Happy Holidays

I intend to wish people Happy Holidays this year during December…in spite of Facebook memes and pressure posts that insist I must only think of Merry Christmas.

Oh, I intend to have one of those too…a pre-Christmas gathering with relatives and then a catered lunch at a hotel on the actual day. Merry will be practiced, I assure you.

But I also hope to have an equally cheerful Hanukkah and even a midsummers dinner. Here in Australia we do that instead of midwinters. If I were a Buddhist I could have a holiday during the month as well, and if I were a black American or a Hispanic American I would have even more celebrations to cook, decorate, and buy presents for. A veritable month of jollity.

And if I were an atheist I could celebrate the 25th of December as Newtonmas and send cards with ” Reasons Greetings “. I would be careful who I sent them to, however, because I think they would severely affect the people on Facebook who post those scolding memes about the term ” Merry Christmas “.

After all, I would not wish to affect their happy holidays…

Extremely Happy Holidays

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A recent post in Facebook about the expression ” Happy Holidays” seemed to ignite a small firefight. This is not all that unusual for Facebook as it turned into somewhat of a cockpit during the last American elections, but it did surprise me to see a pleasant greeting draw so much ire.

One writer mentioned that a period from the start of November until well into January of next year contained some 29 holidays for people of different faiths or nations. I can think of three or four religious ones and several other that are temporal marks ( A New Year date ) but the full 29 elude me. I hope the original poster can make a list of them as I would be fascinated to see what people get to do for their holidays.

Some of it might be fun. Yay for fun!

And here is the point where I wonder at the Facebook fight. Holiday is a word derived from Holy Day…that religious connection we saw before. A change in the word, yes, but a nice change – a change that allows people who are not of a particular religion or ethnic group to have some sort of celebration too. With a bit of luck all might be able to find enough common ground to be happy together in the same place on the same day, and if there is food involved so much the better.

I, for one, welcome turkey with cranberry sauce and latkes and the plum pudding and the jam doughnut may stand entwined ( in a sticky sort of way ) on my coat of arms forever. And here is the really good thing…

That’s just two traditions. There might be 27 more holiday dishes ready to be tasted.

I’m not going to be covetous about Happy Hanukkah or a Merry Christmas and demand that others speak to me only in those terms. Wish me a good whatever and I will be pleased – the chief point is that you wish me good, as I do you – and if we have enough food and drink we can see to it on a practical basis.

Heading Image: Happy people in Melbourne celebrating Buddha’s birthday in January of 2010.