“Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas”

I was hoping this debate would be put to rest already. But since we live in a cyclical world, some people just don’t like to let things go.


There is nothing wrong with saying, “Merry Christmas.” There is nothing wrong with saying, “Happy Holidays.” If you say one, the other person can say the other back, and it would make little difference and you can all go on about your day.


Out of extreme politeness, it is safer to say, “Happy Holidays.” You cannot always guess what someone celebrates, so if you want to respect someone’s beliefs, you can either ask what they celebrate before wishing them a happy anything, or you could just say “Happy Holidays.”

If you celebrate Christmas, then you can say “have a very merry Christmas” if you wish, but don’t get offended if someone wishes you a “happy holidays” back. It could just mean they are politely telling you that they do not celebrate Christmas, but still wish you the best. Some people who don’t celebrate Christmas still tell people “merry Christmas,” so you should loosen your knickers about people saying “happy holidays.”


Honestly, I am not sure why this was or still is even a debate. There are other holidays in December such as:


  • Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
  • St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
  • Hanukkah (Jewish)
  • Christmas Day (Christian)
  • Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
  • Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish)
  • Kwanzaa (African American)
  • Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
  • Omisoka (Japanese)
  • Yule (Pagan)
  • Saturnalia (Pagan)

(taken from Educationworld.com)


So by saying “happy holidays,” you are actively being inclusive of what other people celebrate and aren’t just thinking about yourself. Some people also don’t celebrate anything during this time and just get some time off work so by saying “happy holidays” you are wishing them a nice vacation, which is nice.


This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Don’t ruin it by getting angry at others. Spread some cheer and have yourself a very merry holiday.

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