Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

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Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Having just been served by a beautiful young Asian woman at my local shop, as I departed she said "Merry Christmas!" I sort of stuttered "Um - oh - um yes thank you!" I of course assumed she was Hindu or some such and wouldn't appreciate me wishing her the same. She of course might indeed have been a Christian. But as a secularist I wasn't offended, my question being, is Christmas now just a mid-winter festival, and isn't it more appropriate to say 'Happy holidays' as my brother from the States has just written to me? (out with the old in with the new) In the spirit of the modern Christmas as epitomised in the Guardian's phrase 'Give 'til it hurts' I've bought my first plastic Christmas tree - or should that be plastic mid-winter festival pine tree?

Sorry, I forgot to edit out (out with the old in with the new).


Christmas is Christmas regardless of what you believe ... even if you believe it is the arbitary selection of a date to celebrate a myth. One thing I like about Diwali in India is that although the festival of light commemorates the return of the triumphant Rama from battle, it is celebrated by Christians, Hindus and those of no Faith alike. I, in my mischevious way sent my friend Christmas wishes on a card depicting Lord Krishna and Radha. Vaisnaivite hindus believe Jesus was an avatar - one from God. Muslims acknowledge his virgin birth and his prophethood. "Jews for Jesus" is a small but significant movement. I am not celebrating Christmas this year. I doubt if I will be going to Mass on Christmas day - although I will go during the week after. I will also be having some quiet time with God in the Radha-Krishna Temple on Christmas Eve. I would be more baffled though if you were to wish me a "happy holiday". I'm not going on holiday - I'm working over christmas - it's a meaningless statement surely? jude
i work with hindus and muslims ... some of them are putting up trees and everything ... in any case they are all wishing me a merry christmas and happy new year ... even though i have been bumbling along saying "have a great christmas break and happy new year!"
The aforementioned Radha-Krishna temple I frequent has a tree in the lobby!
I think it's become a more secular holdiay than a religious one for much of the world. When I lived in Bangkok the whole city was lit up from the November Festival of Lights, through the king's birthday in early December, to Christmas/New Year. They'd even put up Santa Claus and fake snow displays; fantastic for a mostly Buddhist nation. Everyone had Christmas parties, give each other gifts, etc. I think the whole 'happy holiday' thing is a bit OTT, however. When does PC stop? The people who are offended by the usurpation (as they see it) of 'Merry Christmas' by the Unbelievers need to lighten up and enjoy the goodwill.
Happy Chanuka everyone. That's the hard 'ch' as in someone trying to clear there throat of phlegm. My brother from Oxford and I have been sending each other Diwali cards for years and celebrate everything from .............ah.....................well everything. And I've got the liver to prove it. I've just listened to my Phil Spector Christmas album for the 50th time this week, but am now getting spiritually hunkered down with Allegri's Misere, a bit of Palestrina then James Brown's Christmas special. It's geat being catholic. I'm going to be spending my first Christmas alone and I'm looking forward to it. And it'll be a sober one.


I Love Allegri's 'Misere mei, Deus', although it was composed for Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday at the end of Tenebrae (shadows) and it's a tad gloomy!!! For I acknowledge my iniquity: and my sin is always before me. 5. Choir I: Tibi soli peccavi et malum coram te feci: ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris. Against you only have I sinned and done evil in your sight: that you may be justified in your sentence, and fair in your judgement. 6. Cantor: Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptis sum sum: et in peccatis concepit me mater mea. For behold, I was conceived in sin: and in sin my mother conceived me. HEA VY! I prefer glad tidings at this time of year...I think my favourite Christmas tune has to be "the angel Gabriel" have a good one, one and all!
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