Why We Say “Happy Holidays” Instead of “Merry Christmas”

The holidays are upon us and with it comes a favorite of culture warriors across America.  The endless debate over who is offended more: Christians who refuse to say, “Happy Holidays”, or those who don’t celebrate Christmas and insist upon stores and governments using what some outspoken Christians deem the generic, less attractive replacement phrase.

I submit that it is a simple matter of manners.


There are so many special days in the months of December and January, each celebrated by a different faith, that it simply makes sense to use the phrase “Happy Holidays” when we wish to send such greetings to others.

If I were a Pagan, I don’t celebrate Christmas, right?  However, if I know that someone does celebrate Christmas, I have no problem voicing my wish that theirs is, in fact, “Merry.”  This is, afterall, the reason we say any phrase at all, isn’t it?  If we are sincerely wishing that someone receive blessings on any special day, then shouldn’t we tailor exactly what we are wishing upon them?

If someone celebrates Kwanzaa, and I know this, I will wish them a “Happy Kwanzaa.”  If someone celebrates Yule, I will wish them a “Happy Yule.”  If someone celebrates Chanukah, I will wish them a “Happy Chanukah.”  However, if I do not know which celebration a person honors, I will continue to say, “Happy Holidays,” as a matter of good manners.

The secular and much used phrase, “Happy Holidays,” is applicable to this train of thought for use in the public sector because we don’t know who the audience of the greeting will be.  Who is shopping at the mall? Who is walking through the government building?  Who is driving by our homes to check out the lights?  We don’t know, of course.

So, if one is committed to the theory that “Jesus is the reason for the season,” and insistent upon using signs and cards that read, “Merry Christmas,” in places where they will be publically viewed, this person or entity is wishing only other Christians the blessings of their season.  For a group of people who claim to have charity and love for all in their hearts, this seems to be a contrary idea.  But it is any person’s right to wish whatever season’s greeting they choose.

While I’m sure the government’s use of the phrase “Happy Holidays,” is, in fact, spurred by the politcally correct view of the issue, I prefer to think that perhaps, in some small way, it is a sincere wish to us that we all enjoy our special days.

On the same note, when someone wishes me a, “Merry Christmas,” I am not offended. I don’t harbor any ill will toward them for simply wishing me a great day, a happy time, wrapped in love, faith, hope and joy.  Why would that offend me?

And the fact that I, or a company, or a business, or a government, wishes someone a “Happy Holiday” shouldn’t offend anyone else, either.

I say, “Happy Holidays,” to you all with a sincere wish that you will enjoy the blessings, hope, love, faith and joy of your chosen faith.  May you be blessed!

Hey, whomever makes CANDLES are certainly HAPPY, MERRY AND BLESSED!



Hello, my name is Rick Miller, welcome to comprehensive photography. In the name 'comprehensive', means to have a pretty solid grasp about the art of contemporary photography, and how the tools (both hardware and software) are all used together to produce a very precious product to meet your needs. Photography simply means that we are able to capture an image through the use of light and film, or, by using digital chips in very sophisticated cameras. My guess is that you "GOOGLED" something about photography to find us here on this website (don't you love Goggle?). I live in Santa Rosa and Eureka, California, about 40 miles (Eureka is a bit further north) north of the golden gate bridge with my wife Pat and our two boys — Ben, and Jeremy. My daughter, Sarah, is grown and lives in Portland Oregon. I am strictly a digital photographer, although I have purchased thousands of rolls of Fugi ASA 400 (now called ISO, the digital cameras auto-correction, for light compensation). Our negatives are all digitized and burned onto a DVD. I've been shooting digital for over five years, with my previous 28 working for AT&T (in digital transport via fiber, DS1, and DS3) — during which time I was a manager in charge of 911, and all "First Responder" communications, for 5 years. I shoot mostly with Canon products — my two camera bodies, and all my lenses are Canon. I edit in a variety of software. Adobe Lightroom and I use Apple's "Aperture" (I'm a Mac person), "Light Room" and "Adobe CS4 Extended". These are tough economic times, anyone out of work and financial issues knows what I mean. I also know how important it is to document special times in our personal lives, without costing a lot. I love working with you, and creating a quality product that will best capture those special moments in time forever. So don't let these tough times stop you from documenting YOUR special times, let's get together and make memories. Have you ever been feeling a little low and maybe started thinking of someone special, and then gone to a photo album or watched a slide show and re-filled your heart with joy? It is truly worth it. This website is growing very fast, it is meant for business but it is also meant for fun (Thank You Rod Remelin). Please feel free to shoot me an E-Mail, and tell me what you like, hate or feel indifferent about. Thank You for being here Sincerely Rick Miller

Posted on December 12, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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