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Dec. 25 is fast approaching, and as always, people are getting ready to bellow their season’s greetings: happy holidays, and Merry Christmas, among others. In the age of political correctness, we are told to say happy holidays, holiday party, winter break, etc. After all, not everyone celebrates Christmas, and as a society it would only be pragmatic to attempt to be more inclusive. But is refusing to say Merry Christmas more inclusive? From a secular and religious perspective, the answer is no.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has “Christmas Day” listed on their website as a holiday. The United State of America recognizes Christmas as a holiday nationwide. So one more time to reiterate: Dec. 25 is called Christmas. The United States recognizes it. Dennis Prager, founder of the conservative think tank Prager University, is a Jewish political commentator and talk show host. He is featured in a video put out by Prager University on Nov. 28. Although he is Jewish, he recognizes Christmas as a national holiday, and he jubilantly exclaims, “Merry Christmas!” to all who listen. Why would someone of Jewish descent, someone who does not recognize Christmas, perpetuate a holiday he is not a part of? Because, contrary to political correctness, it is more inclusive to say “Merry Christmas” in a nation that recognizes Christmas as a national holiday.
From a secular perspective, when I wish you a Merry Christmas, I am saying that you are welcome here in the U.S.. I am saying you are my brother or sister in this nation. I am saying that I welcome and desire for you to participate in our national holiday, because you belong here. From a religious perspective, in a broad nutshell, Christmas is about celebrating the joys of Jesus’ birth. Christians are joyful at this time, and they desire to share that joy; hence, gift giving, ornaments and decorations. No one is trying to convert you by saying Merry Christmas, nor is anyone trying to shove it down your throat. No one is deliberately or maliciously attempting to invalidate your beliefs. It is simply them augmenting their joy, and welcoming you to participate in the customs of their nation.
If you are hell-bent on saying “happy holidays,” just know that the word “holiday” is derived from the old English term “hāligdæg,” meaning “holy day.” In addition, please know that when I wish you “Merry Christmas,” it is because I view you as a brother or sister in this nation, and in Christ.
Jordan Moorman, firstname.lastname@example.org