A recent letter to the editor of the News Sentinel from Jennifer Ward has me thinking again. This Christmas I made every effort to say “Merry Christmas” to anyone I came into contact with. I did this because Christmas is the holiday I observe. I cannot recall an instance where I did not receive the same greeting in return. Does that mean everyone I came into contact with observes Christmas as their holiday, too? Or, were they only being nice to me, the person that initiated the conversation?
I do not believe in a catch-all phrase like “Happy Holidays”. Jennifer Ward is wrong when she says “It’s not about stifling beliefs or covering up a major holiday. It’s about respecting everyone and being aware that, despite numerical majority, we don’t get to exclusively inundate the public sphere with our personal beliefs.” It is about beliefs and “Happy Holidays” is a lousy attempt to cover up a major holiday. It is also my exclusive right to say Merry Christmas but it is also the greeting receivers right to say in return Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or Merry Christmas (based on their beliefs of course). I respect everyone and their personal beliefs and hope they return the favor and respect mine, too.
Photography by udronotto