Opinion 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, anything that’s positive is okay

Krysten McCumber
Managing Editor

Merry Christmas, Humber!

I know there’s a lot of controversy around this greeting and it’s warranted. Why are we only giving well wishes for one of the many holidays, celebrations and traditions this time of year? Although I understand the irritation and frustration it causes I’ll still be saying it while shopping, eating out and working.

This isn’t some big demonstration of defiance to the holiday season and the sensitivity that has been raised around it over the past few years; it’s merely my personal way of wishing people a happy season of whatever they are or aren’t celebrating. There is no religious meaning behind it, no sinister backhanded dig at what holiday I celebrate, it’s purely how I know and feel comfortable wishing for a happy season.

I understand we should say “season’s greetings” as one of the more neutral well wishings, but having worked in customer service for the past five years I’ll admit it’s awkward and feels like an empty greeting.

I do celebrate Christmas, not for any religious reasons, and so I’ve grown up hearing, knowing and expecting a “Merry Christmas” from friends, family and strangers. If someone today wished me a “Happy Hanukkah” I’d wish them one back. Sometimes people aren’t shoving their religious beliefs at you. Sometimes they have just known to say one thing for so long it sticks.

I love the Christmas season. I love the lights, trees, music, shopping, all of it. It is a stressful time of year, of course, but there’s something magical and exciting everywhere you go that I just love. That’s why I wish a “Merry Christmas” – because I want others to feel that special feeling I get when I’m at the mall and hear “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” or see Elf on TV. I don’t care if you go to church, light a menorah or hate the whole season. Whatever you’re doing this time of year I just want people to feel the joy and happiness I do when I’m celebrating Christmas. I don’t consider that a bad thing.

Maybe that seems crazy and childish, but to me it’s right. I think that’s why people started giving well wishings to begin with isn’t it? If someone says “feel better” it’s because they want you to feel as well as they do. Wish anything positive and those positive feelings will fall onto others.

Naturally there are people who will scoff and be offended, but I’m not sure you could wish anything that wouldn’t be considered offensive to someone, so I’m going to continue wishing a “Merry Christmas.” I’m not saying everyone must, or every store should broadcast the message. I agree there should be some neutrality to the season. But the next time someone wishes you a happy, merry, joyful whatever, just take the positivity coming from their intentions and message and pass it along in whatever way feels right to you.

‘Tis the season to be happy, helpful and hopeful. Merry Christmas, Humber!

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