and obviously just see it as a typical holiday. "Holiday tree" sounds completely daft though!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

some here and there shoulget there evergreen lovin' kill-a-tree-for-christ facts in line.

Christmas(tide) is the church-sanctioned veneer that overlaid its popular predecessor the 12-day festival of Yule around the December solstice and the earlier Roman Saturnalia held around the same time. Yuletide also included the month before and after Yule. Yuletide was a pagan festival which morphed into Christmastide, mainly because the church authorities couldn't stop the practice. Instead they attempted to sanctify it. In the late 20th and now the 21st century, mainly because people have the wealth to sustain it, Christmastide has simply reverted to its earlier inclinations and includes commercialism. Makes sense. Money has become the new god in an increasingly secular world. Hence the focus on shopping sprees and light up festivals. So really, the human instinct of Nordic peoples to get together, make fires, eat, drink and make merry during the two months that are the darkest period of the year has prevailed. That's all. No great mystery.

certainly yes is the correct votr inclusive of all and to all, good day.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Well I go for the "Happy Festivus" and a "merry Festivus" ... for the rest of us.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

cleo, i once strongly disagree. happy holiday is inclusive to all and theirs; inclusive of the j-celebration; inclusive! no Matter what they put up or take down.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Xmas means Decorate, Celebrate and Presents. It does not mean holidays. Easter means Holidays don,t get the two mix up. One is Pagan (Xmas) the other is Religious. Xmas has been a Pagan celebration of the winter solace. The Christians jump on this Pagan day of celebration to by declaring it the same day the Jesus was born. This really help in christian propaganda to build up a following by jump on a Pagan day of celebration to persuade the pagan into Christendom. So No to Holiday replacing Xmas.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

maybe changing the terms will fit to japan's situation, but, it will never work the same in the majority of countries. another way of creating an 'us' vs. 'them' mindset.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

if i dont know you... how in the h do i know what you are? got a tag or something? oh, you got a tree? is that a real tree or a walmart look alike tree? what if mine comes with feathers?

so happy holiday. i include my good wish to you and tour light-up as mine and my goose-down xj-56 tree can muster.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's Sad that a question like this is being asked in the first place. There was never a problem with any of this back in the days

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Its kind of funny how this is coming up AFTER so much of the Christian bit of Yuletide has finally been eradicated in the northern latitudes. I say, don't throw the Yule baby out with the Christian bathwater. Whatever its called, its still a holiday/ festival because of Yuletide and the Winter solstice. Who feels compelled to any religion by a yew tree in the house, a fire in the hearth, some candy canes, songs about bows of holly and jingle bells, or even that fat guy in a red suit whose name and image are no longer recognizable to the Christian saint he started as?

Call it Yuletide. And get rid of the stars, angels, manger scenes, church bells, and carols that mention Jesus and you are pretty much done.. Keep the trees, the baubles, the tinsel, Santa, reindeer, holly, flashing lights, wreaths, gingerbread men, candy canes, elves, Frosty the Snowman, etc.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

happy holiday is inclusive to all and theirs; inclusive of the j-celebration; inclusive!

Wot 'holiday'?

Wot 'J-celebration'?

'Happy holidays' is exclusive, not inclusive: it excludes those for whom there is no holiday (=most folk in Japan).

While I'm not religious at all, I send Christmas cards to most of my friends emblazoned with 'Merry Christmas'. For those who do not celebrate Christmas for any reason (different religion, no religion, recent bereavement, congenital or acute Scroogecity etc.) I use 'Seasons Greetings'.

If Japanese friends ask me what I'm doing over the holidays, I tell them my plans for the New Year.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I don't care much, but I don't think forcing people to use "Happy Holidays" instead of something else is any different than choosing another thing to say. Let people say what they want. If you don't like it, respond with your own preferred greeting. You don't have to believe in god to say Merry Christmas, and if you don't want to say that, that's fine too.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I am against changing it.

Why do we need to cater to everybody? Cultural homogenization? No thank you.

Merry Christmas everybody.

If you don't feel it, no need to feel bad about it. If you wish me happy hanuka or whatever I don't get in your face, its cool, thanks for wishing me a good time.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

"And get rid of the stars, angels, manger scenes, church bells, and carols that mention Jesus and you are pretty much done.. Keep the trees, the baubles, the tinsel, Santa, reindeer, holly, flashing lights, wreaths, gingerbread men, candy canes, elves, Frosty the Snowman, etc."

Keep all of them. I have no time for any religion but I won't begrudge the Christians enjoying their sing-songs, bells and angels playing trumpets or whatever. I'll also politely reply 'Merry Christmas' to anyone who says it to me. If that goes further into a lecture on 'the reason for the season' or what Christmas 'should' be about, then I'll tell them to get stuffed.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Further proof that political correctness prevents rational thought.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

cleo:

in answer, whatever holiday they have, in this case, well, new year. if you want to add an 's' holidayS ok. if that works. they have ihave those over there may have... and i do not know and if i do not know i do not put it forth, just to be safe.

we are not so far off point.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

'Have a good holiday' referring to the New Year? I have no problem at all with that, I say it myself when appropriate (or the Japanese equivalent - which doesn't mention holidays at all). But for Christmas, here, it just doesn't work and sounds daft.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

cleo:

agree. but, my/our response is to what the thread is:

"some countries are calling for..." japan is not a case foe my argument.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Conspiracy TheoriesDEC. 07, 2015 - 12:04PM JST It's Sad that a question like this is being asked in the first place. There was never a problem with any of this back in the days

Which old days is that? Because Irving Berlin made a pretty iconic song titled "Happy Holidays" way back in 1942 and the expression can be attested as far back as the 1890s.

Oh, I get it, you're saying that back in the old days Christians didn't create entirely imaginary controversies just to draw attention to themselves, so the use of "Happy Holidays" wasn't perceived as a threat to them in the old days. I agree! It is sad that this is being asked then.

Michael WerkerDEC. 07, 2015 - 12:31PM JST I am against changing it. Why do we need to cater to everybody? Cultural homogenization? No thank you.

MagnetDEC. 07, 2015 - 12:44PM JST Further proof that political correctness prevents rational thought.

I'm curious, can either of you name even one significant party trying to "change the expression" in the general case?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I won't begrudge the Christians enjoying their sing-songs, bells and angels playing trumpets or whatever.

This is not about begrudging others and nothing I said suggested begrudging others. It was about not promoting Christianity over other religions in the workplace or government offices, or public places even. Anyone else can keep calling it Christmas if its Christmas they celebrate. But I have come to realize that I celebrate Yuletide.

Also related to what its called, the United States, as a secular country, should NOT have a public holiday called "Christmas" on the books. However, everyone wants a holiday then, and that stems from Yuletide. If Christians want to keep celebrating Christmas during our Yuletide, fine.

Meanwhile, America SHOULD have a public holiday called Halloween, obviously, as its got to be the number two or three most popular celebrated event and its in the interests of public safety to make sure both parents are home from work so one can man the door and the other go out trick or treating with the kids. But you will never guess who is begrudging US such a sensible move and why! Quite frankly, damn the Christians for that! Its a testament to my generosity that I am not suggesting begrudging them Christmas!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

katsu~ beautiful!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@hydropower

Fair enough. It's just the "get rid of" in "And get rid of the stars, angels, manger scenes, church bells, and carols that mention Jesus and you are pretty much done" seemed a bit over the top.

I agree with your main point. I'm from the UK where thankfully, Christianity isn't taken seriously by the majority but I lived in God-fearing Texas where Christianity was serious and invasive. I can see why there has been a pushback in the US against those who are trying to promote the idea that the US is a Christian rather than secular country and continually attempt to blur the boundaries between religion and politics.

Perhaps my post is more relevant to the UK than the US.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@katsu78

It's just that back in the day, Christmas was Christmas. Families and Loved ones gathered, children were happy, people of all religions were smiling and celebrating whatever holiday thier religion celebrated. You could feel the love in the air. Now days it's all about being politically correctedness and worrying about if you're going to offend someone. I'm not a Christian, i've stopped celebrating it because it has lost it feeling.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

cleo*

sorry, let me clarify. sure, offering 'happy holiday'(s)' certainly would extend to new year holiday.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Actually, what I wish I could have said is what danalawton1@yahoo.com said above. But as stated, Christmas already died for me so it really doesn't matter anymore.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Which old days is that? Because Irving Berlin made a pretty iconic song titled "Happy Holidays" way back in 1942

Choose your poison:

He also wrote White Christmas and God Bless America.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For me, Christmas is a Christian holiday. Telling people how to celebrate Christmas is like telling people of other religious faiths how to celebrate their own special holidays. I don't tell them how to celebrate their own special holidays because it's none of my business.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Conspiracy TheoriesDEC. 07, 2015 - 02:22PM JST It's just that back in the day, Christmas was Christmas. Families and Loved ones gathered, children were happy, people of all religions were smiling and celebrating whatever holiday thier religion celebrated. You could feel the love in the air. Now days it's all about being politically correctedness and worrying about if you're going to offend someone.

I am skeptical that Christmas was indeed as you describe it "in the old days". The nostalgia filter can easily blind people to issues they used to be too young to be aware of. But the more important point I disagree with is how you describe the situation today. I don't know of any party that is genuinely worried they are going to offend anyone when they consider saying "Merry Christmas". In fact, in my experience, it is far more likely that if any offense occurs during the holidays, it is far more likely to come from uptight Christians who get incensed at the largely imaginary idea that there is some kind or war on Christmas.

SenseNotSoCommonDEC. 07, 2015 - 02:52PM JST Which old days is that? Because Irving Berlin made a pretty iconic song titled "Happy Holidays" way back in 1942 Choose your poison: He also wrote White Christmas and God Bless America.

I don't get your point. My argument was not that Irving Berlin expressed any personal belief through his music, but simply that Christians have been listening to people wish them "Happy Holidays" for over half a century. It's only been in probably the last 10 or so years that suddenly it became offensive to them.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

PC out of control

11 ( +16 / -5 )

...Can I add... to some people in here... put your arms in the air and say "Serenity Now!!!, Serenity Now!!"

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I think it makes sense to use Happy Holidays instead of Christmas since there are many holidays happening at the end of the year (Chanukah, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve, Winter Solstice, etc). As far as Christmas tree, we all know the tree is meant to represent Christmas (though it came from pagan traditions), so why not just call it what it is.

What I hate is when people talk about how there's a "war on Christmas" and use the example of X-mas. X-mas has been used as an abbreviation for Christmas for hundreds of years, before anyone had thought of this "war on Christmas" stuff.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

...Can I add... to some people in here... put your arms in the air and say "Serenity Now!!!, Serenity Now!!"

...for the rest of us! I think people are already airing their grievances.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Katsu78、I hear you. But when people start questioning if you can't or can put a Christmas tree up in an office, or question is it right to say Merry Christmas or not,why bother with celebrating it overall. I wouldn't be surprised if the Holiday would disappear in the future. If there's no holiday for other religions, why is there a holiday for Christian metality.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I think that people should just be able to say whatever they want when wishing people a nice time. If you get mad about the word choice that someone uses when they tell you that they hope you have a nice time, then you need to sit down and look at your choices.

Also, "holiday tree"? I've never heard that one before, but I think it sounds about as silly as "holiday dreidel." It makes the tree sound like a it was made at a knockoff Halloween costume factory. You know, the one where they are not legally permitted to say "Sonic the Hedgehog," so they just have to sell "Blue Animal Costume" instead.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Political Correctness gone rabid. You can call it a Jelly Doughnut for all I care. It's Noel to me, and I enjoy the Pagan Yuletide.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Don't care.

It is weihnacht and starts in Nov/28th and goes till Jan/6th. Santa and his sidekick visit on the 6th, the Christ kindle come on the 24.

Noel, Feliz Navidad, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Happy Holidays" sounds like it should be said by some over-perky US sales girl with a fake plastic smile.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Given the length of our Christmas which also includes New Year no problem.

On the same token the Carnival/season starts in Nov 11th at 11:11 and goes till the end of February.

Good times, many parties, balls, etc.plenty of time to take loved out for a good time, being able to ballroom dance is a MUST.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

...Can I add... to some people in here... put your arms in the air and say "Serenity Now!!!, Serenity Now!!"

Serenity now, insanity later.

As for the question at hand, I think it depends on where the expressions are being used. I'm a Christian, but I don't mind people wanting to keep a religious holiday out of the office, schools, or government. Frankly, I'd prefer those measures because I'd prefer a simpler Christmas with my family at home and at church to the colossal consumption-centered event it's become.

And for the insecure contrarians here harping on about "It's Yuletide I celebrate, yadayadayada," I'm sure you're also really into cuju, you know, the sport that soccer/football REALLY is. Get over yourselves.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I voted yes, but truly it depends. I am not offended when someone says "Merry Christmas". And I usually say "Merry Christmas" because if I didn't, people (especially Japanese) would not know what I was talking about with "Happy Yuletide". Its not that I take offense. Its not about outrage. Christmas is fine. I just want people to say what they mean. If they don't mean "I hope you enjoy your celebration of the birth of Christ", then it would be really nice if they say something other than "Merry Christmas". I hope all Christians have a Merry Christmas. And if you are not Christian, I hope you have a Happy Yuletide, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah or whatever.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@bfarm And for the insecure contrarians here harping on about "It's Yuletide I celebrate, yadayadayada,

If what I wrote about Festivus offends you, I'm sorry. I was riffing on a couple of other posters who brought it up. Festivus was a fake - joke - holiday used on Seinfeld, the US comedy show. I used it as I assume some others did to add a bit of humour.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Conspiracy TheoriesDEC. 07, 2015 - 05:02PM JST Katsu78、I hear you. But when people start questioning if you can't or can put a Christmas tree up in an office, or question is it right to say Merry Christmas or not,

We haven't actually established that either of these things happen to any meaningful degree.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

My 2 cents says Merry Christmas for goodness sakes. I'm not a Christian but I loved Christmas; the music - the Presents, the vacation from school. I still love the music. I agree with some others that Christmas is not a 'holiday' so calling it that is just wrong - plus - Christmas was a time for giving, not negativity. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'm not a Christian, but I thoroughly enjoy the season, especially all the musical concerts, the lights and the good feeling the holiday engenders. I enjoy doing what I can to help the less fortunate. I do say 'Merry Christmas', but I have no problem with people saying 'Happy Holidays' or a greeting they feel comfortable with.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm not religious but the word Christmas for me represents a time of the year for giving and receiving. Happy holidays represent nothing in particular, but it's everybody's choice to call it whatever they like.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If what I wrote about Festivus offends you, I'm sorry. I was riffing on a couple of other posters who brought it up. Festivus was a fake - joke - holiday used on Seinfeld, the US comedy show. I used it as I assume some others did to add a bit of humour.

No problem at all, PTownsend. If you caught the beginning of my original comment, "Serenity now, insanity later," you'd know I'm a big Seinfeld fan :)

I think it's important to consider the context the words are being used in. I'm actually less bothered by replacing Christmas-related words with more "neutral" ones than I am by the infusion of overtly Christian symbols to make Christmas more "authentic" here in Japan. Anyone catch commercials for the USJ's "Universal Wonder Christmas?" Angels, boys' choir, crucifixes...notice on Universal Studios' website in the U.S. that the furthest you get beyond generic "winter holiday" celebrations is "Grinchmas," but the USJ website looks like a page from a textbook entitled, "Strategic Commercialisation and Commodification of Foreign Cultures and/or Religions."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Personally, I also don't care too much for the expression "Xmas", either. They are literally taking Christ out of Christmas !

So? If you actually think that Christmas is a Christian holiday you must think that Halloween is one too.

So what that Japan doesnt take the religious side of Christmas? I mean really, what difference does it make? Japan took the secular "fun" stuff of Christmas and made it into their own.

How many people who celebrate Christmas do it with chicken and cake? Not anyone from where I come from, but so friggin what. Japanese people took the fun stuff, the lights, decorations, food and other fun stuff and made Christmas into their own celebration.

Back in the day many people here, many still today, think that Christmas Eve is Christmas, and is used to be, and probably still is the number one biggest "date" night in Japan. There is literally a small "baby" boom 10 months after too!

SO WHAT...I mean does everyone have to get their noses out of joint because Japan does it the Japanese way and not YOUR way?

I say BRAVO to Japan for taking ALL the religious mumbo jumbo out of Christmas and made it into their own special type of festivity!

Abe should be thanking everyone too, because thanks to Christmas Japan gets a rather large economic boost too.

Make Christmas everyday here! People would get the sand outta their panties!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Christmas is a time for giving and sharing between family and friends and the Christian representation has been declining for many years. I haven't been to church for over forty years, but it is, and always will be, MERRY CHRISTMAS for me!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Do whatever you want. Just don't shove it down my throat.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Freedom of speech. You can call it or say whatever you like about the holidays. Shouldn't have to change anything. But can't get angry with people or companies that choose to say something different.So, Merry X-mas , Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to everyone :-)

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Yubaru lol in that case all I have to say to them is bahhhh humbug!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So, Merry X-mas , Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to everyone :-)

Come on get with the program it's "Merry X-Mos!" Lol!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think that for many people, Christmas isn't really about the religious part anymore. It's about spending time with family and friends, keeping up traditions and just having a nice, peaceful time. So when people say Merry Christmas or Christmas tree, they aren't really saying "Remember Jesus-day!!" they are just being nice, saying what they've always done. And I can't see why that is something to be offended about, even if you aren't Christian.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@PTownsend - (8;12 AM JST) Thanks for enlightening me. I did not know that. It still bothers me though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Never mind Dec's Christmas is actually taken from Pagan holiday, then we have way too many political correctness in this world already.

Can we change other religious' event names from something holiday or holiday something as well? They feel so offended into a holiday name and yet cannot tolerate the other way around? I thought religions are to teach people to forgive/ tolerate - well except those cults.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

From another point of view, I can't see one particular religion reciprocating and renaming Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr to avoid offending those who do not follow that religion.

PC and placation seems to only flow in one direction....

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I live in Malaysia (Islamic Republic) where the 4 main religions specific celebration days are a bank holiday for everybody. Probably a unique case in the world. And a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree (which is actually not that much a christian symbol but a gathering one).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

With Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanza all occurring in the same month, we Americans have decided on "Happy Holidays" as being less potentially upsetting with regards to a person's religion while still conveying the same general wish.

As far as "Christmas Tree" is concerned, that would only be a correct term in a Christian household, I would think. The religious aspect of December 25th is moot because the designation of December 25th as the birth date of Jesus Christ was a political decision by early Christian leaders and not based on facts regarding the guy's actual birthday. It was specifically chosen to be close to when Romans celebrated Saturnalia, so that the citizens weren't losing out on a celebration when they converted to Christianity. So the whole complaint over "losing the meaning of Christmas" makes me laugh because the REAL meaning has nothing to do with what these devout complainers think it does. The real meaning? DECEMBER PAR-TAY!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Not sure if I care. To be honest, the place where most of this "holiday" business is coming from is Merka anyway. Since the word "holiday" has religious connotations anyway, I think that you're damned either way.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I would just like to point out that "Happy Holidays" has been around for decades before this "war on Christmas" BS; Christmas isn't the only December Holiday, you know. There is an entire holiday season which extends to New Years. It's absurd that "Happy Holidays" is being portrayed as some sort of recent PC invention.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

While i'm all for live & let live , all of this P.C. crap about greetings is over the top! Christmas is Christmas & if the world is becoming too "thin skinned" & Uuber sensitive to know that, all i can say is- Merry Christmas to All!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Christmas is Christmas & if the world is becoming too "thin skinned" & Uuber sensitive to know that, all i can say is- Merry Christmas to All!

"Christmas" only has meaning to Christians. It's not that the world is becoming thin-skinned, it's that Christians are being reminded that they aren't the be-all to end-all when it comes to religions and the days when the English king could dictate what religion was practiced are long-gone. A Christian saying, "Merry Christmas to all!" would be taken just as poorly as a Jewish person saying, "Happy Hanukkah to all!" You can call it "P.C. crap" all you want, but the bottom line is that "P.C. crap" shows acknowledgement that not everyone believes the same things you do nor celebrates the same things you do.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So? I mean really, so what? Is it that necessary to get so butt hurt that a country chooses to find enjoyment in their own way of celebrating Christmas? Are you so insecure in your own beliefs that you have to feel so offended?

Christmas is NOT the birthday of Christ. Christmas piggy-backed a Roman holiday and the church "made" it the birthday of Jesus. So is Christianity any better than the Japanese who celebrate it in their own manner?

Think about that, you say that Japan should celebrate the original meaning? Then you had better get yourself ready for what the original winter solstice was all about during Roman times.

You complain about a country that is making Christmas their own, in their own manner and yet you fail to accept the FACT that Christianity adapted it into their own as well. Rather hypocritical in my opinion.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

another pointless sjw stunt.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

There are between 20 and 30 "holidays" around this time of year, from ancient Saturnalia to Yule to Hanukkah to Christmas to the recent, silly-yet- oddly-compelling Festivus (for the rest of us). It's not about just one religion or belief system over another. It just doesn't matter what you celebrate or don't celebrate. Enjoy the season. Or don't.

You have the right to be as happy or miserable about it as you please. You don't have the right to tell others what or how they should celebrate.

Finally, the reason for the season is the 23.5 degree axial tilt that our little planet has. That's all.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I thought we say 'Merry Xmas' coz of Santa and Jesus. 23.5 degrees - that's a fairly esoteric reason but I'll certainly store that fact for retrieval.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

wanderlustDEC. 07, 2015 - 11:27PM JST From another point of view, I can't see one particular religion reciprocating and renaming Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr to avoid offending those who do not follow that religion. PC and placation seems to only flow in one direction....

Wonderful point. Except a few teensie problems:

A- No one has advocated renaming Christmas, so your anger that Muslims don't rename their holidays doesn't fit the situation.

B- Islamic holidays are determined by lunar calendar, so their dates are inconsistent. Ramadan can fall anywhere from January to December, which means that if it coincides with other people's holidays varies from year to year.

C- If a Muslim holiday were to fall during December, then "Happy Holidays" wished by a Muslim would be an exact reverse of the Christmas scenario. And guess what? There are Muslims who wish people "Happy Holidays." I've even known some who wish it when Muslim holidays don't fall during that time. I've even known Muslims who wished me a "Merry Christmas" just because they knew I'd be celebrating it.

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You have the right to be as happy or miserable about it as you please. You don't have the right to tell others what or how they should celebrate.

Here here! Just the folks that are miserable want company.

Since the word "holiday" has religious connotations anyway,

Really? Tell that to the people who take their "holidays" during the summer at some beach in southern Italy. Also never knew that the 4th of July "holiday" in America ever had any "religious connotations" either. Interesting.

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If a person wishes 'Happy [insert anything]', it almost always means they are sending positive feelings your way. To be offended by that is to be an a$$hole.

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It's Sad that a question like this is being asked in the first place. There was never a problem with any of this back in the days. (I agree with one of the reader ) .http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas . Christmas word came from Christ Jesus . If you are not a Christian then it is up to you if you use other name especially in a secular country ,it is their choice . But for Christians we should NOT change our traditions and the some words with regard to Christmas .

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Are we talking government-sponsored decorations or those put up by private citizens? Because I don't see how you can change the meaning of what a private citizen intends. My wife is a Buddhist and I'm kind of leaning that way or into straight-up atheism, but we put up a Christmas tree because we both celebrate Christmas. If a city wants to put up decorations and call them holiday lights, then fine. That's probably fair because that term can cover everything from old fashioned Christian Christmas to Hanukah to New Years to Saturnalia to Kwanzaa to our own personal mutated version. Or a store that's afraid to alienate shoppers of differing beliefs but still wants to take advantage of the Fourth Quarter Spendathon. Which is, as we all know, the real Reason for the Season.

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Why? Christmas IS the reason for the holiday in the first place isn`t it? If some people have an issue with it because of their religion -feel free to not celebrate and work through the Christmas season ( as lots do already ).

Festivus - aaah, Seinfeld memories came back , good old George Costanza...love that show.:)

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A little late to the bandwagon but thought I'd throw in my 2 yens worth.

Firstly I feel it is worthwhile to mention that I am South African, my family is non-religious, and I am non-religious, in general I have never had any issue with any religious groups. I feel that our upbringing and our social contexts are heavily influential with regards to our views and opinions so I feel it is worth mentioning.

In no particular order and directed at nobody in particular I just wanted to throw in a few things I thought of as I read through comments.

1 - 'holiday' comes from 'holy day' (haligdæg in Old English to be more precise. of course that means very little since words alter and change over time and even though the etymological root of 'holiday' may have connotated a sacred or religious day that was observed by refraining from labour, the current connotation of the word no longer holds that meaning.

2 - Somebody had a rant about Christmas and Easter...one being a co-opted Pagan festival and the other religious. Correction: Both Christmas and Easter are co-opted Pagan festivals. For the same reasons really. Christian rulers needed to bring Northern pagans into the fold and it was easier to co-opt their festivals than to make them stop practicing their rites and rituals. The Gods changed but the festivals didn't.

3 - We don't call a Menorah a 'holiday candelabrum' so there is absolutely no reason to call a Christmas tree a 'holiday tree'. It borders on the absurd to even consider insisting that linguistic change.

Just wanted to get those three points out of the way.

The simple fact is that somebody wishing me Merry Christmas is no more invasive than somebody wishing me a Happy Chanuka, Happy Diwali, or Ramadan Mubarak. Although I would be a little confused if I was not observing Ramadan but I would happily extend the sentiment back to that person.

The problem arises when it becomes a externally forced. When a committee gets together and says that one thing should be said or that another thing should not be said. So long as no harm is done to anybody in saying a thing then that thing should be allowed to be said. To each their own.

The emergence of calls for 'Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" is due to an awareness that the dominant culture should not necessitate the cultural practices of a society. It is an attempt at inclusivity that I feel falls flat when it is aggressively pursued. It is similar to the move towards gender neutral terms that attempt to reduce assumptions and expectations in society. If we ask a new male friend if he has a girlfriend we are placing the assumption that he is heterosexual upon him. This subtly oppresses on that person if they do not conform to the dominant norm of society; they may have a boyfriend, a husband, a girlfriend and a boyfriend, they may be asexual. That seemingly innocent question that can so easily be replaced with 'do you have a partner?' or 'are you seeing someone?'.

Similarly there is a subtle perception of expectation when somebody wishes somebody else Merry Christmas. The person saying Merry Christmas may be as innocent of oppression as the person asking 'do you have a boyfriend?' but the person on the receiving end may perceive the normative pressure of a Christian-centric society. A subtle push that being non-Christian is abnormal or even ignoring the Religious aspect completely, that they should in some way be performing Christmas related cheer.

When we have the option of saying one phrase that is exclusive and one that is neutral I do feel that we have a social obligation to prefer to use the neutral term whenever possible.

For my part, I hope that everybody reading this from the Northern hemisphere has a pleasant Winter Solstice and those in the Southern hemisphere have a pleasant Summer Solstice.

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Political correctness has been taken way too far. I say leave things as they are

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So? I mean really, so what? Is it that necessary to get so butt hurt that a country chooses to find enjoyment in their own way of celebrating Christmas? Are you so insecure in your own beliefs that you have to feel so offended? Christmas is NOT the birthday of Christ. Christmas piggy-backed a Roman holiday and the church "made" it the birthday of Jesus. So is Christianity any better than the Japanese who celebrate it in their own manner? Think about that, you say that Japan should celebrate the original meaning? Then you had better get yourself ready for what the original winter solstice was all about during Roman times. You complain about a country that is making Christmas their own, in their own manner and yet you fail to accept the FACT that Christianity adapted it into their own as well. Rather hypocritical in my opinion.

No-one is arguing that holiday traditions are created out of thin air. Of course Christmas evolved over time. Christians wanted to celebrate the nativity and so adopted customs from their surrounding culture, blending symbols and practices familiar to them in a new way to reflect their beliefs. Sinterklaas and Father Christmas get blended and evolve into Santa Claus. Gift-giving becomes a popular tradition in emulation of Saint Nicholas. A central belief serves as the focal point of a celebration that grows and incorporates various cultural practices. It's not a mystery. After 1500 years of celebration and refinement, I don't think Christians or the church have anything to prove regarding the "authenticity" of Christmas. However, my question to you again is what, exactly, are Japanese people "celebrating" beyond pure, unadulterated consumerism? What is the purpose behind "celebrating" beyond companies simply trying to hawk a bit more of their wares to people?

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my question to you again is what, exactly, are Japanese people "celebrating" beyond pure, unadulterated consumerism? What is the purpose behind "celebrating" beyond companies simply trying to hawk a bit more of their wares to people?

Well, for one point, usually couples will go out on a date on Christmas, and enjoy spending time with each other. This is essentially no different than my personal Christmas celebration, which is to spend some time with friends and family, and having some good food.

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Even in Chrstian countries Christmas is not free from commercialism. They have a big sale before Christmas in the US, don't they?

I think "holiday tree" sounds a bit weird. But "Happy Holidays" is a good greeting becasue it can include New Year's holidays.

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Even though the Christmas tree is from the Yule rather than Christian tradition, I say let people greet as they want. The majority of people (Christian or not agree here). Besides who is doing the "calling for" mentioned above??

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In the US, the First Amendment and current judicial doctrine mandates government not "endorsee" any particular religion. Since I think the freedom of and from religion as articulated in the 1st A and interpreted by current judicial doctrine, I am against any governmental organization wishing me a Merry Christmas without also wishing me and a Happy New year or Happy Holidays as well. Christmas is holiday that many Americans enjoy and celebrate, is part of our culture and history, and should be recognized as such. It just can't be understood as the official religion --which is what the right wingers demand it be.

Indeed, I find it difficult to understand how any American could view it otherwise.

As for businesses, I dislike how Christmas has taken over all of December. Indeed, I worry about the War on Thanksgiving. ;) That said, there is nothing wrong with someone wishing someone else a Merry Christmas, if that is what they want to do.

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Hey Peikaiwa, You've pasted in part of my post on an earlier thread [November 23, 2015]. You might have said, "As Philly pointed out...". It's only correct to acknowledge the source rather than suggesting that you have written the comment.

Kagemusha's third point is sensible. "We don't call a Menorah a 'holiday candelabrum' so there is absolutely no reason to call a Christmas tree a 'holiday tree'. It borders on the absurd to even consider insisting that linguistic change."

Just try saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Happy New Year" or "Gung hey fat choi." I've done it to make a point of the absurdity and get the weirdest looks.

All holidays (or holy days if you observe them as such) and symbols attached to those holidays have their own names. What's next? Holiday eggs? Holiday hearts? Holiday shamrocks? Most of those come from pagan/Christian hybrids too. Can you imagine the suggestion to rename Obon with Ancestral Holidays. Or Ramadan as Fasting Holidays.

If you are going to do this, you must do it for all holidays in order to be fair. Then you realize that it's nuts and it never ends.

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Christmas(tide) is the church-sanctioned veneer that overlaid its popular predecessor the 12-day festival of Yule around the December solstice and the earlier Roman Saturnalia held around the same time. Yuletide also included the month before and after Yule. Yuletide was a pagan festival which morphed into Christmastide,

Sounds like you're saying we should put the Saturn back in Saturnalia.

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I respect other people's religious freedoms, so yes, I do think it should be done. It's not like Christmas is the only thing happening around that time, and the fact that people get angry and up in arms about it is ridiculous. Names of things get changed ALL THE TIME. If it's changed for no reason, it's a waste, but if there's a legit reason and it's about including all people and being culturally sensitive, I'm fine with it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The stupid irony of this is, the word 'holiday' actually came from two words 'holy day', which is in itself a Christian phrase. :P

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Funny how some people think their holidays, rituals,etc have to be respected and honored, but think it's OK to mangle the meaning of Christmas.

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The stupid irony of this is, the word 'holiday' actually came from two words 'holy day', which is in itself a Christian phrase. :P

By that logic, non-religionists shouldn't say "goodbye" (from "God be with you").

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Crybaby generation...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In the US, the First Amendment and current judicial doctrine mandates government not "endorsee" any particular religion.

Certainly true, and certainly a good thing too, though consider what would happen should any Merkan politician declare themselves athiest. Or muslim. Or buddhist. Or anything other than a confirmed christian.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Honestly, my family is not Christian but we celebrate Christmas. My logic is that if Christians can take a pagan holiday and take bits and pieces and make their own version of a holiday, couldn't a non-christian do the same?

So, I like and celebrate the whole Santa Claus, gift exchange, decorate the tree and house bit (You know, the original parts). The religious stuff not so much a thing here. No disrespect of course, just not how my family chooses to celebrate.

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First of all nobody can force people to "replace expressions". People will keep wishing to each other any way they like. Having said, that I'm peeved (just peeved, not angry at all) when people who don't know me wish me automatically "Merry X'Mas" just because I'm hakujin and therefore I should be Christian, when I'm not. I would prefer to be asked first "Do you celebrate X'Mas?". I repeat I'm talking about people who don't know me. Because those who do just wish me "enjoy the holiday season and happy new year".

I'm really happy living in Japan where religion plays such a small part in the every day life of the people.

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I'm peeved (just peeved, not angry at all) when people who don't know me wish me automatically "Merry X'Mas" just because I'm hakujin and therefore I should be Christian, when I'm not.

So you get peeved when people are sending good intentions your way? Seems weird.

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So you get peeved when people are sending good intentions your way?

"Merry Xmas" means "enjoy Christmas". I'm not Christian and I don't celebrate Christmas.

Seems weird.

Yes, it does seem weird you don't understand what I'm trying to say. Supposing you're not Muslim, how would you feel if somebody wished you around July 17: "Eid Mubarak. May Allah blessings be with you today, tomorrow, and always." Or would you wish a guy from Saudi Arabia "Merry Xmas"? If they were annoyed, would you call that weird?

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"Merry Xmas" means "enjoy Christmas". I'm not Christian and I don't celebrate Christmas.

Neither am I, but I appreciate that someone is trying to send positive intentions my way.

Supposing you're not Muslim, how would you feel if somebody wished you around July 17: "Eid Mubarak. May Allah blessings be with you today, tomorrow, and always."

Same way as when people say Merry Christmas to me - I'd say thanks, and appreciate that they are sending good intentions my way.

Or would you wish a guy from Saudi Arabia "Merry Xmas"?

Maybe, but I'd be more likely to wish him Eid Mubarak. Same as I sometimes wish people a Merry Christmas.

If you get peeved in your head, then that's entirely fine (though still a little weird). If you were rude to someone who wished you a Merry Christmas though, that would make you a jerk.

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Supposing you're not Muslim, how would you feel if somebody wished you around July 17: "Eid Mubarak. May Allah blessings be with you today, tomorrow, and always."

Happy that the person was trying to be nice to me?

Or would you wish a guy from Saudi Arabia "Merry Xmas"?

If we were friendly enough to be exchanging greetings and small pleasantries, yes. Might even offer him a mince pie.

If they were annoyed, would you call that weird?

Yes.

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PidestroikaDEC. 10, 2015 - 01:37PM JST Supposing you're not Muslim, how would you feel if somebody wished you around July 17: "Eid Mubarak. May Allah blessings be with you today, tomorrow, and always."

It used to happen to me all the time. It never occurred to me that I should be bothered by it. And let me tell you, the Muslims I knew tended to be absolutely tickled pink when I as a non-Muslim returned the greeting or expressed any awareness of what holiday they were celebrating.

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Why would someone sending good intentions your way make you feel uncomfortable?

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Because I believe that "Merry Xmas" is a CHRISTIAN wish among CHRISTIANS and I am not. They pre-suppose I'm Christian based on the color of my skin or whatever. "Good intentions" shows the wish "happy holidays".

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Because I believe that "Merry Xmas" is a CHRISTIAN wish among CHRISTIANS and I am not.

I'm not Christian and I wish people Merry Christmas. I celebrate Christmas as well. And by no means am I a rarity.

They pre-suppose I'm Christian based on the color of my skin or whatever.

And?

"Good intentions" shows the wish "happy holidays".

That also shows good intentions.

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I'm not Christian and I wish people Merry Christmas. I celebrate Christmas as well. And by no means am I a rarity.

Good for you. There are people though who do follow a religion, celebrate the birth of Jesus and don't just enjoy the lights and the presents. Have a good one.

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There are people though who do follow a religion, celebrate the birth of Jesus and don't just enjoy the lights and the presents.

I agree. But I still don't understand why you would be offended by someone sending good intentions your way.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Boo hoo. Somebody wished me Merry Christmas. Boo boo.

Entitled babies.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

While I agree with your sentiment, I'm not seeing how it shows entitlement. Can you explain further?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No. Much of the current iconic imagery we associate with Christmas nowadays have no basis in religion or have been morphed beyond recognition anyway. I can't understand how people can sweat the details like this.

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If some Muppet in a hat and sparkly jumper shouts "happy holidays!" at you, ask him (or her) which holidays they are referring to. For me it's Chrimbo and New Year... but we call it the Christmas holiday, taking in New Year as it's still seen as part of the same holiday.

I still think it's a very American thing, and goes with the OTT decorated houses, Coca Cola Santa (rather than Father Christmas)...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not really sure why being wished any kind of happiness would lead to any negativity. I dated a Jewish girl long ago and was often given well wishes related to their holidays (Happy Hanukkah was directed at me quite a bit). I never really thought anything of it to be honest other than that some other person who i didn't really know wanted me to enjoy the atmosphere and feel loved during a time that was particularly special to them.

I mean, I'm not at all Japanese and I am often told things like "Have a safe and happy Obon holiday!" I don't really celebrate Obon, but I'm happy just the same.

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Being German and the Christmas tree being a western custom of German origin, I say no. Why other cultures are so offended about this is beyond me.

I remember that there was an incident in Germany that let a whole christmas-themed event be cancelled just because some muslims "felt offended". I lack any understanding for this sort of issues.

While I'm not a Christian myself, I find stuff like this is just an excuse for foreigners to not have to integrate into society that much. If Christmas/the Christmas tree don't apply to your culture, then you leave them be without trying to change them to suit your special snowflake needs.

If you, as a non-Roman, have problems with how the Romans do things then you simply do NOT come to Rome. It's that simple.

Multiculturalism doesn't work without integration, and from there, mutual acceptance.

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There's no debate at all about, "Happy Ramadan".

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Orwell was a genius. I reject newspeak in all its forms. It affects our perceptions and shapes our thinking. And the fact that it is alien and new means that it is formed and intended to shift or undermine a traditional or accepted interpretation. Newspeak is aggressive and pernicious.

Just for instance, most people associate all that stuff with Christmas. Don't like Christmas? Great. No problem with that. But some people do. Let them call their symbols what they want. If you don't want Christians shopping in your store or eating in your restaurant, why not just tell them straight out? If people are offended by any kind of display whatsoever, I am sure they can find their own non-offensive venues, but I am not responsible for their outrage.

Has anyone else here spent Christmas in a Muslim country? I have. It was no big deal, and people happily... SMILING... wished me a Merry Christmas. They thought it was great to have all the presents and snow and all that. And why not? Happy times can be celebrated. You don't have to have a birthday to enjoy a birthday party. You don't have to get married to enjoy a wedding.

Why not celebrate belief qua belief and faith qua faith?

I guess Christmas is not a time for snowflakes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Air used to be that " holiday" time was the only time people greeted strangers now we have to clam up then, too?

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Do you support calls in some countries to replace expressions like “Christmas tree” and “merry Christmas” with “holiday tree” and “happy holidays?”

In the US, Christmas time is a holiday. Christians, some of them, believe that Christmas has to do with the birth of Jesus Christ, even though it is unlikely that he was born in December. It is perfectly appropriate to wish a Christian a Merry Christmas, a celebration during which these people may put up a Christmas tree, whether or not the Christmas tree is from an ancient pagan ceremony. (It should also be noted that Jesus didn't celebrate Christmas, and certainly didn't put up a Christmas tree.)

Well, not everybody is Christian, so Happy Holiday is more inclusive, since this period of time is a holiday in the U.S. However, if you are, say, Jewish, and your friend is Christian, there is nothing wrong with wishing your frriend a Merry Christmas, because that is the holiday you know they are celebrating. Happy Hanukkah, would be a little silly in that case.

Similarly, if you have a Jewish friend, wishing them a Merry Christmas shows that you basically don't care what holiday they are celebrating. Your Jewish friend will deal with it, just assuming it's another mindlessly repeated greeting from someone who is just mouthing words and doesn't really care what they are doing, but really, Happy Holiday or Happy Hanukkah, if Hanukkah is actually happening at that time, would be more appropriate.

If your friend is atheist, Happy Hanukkah would not be appropriate, and neither would Happy Kwanzaa, unless they celebrate Kwanzaa. In any case, Happy Holidays works for a lot of situations, but if you actually know what holiday someone is celebrating, you could in that case be more specific.

Maybe, "Later, Dude" would avoid all this difficulty.

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