Christmas begins in a couple of days… so how will we greet people at that time?
In a recent article, Fr. James Schall writes about the lack of Christ in the Christmas Season. This has been quite the topic as our communities become more pluralistic. I was on the local TV show, Goldhawk Live last year to talk about this subject. I shared that although I certainly believe in Christmas and that most Canadians celebrate Christmas, it still feels weird to wish people a “Merry Christmas” if I don’t know them. What if they don’t celebrate Christmas. Would it be a little weird? If someone wished me a Happy Hannukah would I be offended. Certainly not. But it still would be weird. It’s good to celebrate all the feasts of the varous cultures… although sometimes in an effort to be inclusive we end up with holidays or feasts that are so obscure and minor that even practitioners of the religion don’t recognize it!
I know that in Quebec the use, in French, of Happy Holidays is quite common. This has its roots in the celebrations of the various feasts or holidays of the Christmas Season… the Nativity, Holy Family, New Years, Mary-Mother of God, Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord. I love “Merry Christmas” but perhaps Happy Holidays is more appropriate a greeting for strangers. The other option is to say nothing… which feels rather like Mr. Scrooge!