Although Christmas is officially behind us – but who’s counting, anyway? – each year we have the same debate over political correctness of wishing people “Merry Christmas!” or the all-inclusive “Happy Holidays!”
If we’re trust a report of the folks at Treetopia, we should greet Kansas dwellers with the more Christian salute of “Merry Christmas!” while the Missouri state strongly prefers “Happy Holidays!”
Apparently, that’s how they like it. Treetopia is a San Francisco-based company in the artificial Christmas tree business. The people at Treetopia have conducted an interesting analysis of Twitter data from December 2014 and the first 15 days of December 2015 to find out what the residents of each state prefer as a holiday wish.
While Kansans were divided nearly evenly between the two greetings, it was a lot easier with Missourians. According to their Twitter usage, “Happy Holidays” is much more preferred that “Merry Christmas” – 61.5 percent compared to 38.5 percent.
It’s not surprising that the Bible Belt states have an overwhelming inclination toward Merry Christmas. Texans showed a slight favor for “Happy Holidays,” which might irk some of the religious people living in the area.
On one side of the debate – which has become a winter tradition in itself in recent years – are Christians who say that celebrating Christ’s birth should be included in the very holiday greeting.
But there are other holidays during this time of year, and Christians are definitely not the only ones celebrating. This is what the Ohio State University website had in mind when it included an article with guidelines for “holiday inclusion.”
Titled “Inclusive Holiday Practices,” the article stirred some controversy, as some people took it as a war on Christmas. But according to an OSU spokesperson, the article was meant to help students who want to make sure they don’t show “disrespect for the beliefs or non-beliefs of our students or colleagues.”
However, a couple of days later, the webpage was removed from the OSU official website. Even though the faculty board was reserved in commenting the situation, a spokesperson declined that the article’s removal was in any way a repudiation of what it stood for.
Today, the webpage features a message saying that the previous guidelines were “not a mandate or university policy.” It also adds that the webpage was removed to “avoid misinterpretation or confusion.” In the end, the debate Merry Christmas! vs. Happy Holidays! needs tolerance on both sides.
Image Source: Janice Person