The world could use all such wishes of good cheer. I’m not offended when someone wishes me Happy Hanukkah or Happy Holidays. I don’t recall ever being wished a Happy Kwanzaa, but the season’s young, and it’s on my Christmas list.
But my wish to you will always be that you have the Merriest Christmas possible.
There can be no argument that the two primary “holidays” in “Happy Holidays” are Hanukkah and Christmas. The Jewish tradition of Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem in 165 BC; Christmas, or “Christ’s Mass,” was a feast day in the Christian tradition celebrating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Though in more modern times it’s become the season in which we go broke spoiling our children with new trinkets while feeling pangs of guilt for not getting Joe anything after he gave us a singing mounted fish in the company white elephant gift exchange.
I don’t happen to be Jewish, so I celebrate Christmas. Not “Holiday.”
Scholars and laymen alike will argue the actual date of Christmas, quibble about the similar traditions predating Christianity, point out the simultaneous celebrations of the winter solstice or an ancient Roman holiday. All good points. And all distraction. For most people, the cornerstone of the holiday season is Christmas, in whatever manner they choose to celebrate.
Don’t just take my word for it. Trust my insurance agent. Each year he sends me a new calendar. And each year I check to see whether it says “holiday” or “Christmas” on Dec. 25. Guess what it says this year?