Why I Choose to Say Happy Holidays


I work at a retail pharmacy throughout the year, and the holiday season always seems like a speech war zone. It seems that no matter what you say as an associate, cashier, or manager makes somebody upset.  

I choose to say Happy Holidays, not just at my job, but in my life as well. I feel terrible pushing my own holiday and viewpoints onto someone who may not celebrate, or doesn’t believe in the same things I do. Maybe this is the non-believer in me coming out, maybe it's just me trying to be a nice person.  If someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or Merry Solstice it doesn’t matter; I smile and say thank you, you too, and move on.  Those who choose to wish you a specific Happy Holiday aren’t wishing unwell on you, they’re hoping you have a great day, whether you celebrate it or not. No harm done.

What gets to me is when people attack you for saying Happy Holidays. I do it as a life choice, not as a way to keep customers happy. So when I say, happy holidays, and a customer says, it’s okay to say Merry Christmas to me, I get a little annoyed. Nothing wrong with loving your holiday, power to you! But what if I didn’t celebrate Christmas? I do, but one of my managers doesn’t, so why be rude and push the issue?  People say that wishing someone Happy Holidays is being too sensitive, a critique our society has really been about lately. But aren’t you being just as sensitive when you respond in your most snarky tone possible, it’s okay to wish me a Merry Christmas. I don’t care if it’s okay, I’m not going to do it, and I shouldn’t have to.  And don’t worry, I saw your pin of the Christmas tree, I’m saying Happy Holidays anyways because that’s what I want.

Sometimes at the registers I just want to tell people who push it on me that I celebrate the winter solstice, so they’ll leave me alone, maybe realize that they overstepped a boundary.  It’s not that hard to be nice to someone, and it’s easy to wish all a Happy Holidays instead of limiting your wishes to christians.  The United States is meant to be a place where everyone can celebrate their religion of choice without getting judgement, after all that’s why the Puritans left England and sailed over here isn’t it? So doesn’t the right to religious freedom start with being accepting toward all?

And when someone wishes you a happy holiday that you don’t celebrate, don’t take it offensively.  They’re wishing you a happy day, and in religious purposes they’re wishing you well by their god, which is a compliment all in itself.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is sometimes people are sensitive, but maybe this isn’t sensitivity, it’s just common decency. So Happy Holidays to everyone! Hopefully no one gets chewed out at their retail job for saying it like it is.