01 December 2005
Sarah Price Brown: Everyone knows “happy holidays” means Merry Christmas and that the company “holiday party” is really a Christmas bash. So, why do we use these euphemisms? And why does the press go along with it, using phrases like “holiday season” and “happy holidays“? According to ABC News, Christian conservatives are spearheading an effort to stop the watering down of Christmas with words like “holiday.” Christians have hired 1,550 attorneys aimed at “putting the Christ back in Christmas,” ABC News reports. But such an effort need not be portrayed as a one-sided, menacing attempt by conservatives to hijack American secularism. As Jeff Jacoby points out in his November 30 Boston Globe column, “De-Christmasing Christmas,” “suppressing the language, symbols, or customs of Christians in a predominantly Christian society is not inclusive. It’s insulting.” Jacoby explains that as a Jew, he feels “grateful to live in a land where freedom of religion shelters the Hanukkah menorah…no less than the Christmas tree.” So, out with “happy holidays,” and in with “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hanukkah.” Let us and the press tell it like it is.