Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays – Olivia Oerther

Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday?
“Merry Christmas!” I exclaimed to the next costumer that walked into our small town business. My mother gave me a stern look, she had just had a meeting with all the employees about saying Merry Christmas, we were to no longer say it. It was ‘disrespectful’ and ‘intrusive’ I was to say Happy Holidays. I grew up saying Merry Christmas. People have been saying Merry Christmas for the past four hundred years! .
The saying Merry Christmas is believed to come from the Christian churches belief of Jesus being born, with Merry; meaning joy, pleasant, and Christmas; meaning the season in which Jesus was born. To those truly devoted it means just that, but for a majority it has become a saying that wishes joy, happiness, and someone the best, all in two words. As the years have gone by people have come accustomed to the saying ‘Merry Christmas’, not thinking it was causing anyone displeasure. But apparently it was. A few years back the government tried banning the saying Merry Christmas from public schools and public media. What happened to separation of church and state? We are now told to say Happy Holidays. Because by saying Merry Christmas we were forcing Christianity upon others and denying others the right to their own religion. A lot of my friends are of different religions, not one complained or even seemed to care if I said Merry Christmas, to them it simply meant I was wishing them the best in life, they too say Merry Christmas, as does the majority of the United States.
In a way the Government is taking away not only our freedom of speech but freedom of religion. . It’s the overlooked piece of information. The government says it’s to please everyone and make the world more equal. By telling us not to say Merry Christmas in school or in public media it is changing our vocabulary with what is acceptable to say and what’s not. As well as stating that one cannot outwardly show your religion even though the saying Merry Christmas barely screams that you are a Christian.
There is nothing wrong with saying Happy Holidays. Happy Holidays is a more broad statement and can be used more openly without the fear of offending someone near you. It also allows you to cover more holidays that some cultures may celebrate. . Some people who don’t celebrate or strongly disagrees with the idea of Christmas would prefer Happy Holidays. While those who celebrate or like the idea of Christmas prefer Merry Christmas. Then there are those who just don’t care.
If only people wouldn’t take offense with whatever you chose to say, but we live in a society where one thinks their opinion should become law. Making it impossible to come to terms with each other and agree to disagree that both sayings are personal opinions and the government should have never got involved with our freedom of speech.
I personally believe it is no longer a battle between religious people and non-religious people fighting over which saying is more ‘politically correct’. It has become a battle between the people and the government fighting over who has more control. The government likes to test how much people will fight back for rights such as the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the separation of church and state. And to their pleasure many people are uneducated and do not realize the government is slowly taking away our rights and ability to act and think on our own.


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