Opinion – “Christmas” shopping, not “Holiday” shopping

Courtesy of Smashing Magazine

Hannah Reasor, Staff Writer

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The phrase “Merry Christmas” has been used since Charles Dickens published the book A Christmas Carol in 1843. So, schools shouldn’t have to change what they say on flyers, and what was once known as “Christmas Break,” just to appeal to the masses.

The “Holidays” are a time in which people come together to celebrate love, happiness, and good times. No matter what a person’s religion is, that person celebrates a holiday for the same reason anyone else does (even if out of religious context).

Therefore, a rule saying that schools must say “Happy Holidays!” on all of the school flyers, on the intercom, in classrooms, etc. is quite arbitrary when the meaning of Christmas, Hanukkah, and other Wintery Holidays is essentially the same throughout.

“I think of Christmas as just a time to get together with family and to be happy. So, when I say ‘Merry Christmas,’ I mean ‘Happy Holidays,’ out of a religious context,” said freshman Chris Domenech.

If a student celebrates Christmas, whether that student is religious or not, that student should be able to embrace the holiday in school. If a student celebrates Hanukkah, that student should be able to embrace that holiday, as well, in school.

If a student says, “Merry Christmas” to another student who is a stranger, but the other student doesn’t celebrate that holiday, the intentions of “Happy Holidays” were there and should be recognized.

Schools shouldn’t change what the break in the winter is called just to fit other holidays. Most holidays in the winter happen after, or before, the school breaks are given, other than the holiday of Christmas.

The school holiday break for the 2014 year starts on December 22nd and ends January 2nd. The only other holiday in that period besides Christmas is Hanukkah, which usually happens earlier in the month.

To be politically correct is insignificant when people buy Hanukkah Menorahs or Christmas Trees because there is no such thing as a ‘Happy Holiday Tree’ or a ‘Happy Holiday Menorah’. Hence, schools should be able to say “Merry Christmas” instead of always saying “Happy Holidays.”

“Happy Holidays” has advantages in that it is neutral and can appeal to all religions and holidays. The phrase gets the meaning behind all holidays across in a politically correct way. “The Holidays” are a general, plural term for all the different reasons people celebrate around the winter time in the first place.

Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday celebrated in the winter, there is one sole purpose of celebrating: to be with friends and family, rejoice over the year, and enjoy the good times. That is the real meaning of every holiday.

“Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” have the same connotation overall.

So, this season, people should feel free to say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” “Happy Holidays,” or whatever that person feels is right to say. Maybe something along the lines of “Merry Hanukkah, happy Christmas, holiday jolly Kwanzaa, and a good New Year!” or whatever a person feels fit to say.

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