Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas or...Happy Holidays

There appears to be a controversy i.e. discussion...dispute...debate, regarding how people should address each other at this time of the year. Should one or is it correct to wish someone "Merry Christmas" or perhaps to be more "PC" one should limits one's wishes to "Happy Holidays?" Since when did greetings suddenly become the issue of the day?

A fellow writer recently ranted in a piece about encountering this issue while at the check out counter at a grocery store. Paying for his items he innocently wished the clerk, "Merry Christmas". A customer behind suddenly piped in, admonishing him for this action and told him to keep his good wishes to himself. The customer droned on and basically told the writer that he should not assume the clerk was a Christian.

Talk about bah humbug!

Since when did wishing people Merry Christmas...or any other greetings becomne a religioius issue? If I want to wish my Jewish friends, Happy Chanukah - then I will, or Joyeux Noel in French...or Kala Christougena to my Greek friends.

Reminds me of the story and flap a few years back in Toronto, Canada, when city council decided to call the fir tree that they put up every year, a holiday tree instead of the usual and more common Christmas Tree. As expected there was a huge furor over the re-naming and it wasn't long after that it returned to Christmas Tree.

As Shakespere said: " What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Merry Christmas...Happy Chanukah...have a joyful Kwanza and peace on earth, good will towards all.

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