It’s that time of year again; the time of year when some Christians get all up in arms and their undies in a bundle and declare that there is a war on Christmas. Why? Because they object to the phrase Happy Holidays. They get mad because the sales clerk, telemarketer, friendly stranger on the street failed to say Merry Christmas and instead wished them well by saying Happy Holidays.
I love the phrase Happy Holidays. I don’t mind if you say it to me. I’ll be happy that you want me to have happy holidays. Notice the plural. Not a Happy Holiday. But *holidays*. More than one. I do celebrate more than one holiday between November 15 and January 6. During this season Orthodox Christians will celebrate 3 of the 12 Great Feasts of the year. THREE. That means HOLIDAYS. Plural. That means more than one. More than one Christian Holiday: Entrance (or Presentation)of the Theotokos (Nov 21), Nativity of Christ (Dec 25), Theophany (Baptism of the Lord)(Jan 6). In addition to three Great Feasts, we’ll also celebrate a few others such as the Feast of St. Nicholas (Dec 6)
But those Christian holidays (and not not everybody celebrates all of them), are not the only holiday celebrations during this season. Those of us in America will celebrate two civil holidays. Really. Again notice the plural s on the end of the word holiday. More than one. And almost everyone I know, no matter what religious background, will celebrate at least two holidays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s and most of them will have some type of third celebration. (Such as Kwanza, Hanukah or Christmas and I know there are more!) Two American civil holidays during this time are Thanksgiving and New Year’s. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t do *something* for each of those two civil holidays.
If someone, especially a stranger, says Happy Holidays, smile. Nod your head and presume that they only have the best of intentions. Maybe they’ve had their head bit off by someone when they said “Merry Christmas” and they don’t wish to experience that again. Maybe, they’re just like me and celebrate many holidays during this season and they don’t want to have to keep saying “Blessed Feast Day, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.” It really is just easier to say Happy Holidays.
Whatever holiday (or holidays) you celebrate (or don’t celebrate!) this season, may God bring you peace, joy and contentment.