December 25th, 2005

sophie, skype, weemee


[this is a public post]

Merry Christmas!

morti has set an interesting poll: The issue of political correctness aside, would you rather hear "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"?

It's an interesting question. The latest post in jayisgames says:
Just a quick update to wish everyone and their loved ones a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, or whatever it is that your religion or your culture celebrates at this time of year.
That's a bit of a mouthful right there, and pretty loaded with vague sentiments. Quite a few other posts on my friends list do a similar thing.

Respecting other people's beliefs is good. But the trouble with a broad statement like the above is that it seems to lose its intent through over-political correctness. It doesn't really mean anything. We try to accommodate everybody in the things we say - and in so doing, lower their meaning for everyone.

"Happy Holidays" is similar, in my opinion. It's so watered-down as to lose its meaning. Each religion celebrates its holidays differently; the mere fact that it's a holiday isn't what makes followers happy. For Christians, it's because of the arrival of Jesus Christ on that first Christmas. For Jews, it's about victory of their faith over Hellenistic civilisation and victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire. You never get religious holidays for the sake of being holidays, so treating them all under an umbrella like that is insulting to everybody involved, except atheists.

What are your views?