Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?

There is political correctness and then there is political correctness, but of the absurd kind. Wishing people Happy Holidays, instead of Merry Christmas belongs to the latter category. In the mistaken spirit of secularising everything for fear of offending those not celebrating the festival, the whole idea of wishing someone has been trivialized.

Christmas at Covent Garden, London December 2008. I will always remember this Christmas for the lovely music played at street corners, for walks in brightly lit streets of London, and of course drinking mulled wine 🙂

While I do agree that Christmas is a holiday nearly the world over (and there are many holidays prefixed and suffixed to Christmas Day), it is not reason enough to say only “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Happy Holidays is actually quite meaningless, as it doesn’t convey anything—the tradition, the celebration, the meaning, the food—except for the fact that it is a holiday. Is that all the Christmas season, or for that matter, any festival has been reduced to?

Christmas is a holiday for me, but more that it is a day of celebrating the festival with friends. This year, I am spending Christmas with Shalini, my “teenagehood” friend and her family. There will be laughter, carols, gossip and a mouth-watering, lip-smacking (please add all the adjectives relating to delicious food here) spread, and much more.

Since I don’t wish to be absurd or trivial or meaningless, and festivals do bring out the politically incorrect side of me, I will wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy, rollicking, New Year to you, dear reader. And may your holidays be happy too 😉

2 thoughts on “Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?

  1. Hi, Sudha – I am in complete agreement with your recent post on Christmas – especially your opening position on the parody of ‘political correctness’! We are so adept at throwing the baby out with the bathwater, aren’t we? Well, let us welcome back Christmas and all other festivals based on all the religions of the world, and let us understand that, in fact, this is true secularism. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all! – Best wishes, Rajshri Mahtani.


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