Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 00:39:14 -0700
From: Rudy Troike RTROIKE[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU
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]ccit.arizona.edu)