Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Blessings of the Solstice—in short, Happy Holidays.
A lot of stigma surrounds that innocent and cheery greeting.
To me, it is a simple summation of all the holidays celebrated at the end of the year.
To others, it is a surefire way to start a debate I have less time for than trying to guess which of the thousands of religions he or she belongs to.
Living in a small southern town that just recently allowed its residents to purchase alcohol in restaurants on Sundays, it would be safe to say the go-to holiday greeting would be “Merry Christmas.”
However, that is not the case.
After being verbally accosted by a woman under the impression I was an atheist because I wished her “Happy Holidays” instead of psychicly knowing she was a Christian, I decided to start gambling with “Merry Christmas,” figuring the odds would be in my favor.
Soon, my good luck had ran out and I wished a “Merry Christmas” to a woman who was Jewish.
I apologized as she smiled and said she was in no way offended.
Since then, I have employed the term “Happy Holidays” to ensure when I extend a holiday greeting it is not biased.
But why even make such a fuss about a phrase we say year after year simply because social convention dictates we say it?
The word “holiday” comes from an Old English word meaning “holy day.”
The phrase literally means “Happy Holy Day;” happy day that you believe to be holy.
All of this stems from the belief that people who say “Happy Holidays” are trying to take the ‘Christ’ out of Christmas.
Each year I remind people there is little of Christ in what people celebrate as Christmas.
There is no record of Jesus Christ being born on Dec. 25; there are even theories he was born in summer or early fall.
Many favorite Christmas traditions came from other religions predating the birth of Christ, like stocking stuffers, holly, tinsel, Yule logs, etc. Christians saw pagans celebrating with these things and incorporated them into the celebration of the birth of their savior.
I’m not unreasonable. If presented with a specific holiday greeting, I will return it in kind.
So to everyone at Louisiana Tech, may I wish you all the happiest of holidays.
Cody Sexton is a senior journalism major from Bossier City who serves as entertainment editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to cls...@latech.edu.