Happy Holidays. Yes, All of Them.

Happy Christmas, painted by Johansen Viggo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Thomas L. Knapp…….

It’s “War on Christmas” time again. In a November 30 speech in St. Charles, Missouri, US president Donald Trump mounted a stage festooned with Christmas trees to kick off the annual Airing of the Fake Grievance:

“[Y]ou go to the department stores and you see ‘Happy New Years,’ and you see red, and you see snow, and you see all these things. You don’t see ‘Merry Christmas’ anymore. With Trump as your President, we are going to be celebrating Merry Christmas again …”

When I was younger, the Annual Grievance was that Christmas had become too commercialized and that stores were starting to “celebrate” it far too early in their sales campaigns. These days, it’s that Americans don’t focus exclusively on one, and only one, December holiday.

I haven’t personally noticed any dearth of Christmas cheer this year or in recent years. I’m seeing Christmas observances all over the place, in both Christian (Nativity scenes, “Reason for the Season” church signs, etc.) and secular or semi-secular (Santa Claus, silver bells, what have you) form. Perhaps Trump doesn’t get out into fly-over country often enough.

That said, it’s worth noting that December is indeed a month of holidays, not all of them Christian. According to HolidaysCalendar.com:

Sunni Muslims celebrated Maulidur Rasul, the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, on December 1. Shia Muslims celebrate it on December 6.

Buddhists celebrate the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama — Bodhi Day — on December 8.

From December 13-20, Jews celebrate Hanukkah, commemorating the liberation of Jerusalem from foreign occupation in 165 BC.

December 21 marks the Winter Solstice and the beginning of the ancient pagan festival of Yule.

Kwanzaa, a celebration of African culture, commences on December 26 and runs through New Year’s Day.

On December 23, Seinfeld fans will celebrate their 21st Festivus. Others may put up feasts and ceremonies for National Mutt Day (December 2), Wear Brown Shoes Day (December 4), Ugly Sweater Day (December 19) or perhaps something a little more serious like World AIDS Day (December 1) or Bill of Rights Day (December 15).

And yes, of course there are all kinds of Christian holidays — Advent Sundays, the feast days of Saints, etc. — leading up to Christmas (December 25 for some Christians, January 7 for others).

Like it or not (personally, I like it a lot), America IS a multi-religious and multi-cultural country with holidays galore. So what if you don’t celebrate them all? Why not just congratulate those who do?

Shut yer griping, Trump. Merry Christmas AND Happy Holidays!


Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

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5 thoughts on “Happy Holidays. Yes, All of Them.

  1. There’s more to it than the two words, Merry Christmas, as those two words in recent American history had historically been part of the glue that helped keep America together on relatively the same page.

  2. Three questions:

    1) What makes you think that America has ever been “relatively on the same page?”

    2) What makes you think it needs to be?

    3) What makes you think that the words “Merry Christmas” have anything to do with that status?

    1. In answer to all three questions: My empirical knowledge, and knowing that I know what I’m talking about, and I know that I know what I’m talking about.

      There is nothing you can say to convince me otherwise.

      Merry Christmas!

  3. Mr. Knapp,

    After I went back and re-read my last comment to you I realize my reply was too harsh, especially considering the Merry Christmas theme. My apology.

    Ben Volpian

    1. Ben,

      I didn’t take it as harsh, just as non-responsive 😉

      A little bit of Christmas trivia:

      The first English settlers in America were from a sect that outlawed the celebration of Christmas when they ran England. And we’ve been fighting over religion ever since.

      For about 40 million Americans today, it’s “Feliz Navidad.” Prior to World War II when 17 million men got put under arms and told they had to take orders in the same language, for significant numbers of Americans it was “Frohe Weihnachten,” “Buon Natale,” “Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia,” “Boldog Karacsonyt,” “Sheng Dan Kuai Le,” etc.

      I think one of America’s great strengths is how little we are or ever have been “on the same page” 🙂

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