I just realized why this Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas thing has me very confused. I never knew any Jews growing up, so i barely had any exposure to Hannakuh. Kwanzaa didn’t get any press in my area until the late ’80s. However, i remember Happy Holidays being around here since i was a kid, always in print. It feels more natural to say Merry Christmas for me, but this Happy Holidays stuff is old hat.
Because of the retail job, and having to read all kinds of directives about the post-Christmas tasks, I remembered an obvious bit about why Happy Holidays exists. I’ve always assumed the holidays in question included New Year’s Day. Happy Holidays is not some secularist dream of taking the Christ out of Christmas. It’s shorthand for people who would otherwise have to take down all of the decorations and prepare for another major holiday in just five short days. Unconsciously, i knew this all along, but now that i realize just how big of a straw man people like Bill O’Reilly has built, i want to pull a Wickerman event, and stick that bastard inside so that we can light it on fire. For all of these capitalists who like to make a show of thinking of the ‘little guy’, they are trying to generate an awful lot more work for people who actually have to work between December 25th and January 31st when they want all of the signs changed to Merry Christmas.
And why would anyone working retail stare at someone who wishes Merry Christmas? Because if some freak actually hisses out an emphasis on Christ when saying Christmas sounds like a whackjob. If someone in ordinary conversation used the tele-evangelical Jay-eezus instead of more standard pronunciation, i’d look at them askance too. The aggressive CHRIST-mas sounds wrong, and has been delivered more like a threat of eternal damnation if i ever forget. And yeah, if you works in retail, you get a lot of threats. Christmas is the favorite time of year for bullies.