Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Eid Mubarak. No Happy Holidays, please

The news recently contained reports of a poll showing that Canadians overwhelmingly (73%) prefer the greeting 'Merry Christmas' over 'Happy Holidays.' Canadians endorsed the notion that Merry Christmas conveys the "original meaning and purpose of the holiday" in this country.

On Dec 24 the Toronto Star devoted its Insight section primarily to discussions of the Christmas feast. It also ran an Editorial which concluded: "For a supposed war, it's been a remarkably unsuccessful campaign..... But Christmas - the season of giving and sharing - is still wonderfully inescapable. The anti-Christmas movement, if it even exists, has failed miserably over the past two millennia, and for good reason. Life and hope in the midst of darkness are eternal and for everyone. That's what we prepare to celebrate as the light ever so gradually returns to the world."

As if that weren't enough, the Letters to the Editor were simply wonderful. One from a teacher in the Toronto public school board, who is tired of the pressure to avoid any words referring to the religious aspects of Christmas. One from a Jew who 'detests' the phrase Happy Holidays, and whose faith is strong enough "that it does not need to be affirmed by diminishing the traditions of others." One from a Muslim who notes he would dislike it very much if anyone said Happy Holidays to him instead of Eid Mubarak. He concludes, "I would like to wish all my Christian brothers and sisters a warm and very Merry Christmas."

I don't know about you, but this made my Christmas. I have sent the following letter to the Star:

Thank you to the Star for the Insight section on December 24. So wonderful to see Christmas surviving the attempts to turn ‘Merry Christmas’ into ‘Happy Holidays’. A big shout out to letter writers Joanne Clarke, Tayyab Pirzadan Jason Shron and others, for their energetic support of Christmas including when that support comes from a Muslim and a Jew. I have noticed for several years that the opposition to Christmas actually does not come from Muslims and Jews but rather from people who simply don’t like the religious foundation of Christmas. What the discussion has done for me is to increase my respect for Chanukah and Eid. Eid has passed and Chanukah ends on Dec 28. A belated Eid Mubarak and a Happy Chanukah to our Muslim and Jewish brothers and sisters, respectively. Thank you for the great respect you have shown for Christmas.

1 comment:

Happy Eid Mubarak said...

Very well, you raise a valid point. i admire you. thanks