Happy Holidays: It’s not a slight against Christmas

Published 11:00 am Sunday, December 25, 2022

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By Jennie Guido

A couple of years back, a popular coffee shop and brand received quite the backlash for wishing patrons “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” with its signature seasonal to-go cup. People went mad over the fact that this company was glossing over the Christmas season and attempting to come off politically correct. The amount of offense taken across the globe was ridiculous.

Let’s get something straight. Starting with Thanksgiving, there are at least 65 noted and celebrated holidays or festive days through the end of the year. You’re aware of the big five: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. There are also the B Team of holidays, which include (but are not limited to) Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, the Advent Season, and the Winter Solstice.

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There are also some very interesting holidays that we are not celebrating but maybe we should be. Get to Google and research these. Decemberween celebrates the season much like what we know as Christmas but is held 55 days after Halloween. Newtonmas was created by atheists in order to celebrate Sir Isaac Newton’s birthday, which is also December 25th. Candlenights is a personal pan pizza holiday for all to celebrate and is probably a work of fiction.

One that I’ve always found interesting is Boxing Day on the 26th of December. Being a fan of Downton Abbey and The Crown, this holiday now makes sense to me. It was a day reserved for the staff of grand estates and the elite classes in the United Kingdom. After the staff had worked so hard all season long to create a magical Christmas for the family of the house, they were gifted with the 26th to celebrate with their families. They usually were given boxes, or gifts, by the family filled with coins or small items.

There is also a Catholic suggestion of Boxing Day since it is also the feast day of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. It can be said that celebrating this particular feast day goes hand in hand with giving to those less fortunate. On this day, churches are known to give from the donation box to charities and families in need.

Now, the secular world has taken over Boxing Day to be another Black Friday and day for sales galore.

The point is that wishing someone a Happy Holiday versus a Merry Christmas is not blasphemy against the reason for the season. It’s just a way to cover all of your bases with two words and a smile.