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Exclusive Holidays to You!

December 23, 2008

Jay Nordlinger has a thought on the unlikely offensiveness of wishing someone a merry Christmas:

I have written a lot about the “Happy Holidays” business, and one tires of such things. And one mustn’t fall into harping. But there is something deeply puzzling about the whole matter: the idea that “Merry Christmas” could be offensive to someone. I myself would be delighted to be wished a Happy Diwali or whatever by Hindus — or a Happy Eid by Muslims, etc. It would make me feel rather included. I would regard such an expression as thoughtful.

A friend of mine told me the other day that “Merry Christmas” was bad because it didn’t “include everyone.” But how did “Merry Christmas” become non-inclusive? (Have you noticed that, when you write about PC things, you have to use ugly words, such as “non-inclusive”?) In fact, you could call “Merry Christmas” inclusive, in that someone is including you in his holiday, or in the general holiday.

Two seconds ago, “Merry Christmas” was about the warmest, nicest, most joyful thing you could say to someone. Now, it can be borderline hate speech.

An example of a very inclusive Christmas greeting can be found here.

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