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A question of holiday greetings

Inspired by crankyasanoldma's post here, I give you my letter to Miss Manners:

Dear Miss Manners,

At this time of year I try to be respectful of the diversity of the people I may meet by wishing them, "Happy holidays." I like to think this neither assumes what they may celebrate nor imposes upon them what I may celebrate, but still manages to convey my good wishes towards them.

However, I have recently begun to think this may not be entirely appropriate - after all, some people may not celebrate anything at all this time of year, and I would not want to inadvertently offend them. I also think it might be even more respectful to show some interest in offering more than just a generic farewell. Do you think it would be appropriate to first ask, "Do you celebrate a particular holiday this time of year?" I could then tailor my farewell to their response, from "Merry Christmas," to "Happy Hannukah," to simply, "Have a lovely day." I want to find a balance between being festive and friendly without appearing unduly personal or rude.

Thank you so much.

Yours sincerely,


Your thoughts?


( 17 comments — Comment )
Dec. 4th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)
Best seasonal wishes.

It seems that these days, "Happy Holidays" upsets the christians, who seem to think this holiday is unique to them.
Dec. 4th, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
It seems that these days, "Happy Holidays" upsets the christians, who seem to think this holiday is unique to them.

Reason enough to use it... :-^
Dec. 4th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
"Happy new year."

I think most of us are agreed that the civil year will shortly be ending.

Edited at 2008-12-04 03:21 am (UTC)
Dec. 4th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
well sparkle season is the default pc bullshit here. i personally just state the holiday of the day or if i know the person is atheist then i say "Merry Fucking Christmas!" because most atheists piss me off for trying to make my holidays something dirty to celebrate because they are upset children mad at one parent and doing the denial thing like retarded third graders. also i am tired of said atheists strengthening the claim by christians and others of that trifecta that thiers is the only religion by attacking all religions based on the actions of a limited few bad christians/jews/muslims. thier arguments never cover the beliefs of say most pagans shinto buddhist or other non mainstream or western religion. but they believe they do and because it is a belief then it must be like what they hate
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 4th, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
I wish everyone a nice day/evening year round, not just in December and leave it at that.
[no subject] - colinblackthorn - Dec. 4th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 4th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
It was a sarcastic "Merry Ramakw..." that set me off yesterday. Ramadan doesn't interfere with Christmas except in the eyes of the most greedy (or easily offended) souls who want the entire last third of the year to be dedicated to Jesus. Which is truly greedy because with Lent and all, they've got the first quarter, too!!
Dec. 4th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
What kind of asshole doesn't recognize the new year arriving as a kind of holiday? I mean, even if you don't join the revelry, it's a holiday. I figure that makes "Happy Holidays" for even for the most jaded of December-holiday-abstainers.
[no subject] - colinblackthorn - Dec. 4th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 4th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
Like Henry VII? Asshole. I rest my case. ;)
Dec. 4th, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
I respect the rights of others to celebrate with whatever deity they choose. If someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, I'll responde with Happy Solstice back. That's my holiday and I feel no shame or guilt in proclaming so.

In fact, the other day while shopping, one of the Salvation Army bell ringers stated to me - Merry Christmas and God Bless to which I responded, Happy Yule and blessed be! Well, you think I threw hot oil on him with the face. I mean, its ok for the 'presumed majority' of Christians to say Merry Christmas but when you respond with something other than that you have two heads?

You say what you want. The sincerity comes not from the actual words but the tone and warmth of the greeting itself. I am not offended by those who wish me a Merry Christmas because that's what they believe, but similarly they should be tolerant of those who celebrate Yule, Hanuakah (sp), etc.

Dec. 4th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
If nothing else, everyone observes New Year's so they're celebrating SOMETHING...
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
I started composing a comment and it expoded into a blog post.
It's long, but if you're bored... http://robdamnit.blogspot.com/2008/12/enjoy-festival-days.html
Dec. 5th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC)
Hi! My name is Molly & I am co-mod of a new community for Spouses and SOs of those in the Military. If you are interested, please check us out! Take care =D

Dec. 5th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
Neat! I started lgbtmilfamilies myself to offer support to those of us who are gay or lesbian partners and family members of those in the military (my parter used to be Navy). Nice to know there's even more support out there!
Dec. 7th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
I was trained a long time ago (20+ years ago), not to say anything, unless the customer said something to you first. Then I had to repeat exactly what they said back to them.
EX: customer: Have a good holiday
Me: Have a good holiday, also.
The companies were afraid of "p.c." lawsuits.
( 17 comments — Comment )

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