In an effort to be inclusive of all our people and various religious beliefs, we have changed many terms across our nation from exclusively saying Merry Christmas to instead we say Happy Holidays. In many ways, I embrace this change….we are, after all, a country literally founded based on the belief that people should be free to practice any religion they wish. Naturally, it seems reasonable to acknowledge all religions and also respect those that don’t follow any particular religion. But we also see on social media many people saying that they feel like they can’t say Merry Christmas anymore.
I think that as a diverse nation we can find a way to both honor the personal beliefs of each American and recognize with respect the differences we have. Diversity is a hallmark and one of the biggest strengths of our country. To be offended that with that mix comes a need to be generic in public settings feels misplaced. I say Merry Christmas to all my Christian friends today but on other days, I say Happy Hanukkah (Dec 2-10), Happy Zwanzaa (Dec 26-Jan1), and at work, I say, Happy Holidays! If the biggest problem we have is that we have many happy events and celebrations that bring families together and children to smile – then I think we can weather these differences with grace.
May the happiness of today and the spirit that comes with whatever you celebrate carry you through the year!