Sunday, December 23, 2012

When I say "Happy Holidays," I Mean It

There's one seasonal conflict that I've never understood: when people get all up in other people's grill because they wished them a "Happy Holidays" instead of a "Merry Christmas."

"Well, excuse me," I want to say to these little Ebenezer Scrooges. "Apologies for wishing you well during this season of glad tidings."

Bah humbug.
 
To me, thinking we ought to wish people a Merry Christmas any more than we should wish people a happy anything else of the season smacks slightly of a superiority complex. You know, the one where you think your religion is superior to everyone else's.

FYI: thinking your religion is the best of all historically has not treated our world very well. *cough, Crusades.* *cough, cough, suicide bombers*

I have no issue wishing you a Merry Christmas, especially when we're within a week of the actual December 25th date. I really do hope you have a merry one. I fully acknowledge that the majority of us who engage in the December holiday season are Christmas celebrators. But I don't think that gives us a free pass to ignore everything else that's part of the holidays.


It just seems downright hypocritical to demand "Merry Christmas" greetings this time of year when one the main reasons why we celebrate Christmas on December 25 is because early Christians couldn't tear our pagan fingers away from our solstice celebrations, no matter how hard they tried.

How to solve that tricky problem?

Just declare December 25th as nine months after the immaculate conception so that we can all celebrate the birth of the son (erm . . . or sun?) four days after the winter solstice. The ancient Roman feast of Saturnalia, held annually from December 17 - 23 long before anyone heard of this J.C. guy, involved feasting and gift giving, which one could argue is really what our modern holiday season rotates around, rather than the birth of Christ. (Sorry good Christian men - consumerism was winning even before you had your savior.)   

The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum
We all love feasting. We all love gift giving. We all love the return of the sun. So it's really no surprise that other religions (namely Judaism) also have major celebrations this time of year.  

When I say "Happy Holidays," I'm not doing it out of a desire to be politically correct. I'm doing it because I'm lazy. Because in those two little words, I just wished you a Merry Christmas, as well as a Happy Hanukkah, Solstice, Saturnalia, Kwanzaa, St. Lucia Day, Epiphany, Yule, and another other holiday that falls between December 6 - January 6.

Happy Holidays guys! May they all be wonderful and filled with love, warmth and happiness.

 

5 comments:

  1. Lovely post Ada :) I've always been fascinated by ancient Romans, Greeks and Nordic pagans. They were so in tune with nature. We could use more of that these days. Sending you Yuletide Greetings!

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  2. I was JUST having this same conversation with a friend, before I even read this. I see nothing wrong with "Happy Holidays." It doesn't negate anyone's holiday and it's inclusive so what's the problem? You can wish someone a Merry Christmas on Christmas Day if you want but from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, we celebrate many holidays and this is a great way to include them all. Happy Holidays all!

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  3. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

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  4. Happy Holidays, Ada and thanks for your post. That this J.C. guy isnt actually born in December at all might take it to far now ;-)))) Being Non-Christian often provides grounds for others giving me a hard time about my belief. TBH, I experience this only since I am in the USA.
    Winter Solstice is important to me. As forth station of the year it signifies the rebirth of light within the womb of darkness. Very much Celtic as they believe ;light after dark and not so much dark after light (principle of sin) as in Christianity. Again thanks for being so inclusive.

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  5. I couldn't have said it better myself girl!!

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