Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

First appeared on Technorati:

Religion ToleranceToday is Christmas day. It is my best time of the year, I wait for it like a little child, and I listen to the Christmas carols all month long.

But this is not what my post is about today. I grew up overseas in many countries where Christianity wasn’t the dominant religion of these countries, and I still saw the Christmas trees with the lights, I dreamed about Santa Claus and the gifts he will bring me on Christmas day; so I had to be a good girl, and I learned to wish people “Merry Christmas”.

Many children around the world believe in Santa Claus whom is called many names: Papa Noel (French), Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Papai Noel (Portuguese), Gwazdor(Polish), Ded Moroz (Russian) or Baba Nwel (Arabic) etc…

In the last few years I have been noticing that more and more people wishing each other “Happy Holidays” and not “Merry Christmas” as we are used to. The reason is that some people commented that they get offended as they don’t celebrate Christmas. So to be politically correct, we started hearing “Happy Holidays” more and more.

Around the same time of the year, depending on the sun or the moon, we may celebrate few festivities like Chanukah, Christmas, Eid El Edha, and Kwanzaa. The date of the Jewish festivities Chanukah, and for the Muslim Eid El Edha change from one year to the other as they are based on the lunar cycle; thus the dates fluctuate with respect to other calendar systems.

Does that mean that any of the festivities should over shadow the other? Absolutely, NOT!

We all live in a nation that is composed of multiple religions, races and ethnicities. We should all accept, and if not accept at least respect, understand, and celebrate each other festivities.

What is wrong in wishing anyone “Merry Christmas” how would that offend anyone just because it is Christmas. I wish my Jewish friends Happy Chanukah, La’ Shana Tova, and to my Muslim friends Happy Eid or Happy Ramadan. In this great nation we celebrate Diwali, the Chinese New Year, The Nairuz Persian New Year, etc… Do we always tell everyone at any festivity Happy Holidays? The answer is No, so why change for Christmas?

Each festivity or celebration has its own name, and its own wishes so why not use the proper one. Diversity is about inclusion and acceptance. Sensitivity goes both ways.

Being politically correct not to hurt some feelings; shouldn’t be at the expense of someone else’s feelings.

I do not celebrate Christmas religiously, but I do socially and I say Merry Christmas. What is next not to wish someone Happy Easter or Happy Pessach? And just wish everyone Happy Holidays in all occasions no matter what faith or belief?

We are not a melting pot where we all become one gooey ugly melt, where everything loses its shape and colors; we all have our own colors and flavors as in a fresh bowl of salad; that should be respected and celebrated

Happy Chanukah!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Kwanzaa!

Diversity starts at home,


Sahar Andrade
Diversity Consultant – Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC.
(818)861 9434

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