That's right, not Happy Holidays, though I don't have a real problem with that phrase. The problem I have is that political correctness always runs rampant this time of year.
Look Christmas is a holiday plain and simple. It has some religious, particularly Christian, undertones, but the primary focus is non-secular.
Here are my non-secular highlights for what Christmas is:
- Family - It's a time when families can get together. This is especially important in today's society where we are scattered all over the place. None of my family lives in the same town or even the same state. This is a time of year we can all get together.
- Giving/Charity - Many people give to the needy at this time of the year. Sure it would be nice if it was all the time but this is a special time of the year when people give to those in need.
- Gifts - This is different than Charity. This is the more commercial aspect of Christmas but still an important one. We give gifts to the ones we care about. The people in our lives that are important. We make cookies for them, we buy them gift cards, etc.
- Decorating - Just like Halloween, many people take great joy in decorating their homes for Christmas. There was even a movie made this year about it, Deck the Halls.
- Santa Clause - Sure Santa may have started out as a Saint (Saint Nicholas) but the spirit is still there. He's the spirit of the charity and gift giving that I mentioned above. He makes the holiday more accessible and exciting for kids.
Don't get me wrong. I respect other peoples faiths and their holidays. I'm not suggesting that religious or cultural holidays be absorbed and forgotten but why should the major holiday have to be diminished? Let's face it Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and even true Christian Christmas are celebrated (combining all three of those groups) by a minority compared to popular Christmas. That doesn't mean they are not important to those who celebrate them.
Why Christmas? Well mostly because the USA was founded by Christians and Christians have been the majority for a long time in this country. So naturally those values have become the foundations for many of the traditions in the USA. The key word there is foundation. Christmas, as we know it today, is an amalgam of traditions from all over the world. It may have started with Christians but then other pieces were added by immigrants over the years. The Christmas Tree for example; it's not remotely Christian!
If you want your personal religious or cultural holiday to have meaning, great. Carry on that tradition with your family and friends. Don't try to tear down the traditions of others just because you don't like how much more popular they are. Your's may have more meaning to you, but even if mine is based heavily on commercialism don't disrespect me by thinking it has no meaning. It has plenty of meaning for me!