Dec. 08, 2014

Celeste Burnham
cburnham@uccs.edu

It’s that time of year again, the time where we all get offended over nothing.

 

As a culture, we have become more sensitive to terminology that can potentially offend someone. We have become more concerned with terms that are politically correct and all-inclusive in an effort to be more respectful.

“Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays” and even “Happy Hanukkah” are greetings that we get in different stores, service centers, post offices and restaurants during the holiday season. Some people become very offended if “Merry Christmas” is said to them and they are Jewish, or vice versa.

Saying “Merry Christmas” should not be deemed inappropriate.

It can be offensive coming from someone that knows you personally and is familiar with your beliefs, but if it is an acquaintance or someone checking us out at the grocery store, should we expect them to be neutral with their season’s greetings?

Christmas is a national holiday where banks, post offices and most stores are closed. A lot of Americans celebrate Christmas even if they don’t consider themselves Christian.

Saying “Merry Christmas” is not trying to offend anyone with the holiday they choose to celebrate.

Christmas cards with themed family photos are sent to loved ones each year. They are posted on refrigerators, laid on the coffee table and pinned to the bulletin board. Regardless of what the greeting reads in the fancy script or what holiday lies behind it, the act of love is still cherished.

As a Christian, I say “Merry Christmas” but I would not be offended if someone else greeted me with “Happy Holidays” or “Happy Hanukkah.”

I can’t expect others to know I celebrate Christmas, and I can’t be expected to know what holiday they celebrate without knowing them personally. If we are aiming to become a culture that is more accepting and respectful of people and our community, then let’s not limit the holidays we cherish and choose to celebrate.

The answer is not requesting that people terminate the use of “Merry Christmas” as a specific holiday greeting.

The answer comes in acceptance and respect, and maybe not even thinking about it. The holidays are a season where we realize how fortunate we are, not a time for correcting our greetings.

Taking “Merry Christmas” away from the list of proper greetings will not make our culture more accepting or politically correct, but will instead make it more restrictive and limited.

Merry Christmas, and may you celebrate in any way that makes your heart content.