Growing up in a rural area of a mid-western state and attending a Lutheran Liberal Arts college, I was pretty much surrounded by ELCA Lutherans and Catholics for the first 22 years of my life. There are some differences in specific beliefs between people raised in different denominations of Christianity, but overall, most of us were coming from similar backgrounds and theologies when we talked about our Faith. All this to say, I knew that people of other faiths existed – but that wasn’t at all my reality for over two decades of my life. Roughly 75% of North Americans identify with Christianity, and that percentage was even higher where I lived. To me, the holidays were about Christmas and Jesus’ birth. End of story.
As an adult, I’ve come to realize that sometimes people of different beliefs get offended when people say “Merry Christmas” because the holiday season to them is about Hanukkah, Saturnalia, Yule, the Winter Solstice, etc. – and to them, saying “Merry Christmas” excludes their holy day. Apparently it is now more politically correct to say “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons’ Greetings” in order to acknowledge religious and cultural diversity.
That being said – I am religious – and to me, the holidays are about Christmas… so what’s a person to do?
I talked briefly with my husband about this when I was designing our Christmas cards this year. There were a couple of “Happy Holidays” designs that were okay that I was considering going with in order to be more inclusive because of the aforementioned p.c. issue, but his knee jerk reaction was similar to mine.
But it’s CHRISTMAS. I want to say Merry Christmas to my friends & family!
So that’s what we did.
In the end, I figured people working in the public can worry about being p.c., but when the greetings are coming personally from my family, the holidays greetings will match our beliefs, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that we could not imagine having gone through this past year and the loss of my aunt, Charlie’s sister Jaime, and my grandmother without our Faith in God being our rock.
All that to say – Merry Christmas from my family to yours! 🙂