Please, don’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ to a stranger

What’s the right thing to say during the holidays?

By Milcah Tefera

As the holiday season approaches again, so does the yearly debate on whether people should say “merry Christmas” or “happy holidays.” Though to some, this debate may seem somewhat ridiculous, it is a subject that has presented itself year after year, that many have felt passionate about.

Laila Hajdari is a senior at BHS, who doesn’t celebrate Christmas with her family. Laila states: “When people say merry Christmas instead of happy holidays, I don’t get offended but I think it does matter because it may offend other people. I really think it’s important to take other cultures into account and acknowledge them and respect them.”

Laila’s view on the subject, shared by many others, is exactly why it is better to just say “happy holidays” during this season. You don’t know what holidays one might celebrate, or if they celebrate any around this time at all.

Others in opposition to this idea may argue that if it’s close to Christmas, you say “merry Christmas.” However, this may catch someone off guard and even bother them in some way. It is insensitive to assume that one celebrates Christmas, just because you do.

If you know someone celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc., then sure, wish them a “happy holidays” specific to whatever holiday they celebrate. But if you’re unsure, play it safe.

During the holiday season, it’s important to be considerate and mindful of others. Spreading holiday cheer doesn’t have to come with the possibility of offending someone. So, this season, remember to be respectful of other people’s cultures, backgrounds, religions, and traditions.


It is better to avoid offending someone during the holiday season, by just simply wishing them a happy holiday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: