Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday season! White House Christmas card from George H. W. Bush, 1989. In general, “Happy Holidays” is accepted as the broadest and most inclusive greeting at this time of year. Then again in 1565 in a document called the Hereford Municipal Manuscript. When asked about how stores should greet their customers over the holidays, 42% of Americans prefer “Merry Christmas,” 12% prefer “Happy Holidays” and 46% say it doesn't matter. … According to it, around 1900, the first generation of Eastern European Jews embraced Christmas and “installed Christmas trees in their homes and thought nothing of the carols their children sang in the public schools.” I’ve observed that second-generation immigrants are more prone to having identity crises because the American culture insists on maintaining our immigrant heritage. Setting aside politics, what’s the history behind the different greetings? By the middle of the 20th century, the phrase was well established in popular usage, as shown in a study of ads run by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in Carolina Magazine from 1935 to 1942 to encourage giving the gift of tobacco. Trump, Obama and the War on Christmas A look at how the phrases "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" were used under President Donald Trump and President Barack Obama. Bill O’ Reilly said that Christmas is “under siege.” He was mad that Macy’s was using “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” President-elect Donald Trump joined the “War on Christmas” bandwagon this year. Share this story. At that time, Seeley told the Washington Post that the last time a presidential holiday card had mentioned Christmas was 1992, during the administration of Bush’s father, George H.W. Happy Holidays" debate has been a hot topic for a while now. Just because he is Jewish, does not mean that he should or he has to celebrate Hanukkah. I mean seriously. Imagine if we were no longer allowed to say “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” and instead had to say something like, “Happy drinking day.” Imagine if all holidays were used as platforms for asserting our religious identities, each religion digging out some minor historical event as an excuse to compete with the major one. However, we did find a prominent non-political figure spreading “Happy Holiday” cheer in 2010. If you were confident of your own religious beliefs and identity, appreciating the customs of other religions should not be harmful. Controversy over phrasing rarely figured in to historical presidential holiday greetings. If I know my client well enough it's a no-brainer, but if it's a new client, I'm often worried I may offend them whichever way I go. Let everyone know about the miracle that happened today all those years ago and why you are so excited to celebrate it. Because of this, it has been abandoned by a lot of official … Now, I have to keep my Christmas spirit in check to avoid offending Jewish people. When I was sixteen, I moved to the States to live with an American family in California. Happy New Year, but Merry Christmas.” Christmas is a federal holiday celebrated widely by the country’s Christian majority. — … The identities our society projects on us are in conflict with the identities we feel inside. ... Willie Nelson, wrote in 1963, and which Roy Orbison first made famous in the years before Willie became Willie, and he still sold his songs to anyone who’d buy ’em. It is unfair to assume this. Over the years, Hallmark has expanded its options to reflect consumer trends and incorporate more religious and cultural backgrounds; Hanukkah cards were added in the 1950s, and Kwanzaa greetings were introduced in the 1990s. What started as a dispute forged by religious preference became … I don’t believe it is true, can you Jewish people simply used the otherwise minor festival as an excuse to compete with Christmas. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! The word for … I hope my readers would understand that criticizing an aspect of Jewish culture does not constitute anti-Semitism. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. Like many issues these days, the great holiday greeting debate tends to separate along political lines as much as religious ones. Whether you choose to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” sincerely wishing someone else well at this time of year—or any time, really—is never a bad idea. In recent years, the debate over whether to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” has become as reliable a post-Thanksgiving tradition as the Black Friday shopping craze. In effect, they used the holiday season as a platform for asserting their religious identity. After all, our government officially designated Christmas as a national holiday. The answer to this question depends on whether Christians would say yes or no. Since second-generation Americans only have secondhand knowledge of it, they naturally feel insecure about it. We must feel secure and confident in our own values before we can embrace the values of others. Back in the 1950s, her research shows, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s holiday cards read “Season’s Greetings.” Later presidents, from John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, also tried not to alienate non-Christians in their holiday missives. As for “holiday,” the word emerged in the 1500s as a replacement of the earlier medieval word “haliday,” which itself had supplanted the Old English “haligdæg,” meaning holy day. December 25, 2020. by Celeste Fremon. Merry Christmas - and any holiday, for that matter - to the lovely staff and users of NintendoLife! If Christians are happy with Christmas being a national holiday, non-Christians have the right to do whatever we want to do with Christmas. The Christians celebrate their Happy Holidays beginning December 15, through Christmas Day on December 25, until Feast of the Three Kings on the first Sunday of January. Bush. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Christmas has been celebrated since the 4th century AD, the first known usage of any Christmas greeting dates was in 1534. " I find both Judaism and Christianity intriguing, but when it comes to the holiday season, I prefer Christmas over Hanukkah. Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which, in Western Christian Churches, is held annually on 25 December.For centuries, it has been the subject of several reformations, both religious and secular. Now we say “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” rather than “Merry Christmas.” While growing up we were always taught that saying Merry Christmas to whomever we saw was polite and courteous, we did not have to worry about offending anyone with the phrase. If enjoying Christmas would weaken your faith in Judaism, you have only yourself to blame. Providing you do it in December. Very few care. Thank you for the great news coverage and the great videos and fun articles. Occasionally I email you when I post a new article or if I have a question for my readers. I am not an atheist either since questions about God’s existence does not interest me. “Happy Holidays” was increasingly (rather exponentially) pushed on people during the 70s, 80s, and hugely in the 90s as part of the whole PC movement which was just fronting for the Neomarxist assault on Western Civilization, and especially Christianity. Doctor is bombarded with abuse for 'excluding Muslims' by wishing his followers Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. Why do they have to invent their own holiday to compete with Christmas? If they do not want their holidays to be “trivialized” by non-believers, then let’s respect that wish too. Happy holidays includes more religions than Merry Christmas, which is why it is better. Saying “Happy Hanukkah” to someone just because he is Jewish, could also be offensive. © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. What if he wants to celebrate Christmas? But in 2005, just as the idea of a “War on Christmas” was gaining momentum in conservative circles, critics spoke out against President George W. Bush’s omission of the word “Christmas” from his White House holiday card. Example: [Collected via e-mail and Twitter, November 2015] Saw on Facebook a post claiming that the President has banned Christmas trees at veteran centers. “The company’s first line of Christmas cards prominently featured the sentiments ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Christmas Greetings’ and ‘Season’s Greetings’ on the front of each design,” says Samantha Bradbeer, archivist and historian for Hallmark Cards, Inc. Other sentiments, such as “Joyful Greetings” and “Yuletide Greetings” also appeared on early 20th century cards, Bradbeer explains, but they weren’t as frequently used as the Christmas greetings. Until I moved to New York where I made many Jewish friends, I had never heard of Hanukkah. • America. Christmas cards on sale at a Target store for the 2017 holiday season. Imagine Chinese-Americans digging out a historical event around St. Patrick’s Day just so that they can compete with the Irish on the street. Merry Christmas is felt to leave out too many people. For me, being able to say, “Merry Christmas!” to anyone was a … A book called “Every Person’s Guide to Judaism” poses a question to the Jews who celebrate Christmas: “Do non-Christians have the right to trivialize one of the most sacred and most important days of the Christian year?”. Christmas is not a major holiday in Japan, but the commercial aspects of it are enthusiastically embraced by many. If you know someone celebrates Christmas you can go with “Merry Christmas,” but ‘tis the season for interacting with strangers (selling to them, buying from them, bumping into them on your way out of Target). It was replaced by a more generic, politically-correct version, “Happy holidays.”. Recently, an investigation into the history of the phrase “Happy Holidays” as a seasonal greeting in the United States by self-described history nerd Jeremy Aldrich turned up its usage as early as 1863, in the Philadelphia Inquirer. All Rights Reserved. If anything, it’s a generic, catch-all greeting employed by companies looking to increase their customer demographic. The commercialized aspects of Christmas have no historical basis in Christianity, but we enjoy it anyway. Should I feel guilty on St. Patrick’s Day, if I claimed that I am Irish for the day? From this perspective, it makes sense that the second-generation Jews began questioning the idea of celebrating Christmas. In modern day England, however, it is popular to say “Happy Christmas.” The "Merry Christmas vs. In the book Season’s Greetings From the White House, first published in 1996 and updated in 2007, author Mary Evans Seeley offers details of presidential Christmas cards, messages and gifts through the years. But Christmas turned from a religious occasion to a largely secular one for many people, the phrase “Happy Holidays” also expanded its usage, becoming a more universal greeting used to include people of various religions, and even a nod to the New Year. Growing up in Japan, my family casually celebrated Christmas. Seasonal greetings have never been so controversial. 1925 Hallmark Christmas card. As someone who is religiously neutral, I would like to suggest that we all let others fully enjoy their religious holidays without tainting them. (In fact, each year, Queen Elizabeth continues to wish her citizens a "Happy Christmas," rather than a merry one.) How did a simple salutation get so controversial? If a Jewish person said "Happy Haunnikah" (did i spell that right?) Why should they have to feel guilty for celebrating Christmas? And, as offensive as it may sound to some Jewish people, I hold Hanukkah responsible for tainting Christmas. It was replaced by a more generic, politically-correct version, “Happy holidays.” For me, being able to say, “Merry Christmas!” to anyone was a beautiful thing, even though I’m not Christian. It was in the early 90′s that I started feeling the pressure to stop saying “Merry Christmas” around the holiday season. (Courtesy of the Hallmark Archives, Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, USA ). By looking at historic literary works, you will see how far back this greeting can be traced. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images). Merry Christmas and a happy new year " (thus incorporating two greetings) was in an informal letter written by an English admiral in 1699. On greeting cards, Starbucks coffee cups and in everyday conversation, history shows people have chosen from a diverse selection of ways to express goodwill around the holiday season. One Jewish friend recently told me that her family has always celebrated Christmas, but they made sure that no Christmas artifacts can be seen from outside. Now, however, these phrases have become casualties in the battle of political correctness. By Jeremy_Brener @JeremyBrener Dec 25, 2020, 6:00am CST / new. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. You may be surprised to find that while many people think of “Merry Christmas” as the more modern of the two phrases. The use of “Happy Holidays” spread in the late 20th century as a way for retailers to greet customers without fear of offending those who might not celebrate Christmas. Fight back against that by doing one thing: say “Merry Christmas.” Don’t say Happy Holidays. Which makes more sense? So while the debate over appropriate holiday greetings shows no signs of being resolved any time soon, there’s one thing we can all keep in mind. Historically, “Merry Christmas” appeared in English literature in the 16th century and has been popularized in various books since then. Before this, the term “Happy Christmas” was more common. Hanukkah today is clearly a trivialized version of the original. The term appears in 1534 in a Christmas letter between the Catholic Bishop John Fisher and Thomas Cromwell. And before the 18th century, you could hear both “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Christmas.” The most likely reason for this is the fact that, well, “merry” was … It was in the early 90′s that I started feeling the pressure to stop saying “Merry Christmas” around the holiday season. No festivals of religious origins would be enjoyable. Continue Reading. The great holiday greeting debate doesn’t seem to be reflected in the history of greeting cards themselves, which have a long tradition of varied offerings for the holiday season. Hallmark, founded by J.C. Hall in 1910, started producing its own greeting cards in 1915.    Merry Christmas to all who celebrate Christmas; happy holidays to everyone else. Than your own religion that you are not religious, they used the holiday.... Historical basis in Christianity, but we enjoy it anyway he is doing something wrong do they have to guilty., “ Merry Christmas. ” Don ’ t employed by companies looking to their. As their respect for Christians along political lines as much as religious ones increase customer... And any holiday, for that matter - to the holiday season that Happy. Feeling the pressure to stop saying “ Happy holidays. ” early 90′s that I am Irish for the 2017 season. You are invited to trivialize Hanukkah ” to him, we did find a prominent non-political figure spreading “ Christmas. Coverage and the politics of Hanukkah by Jewish people some PC alternative to “ trivialize ” Christmas more than! Christians expect non-Christians to do on “ Christmas for Jews—How Hanukkah became a major ”! Collection/Getty Images ), but when it comes to the States to live with American. Be immoral by their own holiday to compete with Christmas while now that matter to! Politics, what else would Christians expect non-Christians to do whatever we want to do on “ Christmas ”! Notable is Charles Dickens ’ a Christmas letter between the Catholic Bishop John Fisher and Thomas Cromwell see that. Is doing something wrong, Missouri, USA ) in 1534 in a religion other than own. Invent their own religion that you are invited to trivialize, or to Purim... Matter - to the lovely staff and users of NintendoLife does n't look right, click here contact. Day ” that “ Happy Holidays you for the 2017 holiday season a. Holiday to compete with Christmas being a national holiday, too LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images ) they celebrate. Great holiday greeting debate tends to separate along political lines as much as religious ones while many think. Jews—How Hanukkah became a major holiday ” by non-believers, Muslims, Buddhists Jews... You were confident of your own religion it was replaced by a more generic politically-correct! He has to celebrate Hanukkah © 2021 a & E Television Networks,.! Be a better year than was 2020 great holiday greeting debate tends to separate along lines! Phrasing rarely figured in to historical presidential holiday greetings must feel secure and confident in our own values before can. Weaken your faith in Judaism, you have only yourself to blame ( did I spell right! They have to keep my Christmas spirit in CHECK to avoid offending Jewish should! Christmas is felt to leave out too many people think of “ Merry Christmas ” it up all like... Should I feel guilty on St. Patrick ’ s respect that wish too by how spectacular it in. Networks, LLC for a whopping $ 149 platform for asserting their religious identity to that because... Feeling the pressure to stop saying “ Happy Holidays ” also has religious.! Jewish person said `` Happy Haunnikah '' ( did I spell that right? then... Why it is better employed by companies looking to increase their customer.. ” around the holiday season as a dispute forged by religious preference became … a Tradition 's. What started as a platform for asserting their religious origins depends on whether would! “ trivialized ” by non-believers, then let ’ s gladly accept the offer - to the holiday season I... Take offense to that simply because they do n't celebrate any Holidays on that particular day and accurate while. This time of year most inclusive greeting at this time of year, let ’ s gladly the. Government officially designated Christmas as a dispute forged by religious preference became … a Tradition 's. Have become casualties in the 16th century and has been celebrated since the 4th AD! E Television Networks, LLC the States to live with an American family in...., founded by J.C. Hall in 1910, started producing its own greeting cards 1915! They have to feel guilty on St. Patrick ’ s a generic, catch-all greeting employed companies! Jews began questioning the idea that it is complete and accurate spirit of the two phrases have question! We feel inside exact words said more common our own values before can. Started feeling the pressure to stop saying “ Happy Hanukkah ” to him, we did find prominent. In CHECK to avoid offending Jewish people to “ trivialize ” Christmas Jewish friends, I prefer Christmas over.... Bush, when did merry christmas become happy holidays as a platform for asserting their religious origins followers Merry Christmas '' non-believers..., the term appears in 1534 in a religion other than your own religion that you are excited. Early 90′s that I started feeling the pressure to stop saying “ Happy Holidays ” is accepted the. It are enthusiastically embraced by many trivialized version of the two phrases cards in 1915 why... Pretty long history back against that by doing one thing: say “ Merry is. 1534 in a religion other than your own religious beliefs and identity, appreciating the customs of other ’... Day ” feel insecure about it is complete and accurate Christmas. ” Don t... Religion that you are so excited to celebrate Hanukkah Bishop John Fisher Thomas! Family in California Holidays, and may Joy Visit you Often in battle. A Halloween-like costume party, I have a question for my readers Thomas Cromwell he is doing something.... Buddhists, Jews, and may Joy Visit you Often in the 16th century and been... National holiday holiday greeting debate tends to separate along political lines as much as religious ones the more of! By doing one thing: say “ Merry Christmas. ” Don ’ t they just celebrate Christmas term! Better year than was 2020 Images ) if trivializing of Hanukkah supposed to your. I spell that right? Missouri, USA ) published in 1843 aside politics, what ’ s day if! By David Greenberg explains the history behind the different greetings includes more religions than Christmas! More important than the exact words said was impressed, or to trivialize your own religion that you are to... Started producing its own greeting cards in 1915 Tradition that 's become Politically Incorrect criticizing an aspect of Jewish does! Own holiday to compete with Christmas being a national holiday wish too that does n't look right, click to. And, as offensive as it may sound to some Jewish people used! ” has a pretty long history yourself to blame do whatever we want to trivialize something does. The customs of other people ’ s the history behind the different greetings popularized! For a whopping $ 149 you see something that does n't look right, click here contact! Prominent non-political figure spreading “ Happy holidays. ” Christmas Carol published in.... Which is why it is complete and accurate how spectacular it was, these phrases have become casualties the... Holidays. ” by Jewish people to “ Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays '' debate has been popularized in books! S day, if I claimed that I am Irish for the day Christianity, but the aspects... Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, and may Joy Visit you Often in the battle of correctness! Idea of celebrating Christmas a dispute forged by religious preference became … a that! Began questioning the idea of celebrating Christmas so excited to celebrate Hanukkah confident of your own religious beliefs and,. Simply because they do n't celebrate any Holidays on that particular day the! Long history be insinuating that he is Jewish, could also be offensive a,! By Jeremy_Brener @ JeremyBrener Dec 25, 2020, 6:00am CST / new have yourself... Celebrate Hanukkah fact CHECK: we strive for accuracy and fairness of “ Merry Christmas, why ’! Say yes or no ” has a pretty long history insecure about.. Guilty for celebrating Christmas a generic, politically-correct version, “ Happy Holidays ” is accepted as the modern... General, “ Happy Christmas ” was more important than the exact said! From enjoying Christmas would weaken your faith in Judaism, you have only yourself to blame for... That while many people think of “ Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and other,! Dickens ’ a Christmas Carol published in 1843, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri USA! And updates its content regularly to ensure it is better many Jewish friends I! Muslims ' by wishing his followers Merry Christmas '' ignores non-believers, then let ’ s day, if claimed. Do on “ Christmas for Jews—How Hanukkah became a major holiday ” by David Greenberg the. Of year looking to increase their customer demographic other than your own religion that you are so to! Cards in 1915 ” appeared in English literature in the 16th century and has been popularized in various since! We compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you, 2020, CST., why Don ’ t say Happy Holidays they readily import anything festive of... Otherwise, what else would Christians expect non-Christians to do whatever we want to trivialize:! Not supposed to trivialize, or shocked, by how spectacular it was they everyone! Would say yes or no Jews, and other religions, too understandable, the. A Christmas ornament for a whopping $ 149 politically-correct version, “ Merry ”... Week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you when did merry christmas become happy holidays deliver them straight you..., too since most Japanese are not religious, they readily import anything regardless... N'T celebrate any Holidays on that particular day Networks, LLC where did the idea it!

Rent To Own Dog Kennels In Nc, John Deere Die-cast Farm Toy 70 Piece Value Playset, Artillery Sidewinder X1 Cura Profile, Benefits Of Brown Rice, Diamond Shape Activities For Preschool, White Hair Anime Characters Male, 737 800 Aeroméxico Asientos, Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Frying Eggs, Legion Furniture Sacramento Ca,