Lately my inbox has been full of emails from people who are upset over the fact that saying “Merry Christmas” has become politically incorrect. Employers are encouraging the use of “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings,” rather than the more traditional “Merry Christmas,” simply because not everyone is a Christian.
To me this time of year, the season of lights, the return of the sun, and the son, are times to share compassion, and see the things we have in common with each other, rather than our differences.
So, it doesn’t bother me if someone says to me… “Happy Holidays.”
Forcing others to conform to our beliefs is never a good exercise in compassion.
I would never force someone to follow a gluten free diet just because I do.
I would never force someone to watch the Harry Potter movies just because I do.
I would never force someone to read the books I like to read, or watch the TV shows I like to watch, or assume my favorite ice cream must be their favorite too.
Yes, I celebrate Christmas, and have Christmas dinner with my family, and I don’t feel compelled to call it a “Holiday dinner.” But I also celebrate the Winter Solstice, and have a Solstice celebration with friends and loved ones.
“Season’s Greetings,” doesn’t mean our way of life is slipping away, or that our belief system is being disrespected. On the contrary; this country was founded with a promise that we would always have religious freedom, and we want that for our friends and families as well as ourselves.
It’s simply thoughtfulness when we wish a Jew to have a Happy Hanukkah, or a pagan a Blessed Yule. It’s a reminder that we see ourselves in each other, and recognize that each and every heart deserves to be honored, no matter the belief system.