Archbishop Chaput of Denver, a guy that strikes me as the coolest episcopos since
Fulton Sheen, has suggested that Christians
stop using the phrase “Happy Holidays”.
“We don’t celebrate a generic excuse for gift-giving. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.”
Elijah, a fellow who posts to a Yahoo group I belong to, shares Chaput’s dissatisfaction
In the United States, those of us who celebrate Christmas get
constantly hit with a barrage of “Happy Holidays” which some
businesses claim is about diversity, but is mostly a “Commercial
I don’t begrudge the Jews Haunakah or the African Americans Qwanzaa.
However, saying Happy Holidays disses Haunakah and Qwanzaa as much as
The truth is that its an attempt to take Christ out of Christmas and
he’s really the reason for this Season. The only reason for peace and
goodwill is that Christ was born. Take that away and its out of
control spending and stress run amuck.
I struggle with how I deal with this issue. My pastor’s wife will
tell people who tell her Happy Holidays, “NO THANK YOU. Merry
Christmas to you.” My pastor will just say loudly, “MERRY CHRISTMAS
and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.”
At my workplace, such a response out of the question. I usually don’t
even acknowledge a “Happy Holidays” and will never dare use the term
with a customer. However, my workplace is ultra-PC, they’re into
diversity big time. They have a big tree downstairs for you to take
tags and buy presents (Christmas Presents I guess) and they call
it “The HOLIDAY Tree” while referring properly to the Menorah as such
and not just the “Holiday Candlestick”.
The LDS people at work think its absurd and one of them mocks it but
carefully as to not get into trouble. What do you think?
I’m all for dropping “Happy Holidays” (except for when I’m singing Andy Williams songs 😉 ). While we’re
at it, we need to purge “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Easter”, and
a few others.
If Christians are to regain their identity in society – be in this world
but not of it – we need to understand what we celebrate and why. “Merry”
implies partying and perhaps debauchery to me (as in “eat, drink, and be merry”),
not celebration of the birth of the Word Made Flesh. “Easter”
is derived from a pagan fertility goddess’ name. Perhaps we should take inspiration
from other languages and use phrases that mean something like “Happy Nativity”
and “Joyous Pasch”.
Leave a comment with your thoughts and suggestions.