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There is No War on Christmas

  With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it’s important to have some respect for the people who celebrate differently. Not everyone will celebrate Christmas this year, so it’s important to make an effort to normalize saying “happy holidays” rather than “merry Christmas.” 

  There are fourteen religious holidays in December. According to Associated Press National Opinion Research Center 92% of Americans will celebrate Christmas, 5% will celebrate Hanukkah, 3% will celebrate Kwanzaa and 5% will celebrate more than one holiday. Keep in mind as well that many people will celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday whereas many others will celebrate it without a religious association. 

  The problem many people have with “happy holidays” is that they’ve associated the term with politics and a competition to be more ‘politically woke,’ but this is not the case. There is no political debate with the two sayings. Saying “happy holidays” does not translate to “happy holidays to every holiday except Christmas.”

  No one is actively trying to erase Christmas. “Happy holidays” is a term of respect used in order to be more inclusive. 

  Place yourself in the shoes of someone who celebrates Hanukkah. Imagine you’ve said “happy holidays” to someone and they spit back, “actually, it’s merry Christmas.” How disrespected would you feel? Just like that, your beliefs have been completely disregarded. 

  Many American citizens do, however, feel as though “happy holidays” is an attack on their Christian holiday. In 2015, Dennis Prager of National Review wrote “Of course it’s a war on Christianity — or, more precisely, a war on the religious nature of America,” Prager has declared that this saying is an active fight against Christmas. Prager is not alone in this feeling, CNN anchor Rolan Martin wrote “This whole push to remove Christ from the Christmas season has gotten so ridiculous that it’s pathetic,” in 2007.

  Some people who celebrate Christmas think they are the only people in the world and completely forget the diversity around them. This causes people to think that any direction toward including minorities means erasing the majority. This is ridiculous and selfish.

  When holiday shopping, take a second to realize how few decorations there are to celebrate Kwanzaa or Hanukkah. America already exaggerates its love for Christmas with the overwhelming decorations, while seemingly ignoring the holidays celebrated by others.

  Start practicing now as the holiday season dawns on us, and make someone’s day with this tiny display of respect.

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Wish Others Well According to their own Holiday Beliefs

It’s that time of year again — the annual debate of whether or not to say “merry Christmas” or “happy holidays.” Some argue people should say merry Christmas, while others say it would be more polite to say happy holidays. However, people should say both according to the preference of who they’re speaking to. 

Saying happy holidays instead of merry Christmas when you celebrate Christmas is not being inclusive. Real inclusivity is not being neutral or pretending everything is a blank slate, it is acknowledging the practices of others while also acknowledging their own. By not saying Christmas and just saying happy holidays, Christmas is erased from the language. By saying both merry Christmas and happy holidays, people are acknowledging Christmas as well as other holidays.

While Christmas is a religious holiday, it is celebrated in many countries by. It‘s true that some people don’t celebrate Christmas and sometimes celebrate another holiday instead, but that is true with any holiday. There are people who do not celebrate Halloween, Easter or Thanksgiving. There are also other holidays that are celebrated in November and May, like Day of the Dead or Passover, yet people do not say we should stop saying happy Halloween, happy Thanksgiving or happy Easter. 

Some people might wonder about wishing someone a happy Hanukkah or happy Ramadan,  as this hypothetical situation is filled with a lot of assumptions. It assumes the person who celebrates other holidays would be offended if someone would wish them another holiday. It assumes the same person who says merry Christmas would hate that other person wishing them another holiday. Wishing a person a merry or happy blank does not force anyone’s views on each other. It’s just wishing them a happy day. 

People should say merry Christmas and happy holidays. Also, for anyone who celebrates other holidays, say happy Hanukkah, Ramadan, or whatever holiday one celebrates. Let’s celebrate holidays by acknowledging them and by speaking about them freely and openly.

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