Should we greet people with 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Holidays'? | The Tylt
Should we greet people with 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Holidays'?
This debate has ramped up over the last few years, as some Christians claim that replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" represents a war on Christmas. According to The Atlantic's Andrew McGill, many conservatives see the latter phrase as an attack on their religion:
Conservatives agree. A poll conducted earlier this month by the Public Religion Research Institute found 67 percent of Republicans don’t think it’s necessary for businesses to ditch a Christmas greeting for 'happy holidays'; only 30 percent of Democrats feel the same. Party preference was the sharpest dividing line on this question, but young people are also far more likely to prefer a non-denominational salutation (67 percent), as are black Americans (69 percent).
Many Americans simply see "Happy Holidays" as a more inclusive phrase. McGill continues his reporting on the controversy:
Democrats have also gotten more sensitive, but in the other direction, said PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones: 66 percent favor a secular greeting, up from 58 percent in 2010. 'While there has been a large partisan gap on the question since we first asked it in 2010, it has grown wider over the last few years,' he said in an email statement. 'Nearly all of that movement has come from Democrats.'
It's important to note:
Ironically, it’s a Christian-friendly greeting at its root; 'holiday' stems from the Old English for 'holy day.' For much of the United States’s history, it would have been given and accepted by Christians without a bat of the eye, understanding that the holidays in question were those of Advent, or perhaps Christmas and the Gregorian new year. Only relatively recently has it become a catch-all for people of other religions.