Sunday, November 15, 2009

That Holiday Time of the Year

It's getting to be that time of year. It's The Holidays. Actually, if you look at sales fliers the entire year is some sort of Holiday season - there always seems to be some reason to have a sale. But the big Holidays, the one that get an entire season named after them are the winter holidays.

Honestly it seems as if it starts with Halloween - anything after that is part of the Holiday Season. And there are a lot of different holidays: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali and of course Christmas and New Years.

Because of the variety of holidays and the various cultural traditions I don't have a big problem when people say "Happy Holidays" to kind of incorporate the whole season. Especially in an area like ours where you can never be too certain which holiday people are celebrating - if any at all.

I do have one complaint though. And that is when the generic use of Holiday is used not in a way that incorporates all of the seasonal holidays, but to replace the word Christmas.

Holiday cookies? I don't know, I guess the other holidays can all benefit from some cookies, but I don't know how many of them traditionally have lots of baked goods as part of their celebrations.

Holiday lights? That one actually works for a bunch of holidays - especially Diwali and Hanukkah.

But a Holiday Tree? Come on. It's a Christmas Tree. Really. Just say it. Don't be afraid.

And on December 25tth. When the newspapers put a banner headline up above the title that says "Happy Holidays" I always feel a little cheated. Especially on a year when it does not over lap with another holiday, we all know what "Holiday" is being celebrated. Just go ahead and say it already.

Now, I'm not going to boycott stores who say "Happy Holidays". After all - Holiday does come from "Holy Days" but I do feel that if you're going to make a lot of money when people buy stuff for Christmas, you could at least call the giant candy canes and decorated trees Christmas decorations.

Two thoughts in passing to end this mini-rant.

1) One time the Jehovah Witnesses stopped by our house shortly before Christmas. As they were leaving I wished them a Merry Christmas. The cold look they gave me reminded me that not everyone celebrates Christmas - and some are rather strict about that non-celebration. (oops - any insult was totally unintentional.)

2) Once during the "Holiday season" I was in a store and heard a woman complain - and I quote: "I hate when they shove all this religion into Christmas."

I didn't say anything to her, because my brain didn't work fast enough to come up with something, and I doubt it would have made a difference anyway. But I do try to remember that while the people I know might decry the commercialization and secularization of Christmas, there are always people who hold quite different views. I hope they all have a very Happy Holiday.

1 comment:

PJ Hoover said...

Holiday tree? I've yet to hear that one, though I do see holidays everywhere.
When I manage to get my butt in gear and send out Christmas cards, though my cards aren't generally religious in nature, I do use the Madonna and child stamps. It's my way to keep it about Christmas.