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Michelle Turnberg, Published November 25 2011

Turnberg: Pushing back against PC Christmas trend

The Halloween candy is almost gone, and the turkey was wonderful. Now I can begin all things Christmas. That includes vowing to not say “Happy Holidays” anymore.

For me, political correctness has gone too far. Why have we allowed “Merry Christmas” to become “Happy Holidays”? For most of us, this time of year has two major holidays, Hanukkah and Christmas. Ninety-three percent of those interviewed in a USA Today/Gallup poll indicate that they celebrate Christmas.

So tell me why, when almost all of the country celebrates Christmas, we are so scared to offend someone by wishing them a Merry Christmas?

I enjoy wishing my Jewish friends “Happy Hanukah,” and I ought not to feel even a shred of lament for wishing my Christian friends “Merry Christmas.” After all, Christmas is the day Christians celebrate the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

I once worked for a company that reprimanded the secretary for saying “Merry Christmas” when she answered the phone. Are we so afraid to offend the 7 percent that the 93 percent must lower the bar?

For most of us, and for me, “Happy Holidays” doesn’t cut it. I extend a personal challenge to you who are proudly Christian to wish someone a Merry Christmas every day this month. I also encourage you to make purchases at stores that recognize Christmas.

We might also acknowledge city and school officials who have the conviction and courage to display Christmas symbols on public grounds, and who honor Christmas. Remember when we used to have Christmas programs in school and a Christmas tree in the classroom?

I have yet to meet anyone who has actually been offended by “Merry Christmas.” Even the people I know who don’t practice religion celebrate Christmas in some fashion.

I just read about how one family handles the Christmas season. They reserve Dec. 25 for Jesus Christ. They wait until Jan. 6, Three Kings Day or Epiphany, to exchange their gifts. That is the day that the three kings arrived to see baby Jesus and offer their gifts. They started the tradition when the dad was in the military and rarely made it home for Christmas and have kept the tradition going.

I like it. Set aside Christmas for Christ. Exchange gifts on Three Kings day (or perhaps not at all). Avoid the chaos of “Black Friday” and save a bundle on the day-after Christmas sales. Genius.

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!


Michelle Turnberg writes a weekly column in SheSays.