Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 00:39:14 -0700


Subject: Merry Christmas vs Season's Greetings, etc.

Sali and all y'all,

Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings!

I'm ancient enough to recall Season's Greetings as being a standard PC form

from the 1930's -- I used to associate it particularly with cards from

businesses (which no longer spend the money for that), which gave it an

impersonal "commercial" quality. "Happy Holidays", which is more recent, may

be an attempt to avoid that. Christmas has become so widely observed as a

solstitial gift-giving holiday that it is not unusual even for Buddhists in

Taiwan or Korea to wish one another the language-specific equivalent of

"Merry Christmas", or even the English-specific form. One of my Jewish

colleagues, while celebrating Hanukkah, told me he put up "Christmas lights"

on his house, so in this genericized sense, "Merry Christmas" may be used

to refer to the holiday season even here. Given that even the non-sectarian

Federal Government recognizes Christmas as an official holiday, one may with

PC impunity wish anyone a "Merry Christmas" in this sense. I usually temper

my greeting to someone I know is of another faith by making a combined

good wish as at the outset above, but I do not wish to obscure the fact that

for me personally, it remains a deeply religious occasion.

I'll be signing off soon for the holidays, so in the meantime,

let me wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, as well

as Xin Nian Kuai Le (New Year Joyful)!

Y feliz Navidad y un prospero A~no Nuevo!


--Rudy Troike (rtroike[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]