Stop Saying Merry Christmas


Maryam Sadeghifard, Staff Writer

With the holidays on their way, many are excited for the New Year to start, and the overall season of giving. However, during the month of December, it’s time we stopped putting everyone under one category of celebrating Christmas and started to be more socially aware. I believe we must break the habit of saying “Merry Christmas” to strangers, making the assumption that they too celebrate Christmas.

The term “Merry Christmas,” though seemingly innocent and welcoming, is often used as a way to generalize that everyone celebrates Christmas, which isn’t the case at all. When there are terms that could be used as a replacement for “Merry Christmas,” why don’t we utilize them? Substitute terms such as “Happy Holidays,” or “Festive Greetings,” are both polite while still including a variety of people, and their ideologies, living in America. 

“I say ‘Happy Holidays’ to all my friends instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ because I want to respect other people’s cultures, especially if I don’t know what they celebrate,” said junior Benjamin Oh. 

“I feel people should be open to how others feel because people have different religions and celebrate different holidays or don’t celebrate Christmas in general, so saying ‘Happy Holidays’ seems more respectable”, said senior Eli Alvarez in a Taft Today article.

To be politically correct and inclusive, using the “Happy Holidays” or variations of that would be a viable option. Considering the number of non-Christians in America, resorting to automatically saying “Merry Christmas” is more often than not, not applicable to that person. The term actually originated from 1699 when English Admirals were talking to Christians. California is made up of 47% non- Christians, implying that the way to go when greeting someone in order to be welcoming would be “Happy Holidays.”

“I like to say ‘Happy Holidays’ because I just feel like it makes everyone feel welcomed and respected, I always strive for inclusivity, it’s my goal,” said junior Amish Jha.

The best thing to do is to say “Happy Holidays,” avoiding the question of one’s beliefs or someone’s religion and getting straight to the point. With Hanukkah also in December, we should recognize the festive events of others in America as well. Furthermore, Christmas is considered to be very commercialized, which often leads to other holidays during this month to be overshadowed. 

The holiday cards we sent out said both ‘Happy Holidays’ and ‘Merry Christmas’ on them,” said Denise Clay, writer of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Overall, in order to be more inclusive, little things such as changing up your terminology could potentially make someone’s day and make them feel welcome. Enjoy this winter festive season no matter what you celebrate, and have a good time spending it with family and friends. Have a very Happy Holiday season.