Sound Off: Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?

Should "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" be the official greeting of the season?

It's a debate that now seems to arise every year around this time: Should people use the term "Merry Christmas" or something more generic such as "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings"?

The so-called "War on Christmas" has rallied conservatives in recent years who say people who insist on "Happy Holidays" in light of a variety religious holidays this season are being too politically correct. 

“Christmas became a dirty word,” Mount Sinai resident Candace Donin at a packed meeting Tuesday night as residents there voiced their concerns about the naming of an annual “Holiday tree” lighting, according to an article on Port Jefferson Patch.

A poll taken last year showed Americans were split on the issue, with 44 percent in favor, and 49 percent opposed, on whether retailers should use the generic holiday greetings out of respect for people of different faiths.

What's your take? Should "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" be the official greeting of the season? Is there really a "War on Christmas" or has the media blown the issue out of proportion? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments.

johnny December 07, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ,[5][6] celebrated generally on December 25[2][3][4] as a religious and cultural holiday by billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide.[7] In many of the world's nations Christmas is a civil holiday,[8][9][10] is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians,[1][11][12] and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.
johnny December 07, 2011 at 02:26 PM
The precise day of Jesus’ birth, which historians place between 7 and 2 BC, is unknown. In the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church first placed Christmas on December 25, a date later adopted also in the East.[13][14] Theories advanced to explain that choice include that it falls exactly nine months after the Christian celebration of the conception of Jesus,[15] or that it was selected to coincide with either the date of the Roman winter solstice[16] or of some ancient winter festival.[15][17] The original date of the celebration in Eastern Christianity was January 6, in connection with Epiphany, and that is still the date of the celebration for the Armenian Apostolic Church and in Armenia, where it is a public holiday. As of 2011, there is a difference of 13 days between the Julian calendar and the more generally used Gregorian calendar. Those who use the Julian calendar or its equivalents thus celebrate December 25 and January 6 on what for the majority of people is January 7 and January 19. For this reason, Ethiopia celebrates Christmas, both as a Christian feast and as a public holiday on what in the Gregorian calendar is January 7.[18]
johnny December 07, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Many of the popular celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have pre-Christian or secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, several figures, known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus, among other names, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season.[19] Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.
Linda December 08, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Brandy wohaooo nice talk re a Christmas discussion. You need to take a chill and you get a clue that people can disagree about OPINIONS with out anyone getting completely insulting over in and very inappropriate!!
Daniel December 08, 2011 at 10:48 PM
Dear Parents, Can anyone explain the absence of Christmas or Chanukah decorations in Paumonauk? Is this district wide? In this country, 91 percent of us celebrate these two holidays. Yet, they are being ignored. While I do understand that some may not celebrate either, why is it that tolerance only seems to be flowing in one direction? These two faiths make up the very fabric of our founding. It is in both religions that we have survived and we have thrived for so long. It's principles, are what make us Americans. It keeps us strong and keeps us united in our families and communities. America is great because America is good. Help me to get this out. Remember, We, are the clients. The schooling of our children is the service we are paying for. Both holidays should be recognized district wide. Let's restore America to what she once was. Let's continue to teach our children what Lincoln taught us, " With Charity towards all, and Malice toward none."


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