The other day, as I was watching videos on YouTube, a random ad for PragerU's newest video popped up. In this video, David Prager rehashes the classic Fox news December argument: there is a war on Christmas.
The argument is essentially this: leftist snowflakes are launching a political correctness attack on Christmas by trying to replace "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" in the public sphere, and this is somehow oppressing Christians. David Prager takes this argument a step farther, however, by trying to insist that the left is not doing this out of politeness and inclusion but out of goal to secularize society and oppress the religious.
To me, this argument has always been completely ridiculous. I have always been a critic of PC culture, but switching to "Happy Holidays" is simply not PC culture. PC culture is insisting that certain words or phrases are inherently offensive and should be completely removed from civil society. However, the "Happy Holidays" supporters are not trying to insist that "Merry Christmas" is offensive, but rather are simply trying to make their greetings more inclusive.
Christmas is simply not the only Holiday that occurs in the latter part of December. Hanukkah, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, winter solstice celebrations, New Years, and so many other holidays occur at the same time that Christmas is also occurring. Saying "Happy Holidays" is not in an attempt to exclude Christians, but rather just a way of including all those that have celebrations at the same time that are excluded by saying "Merry Christmas."
One of the points that David Prager tried to make in his video that one sign of the shift away from Christmas is the growing trend of schools transitioning from "Christmas break" to "Holiday" or "Winter break." This is a classic example of how far the Religious Right is willing to stretch their evidence in an attempt to show how oppressed they are. Please, you really want me to believe that a school calling their two-week long break a "winter break" instead of a "Christmas break" is oppressing you? The last time I checked, Christmas is only one day, and so a "Christmas break" would only be one day long. Perhaps saying "winter break" is simply a more accurate representation of the break.
Another major point that David Prager tried to make is that saying "Merry Christmas" in public makes people uneasy and shows just how far PC culture has gone to making Christmas taboo. This is laughable. To me, the uneasiness that comes from people saying "Merry Christmas" comes about from the personality stereotype that the right-wingers of Fox News and PragerU crowd have created: that everyone who insists on saying "Merry Christmas" when told "Happy Holidays" are radical assholes who simply want to feel persecuted.
Long story short. "Happy Holidays" is simply what it seems to be on the surface: an inclusive greeting that is used around the holidays. Simply being cognizant that other holiday traditions exist and are celebrated in addition to yours is not downplaying your personal celebrations. Rather, it is just acknowledging that we all have differences and that we can all hope that we enjoy our individual observations. If admitting that other traditions and holidays exist seems oppressive to you, then I would recommend staying away from the fireplace this holiday season, because you are obviously as much of a snowflake as you claim that the "Happy Holidays" leftists are.