Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? We report; you decide

OK, let’s get into it.

A couple news items of note have crossed my laptop over the past 18 hours, both related to whether it should be “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays.”

Lou Girolami, manager of reFindings, York's architectural warehouse, places the final touches on his tree entry for the 2013 Festival of Trees in York last month. (Paul Kuehnel - Daily Record/Sunday News)

Lou Girolami, manager of reFindings, York’s architectural warehouse, places the final touches on his tree entry for the 2013 Festival of Trees in York last month. (Paul Kuehnel – Daily Record/Sunday News)

Which do you prefer?

Now to the news.

Item #1: An Arizona woman, who’s also a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, says she was assaulted for saying the generic “Happy Holidays.”

Kristina Vindiola says a woman hit her outside a Phoenix Walmart.

“The lady looked at me,” said Vindiola. “I thought she was going to put money in the kettle. She came up to me and said, ‘Do you believe in God?’ And she says, ‘You’re supposed to say Merry Christmas,’ and that’s when she hit me.”

Vindiola says the woman hit her in the arm and then went inside the store. She told a manager who then called police. Shoppers that Scripps sister station ABC15 spoke with said they understand how some people can get offended.

Item #2: According to a new survey, Americans prefer that stores and businesses welcome them with the more generic “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” than “Merry Christmas,” according to data released today by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service.

Nearly half of Americans (49 percent) say they choose a non-religious December greeting “out of respect for people of all faiths,” up from 44 percent in a 2010 survey by PRRI.

Is “Merry Christmas” losing out to political correctness? Not with YDR readers. Here is a sampling of Facebook comments recorded this morning:

Ed Boardman Merry Christmas, YDR.
Like · Reply · 12 · 46 minutes ago

Ashley Berrios Nope I Merry Christmas the crap out of people!
Like · Reply · 11 · 43 minutes ago

John P. Morley I think any survey can be tainted to the desired outcome.
Like · Reply · 6 · 43 minutes ago via mobile

Alexandra Weaver I think that whatever greeting you’re given, you should respond with, “thank you” and that it’s acceptable to return the greeting with one of your choice.
Like · Reply · 5 · 23 minutes ago

Mandy Hockensmith Dont believe in god u shouldnt even be celebrating the “holiday” because without him it wouldnt be one. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Like · Reply · 5 · 26 minutes ago via mobile

Darlene Dolly Zartman Owens I say Merry Christmas! After all isn’[t that why we celebrate this Holy day, because of Christ’s birth. Makes me wonder where the statistics come from.
Like · Reply · 4 · 23 minutes ago

Like · Reply · 4 · 24 minutes ago via mobile

Kimberly Snyder I don’t care what people say or want me to say.
Like · Reply · 4 · 46 minutes ago

William Anderson I have more important things to worry about
Like · Reply · 4 · 34 minutes ago via mobile

Andrea Niehoff Goodson We wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Like · Reply · 2 · 39 minutes ago

So again I ask, which do you prefer?

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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3 Responses to Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? We report; you decide

  1. Doug Schoebel says:

    It’s MERRY CHRISTMAS, always has been, and for most always will be. The Happy Holiday people catch the news, so we hear about it more. Society as we know it is much much different then 30 years ago. Not because Christmas, or God has changed but because people have.

  2. J Myers says:

    I am offended at the generic greetings.

  3. Jim Fahringer says:

    This whole argument is another absurd political correct concoction!! It will always be “Merry Christmas” or better still, “Blessed Christmas” for me — no matter how politicaly correct others may be! I would never want a Muslim, Buddhist, Jew or other persons of a different religion change their religious greeting to me during one of their holidays. Whether I believed the way they do is not important. I would gladly accept their blessing in their own way and terms and be honored that they extended such a greeting or blessing to me. I certainly would not be offended or hurt or distressed because of it and try to get them to change their greeting to a generic non-religious greeting. That would not be fair to them or respectful of their religion just like it is not fair to Christians to try to get them to change “Merry Christmas” to a non-religious generic greeting like “Happy Holidays”. Come on people lighten up! Actually as I understand it, the word holidays is derived from the word “Holy” so when we wish someone “Happy Holidays”, we are actually including a religious meaning which really says, “Happy Holy Days”.

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