Point-Counterpoint: Should it be ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’?

Courier Point-Counterpoint

This point-counterpoint – from time to time editors taking different sides of an issue – comes down to beliefs.

Are you always politically correct (PC), trying to be sensitive to everyone, or do you take a stand?

Often, some readers refer to me as the “Religion Editor” here at the Courier, because I reference God and Christ in some of my editorials and columns.

I do so unapologetically, not in a rude way – only as who I am and what I believe. The holiday is Christmas, celebrating His birth.

“Merry Christmas” is what I say this time of year, and I notice with a bit of sadness others who say “Happy Holidays,” such as the White House Christmas cards I received (whohoo!) one year from the Clintons and once from the Bush 43 family (George and Laura).

Both stated: “Happy Holidays!”

They did not insult me. I just wonder why we’ve come to that.

I don’t decide where to shop, who to do business with, who my friends are, or who to speak with or sit next to, based on religious beliefs. I do not believe our society or country should strip away my religion – nor should I have to hide it.

It’s really as simple as that. So, if you celebrate it – Merry Christmas!

- Tim Wiederaenders, city editor

Courier Point-Counterpoint

Happy Holidays!

Yes, I know it’s Christmas for some of us, but it’s not for other folks.

In the business world, I prefer to use “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas” because I don’t know the other person’s religious beliefs.

I often try to put myself in other people’s shoes. Would I be uncomfortable with someone wishing me, a non-Jew, Happy Chanukah? Yes, because I wouldn’t know how to respond. So, I won’t push my Christian “Merry Christmas” on someone unless they’ve said it to me first.

I realize that some people may think I’m being overly sensitive, but insulting someone’s belief system is something I never try to do.

The holidays aren’t about me, they are about extending help, love and attention to others. My religious feelings are my private thoughts and so are other people’s beliefs.

Say Merry Christmas if it makes you happy, but try to remember not everyone has a Christmas tree waiting at home.

My other reason for using Happy Holidays this time of year is because I’m encompassing New Year’s into it usually, too. Especially when working with the business community. I won’t speak to many of them from Christmas to past Jan. 1, so for me, the more general greeting works better.

- Robin Layton, editor