In Defence of “Happy Holidays”

21 Dec

By Evan Zenobia

OTTAWA – It’s December. The season when the snow begins to fall, traffic begins to slow, and students consume record amounts of energy drinks as they cram for exams before consuming record amounts of alcohol to celebrate their completion.

But on a happier note, it’s a season of celebration! Of decorations, gift exchanges, lights, and charity. Of egg nog, parties, family reunions and parades. Love, peace on earth, and goodwill towards men and women! It’s the holiday season!

But in spite of the joy the holidays are supposed to bring, it only whips up rage chez les conservateurs. Nothing boils a conservative’s blood more than two simple words: happy holidays.

To the ears of the right-wing traditionalist champion of family values, the cheer “happy holidays” is the battle cry of the politically correct Jesus-hating soldiers of the secularist “War on Christmas.” Anything short of the explicitly Christian “Merry Christmas” is an attack on the heritage, nay, the rights of Canada’s Christians, long the victims of a sinister agenda to marginalize them by treating them with the same respect as members of other faiths.

But of course, happy holidays is a completely harmless, and indeed the most sensitive and appropriate expression of goodwill this season.

In the first place, “happy holidays” does not express any hostility to Christians or Christianity. It doesn’t attack the Christmas spirit. So there is no problem with using it.

But not everybody in Canada celebrates Christmas. Many celebrate Chanukah. Others celebrate Kwanza. Some celebrate the Winter Solstice or Yuletide. And there are many many others.

Does it explicitly harm a non-Christian to say “Merry Christmas.” Well, no. But I don’t feel comfortable reminding the minorities who don’t celebrate Christmas of their minority status, especially in a time of year that stresses harmony and peace.

And of course, the state has no business using the taxes of Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Pagan, Atheist and other non-Christians to promote celebrations of Christian ritual.

So, happy holidays to all! Happy holidays, happy holidays, happy holidays, happy holidays. Peace on Earth sisters and brothers!

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